Feast of Saint Luke
Today the Catholic Church celebrates St. Luke described as the beloved physician by St. Paul.
His gospel above all others focuses on the merciful kindness of Jesus to the poor, the afflicted and sinners. Some believe that his attention to detail as a result of his physician's training no doubt impacted the detailed completeness of his account. He reports on Jesus' birth and childhood in a way that has led scholars to the conclusion that he was in direct communication with Mary as he wrote his gospel. "His mother stored up all these things in her heart."(Lk 2:51)
Today at the Cathedral in Allentown (the bishop's Church) we had a mass celebrated by the bishop himself for all physicians and healthcare workers in the diocese. This mass on the feast of St Luke is often celebrated in other diocese throughout the world and is called "The White Mass" because the health care workers will often don their lab coats for the mass. We didn't do that this morning but the health care workers who attended were blessed to hear a homily by the bishop directed to physicians.
At the end of the Mass, the president of our local guild of the Catholic Medical Association lead us all in a pledge to serve Christ and His Church through our healing ministry as physicians.
Once I became Catholic, I was amazed by the resources the Church provides to its physicians as promulgated in many encyclicals down through the years. In particular, Evangelium Vitae is superb in providing the most comprehensive guidelines for us to follow as health care providers.
As a physician dealing with end-of life scenarios on a daily basis, I am very thankful for the wisdom God has given us through the Catholic Church.