In the first part of the Gospel, St. Luke wrote an orderly sequence of the life of Jesus to a certain man named Theophilus. St. Luke also wrote to him in his second book, the Acts of Apostles. This man may be someone special in the community where St. Luke belongs.
But who is this man?
The etymology of the name reveals two Greek words—Theo, meaning God, and Philo meaning love. His name really means a “lover of God.” The name may not refer to a specific person but is descriptive of a person. Who is a “lover of God”? Or how does a person become one? Anyone can be considered a lover of God. It is probable that this Theophilus, to whom St. Luke dedicates his writings, is someone of another name who is a lover of God. Anyone then can be a “Theophilus.”
St. Luke seems to have given us his writings and dedicated them to you and me. He challenges us to be true to the name and profile—a “lover of God.” How do we become one? Is it enough that we know Jesus? One can really be considered a “lover of God” if he fulfills what Jesus proclaims in the latter part of the Gospel text—“to bring glad tidings to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.” If I can live out the Gospel and emulate the works and deeds of Jesus, then I can really be another Theophilus.
On our own strength, we cannot do much. Everything is possible only through the help of the Spirit of the Lord. It is only through the power of the Spirit that we can fulfill God’s work. Let us be open to the Spirit filling us and animating us to partake in the Lord’s works.
By: Sem. Peter Collin C. Crisostomo
Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21
Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events
that have been fulfilled among us,
just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning
and ministers of the word have handed them down to us,
I too have decided,
after investigating everything accurately anew,
to write it down in an orderly sequence for you,
most excellent Theophilus,
so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings
you have received.
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,
and news of him spread throughout the whole region.
He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.
He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”