Luke the Evangelist vs. Oscar Romero

The Faithful Four continues today as Luke the Evangelist and Oscar Romero vie for a shot at Frances Perkins and the coveted Golden Halo. To get to this point, Oscar sailed past Elizabeth Ann Seton, Lucy, and Florence Li Tim-Oi while Luke defeated Absalom Jones, John Donne, and Dorothy Day.

In yesterday's contest, after Hilda of Whitby jumped out to a slim early lead, Frances Perkins stormed past her like Spectacular Bid on the inside rail and cruised to a 61% to 39% victory with nearly 5,600 votes cast.

Voting for the Golden Halo will commence at 8:00 am Eastern Time on Spy Wednesday and the winner will be announced at 8:00 am on Maundy Thursday. Scott and Tim share this information and discuss the process for nominating saints for Lent Madness 2014 in their most recent Monday Madness video. And speaking of videos, don't forget to watch the archbishop's commentary about today's match-up from Maple Anglican -- AND they answer the question that many have been asking "Why is Wednesday in Holy Week called Spy Wednesday?"

st-luke (1)Luke the Evangelist

It is true that no one actually knows the name of the author of Luke-Acts. However, whoever it is took “Luke” as a pen name, writing in first person about adventures in the early church in the guise of a Gentile, a physician, and a faithful companion. Whoever “Luke” was, the author has shared the good news of God in Christ in ways that form me on a daily basis.

Because of Luke, we hear the angel messengers proclaim “Do not be afraid” to Mary and the shepherds in the fields. Because of Luke, we hear Mary sing the Magnificat and with Simeon see the Savior whom God has prepared for all the world to see.

Because of Luke, we hear Jesus proclaim “Blessed are you who are poor” and know the story of the poor man Lazarus brought to rest with his father Abraham. Because of Luke, we see Jesus call the wealthy and despised tax collector Zacchaeus by name and hear him proclaim, “Salvation has come to this house.”

Because of Luke, we hear the story of the Samaritan who teaches us to be a neighbor to all. Because of Luke, we hear the story of the St._Catherine_Cathedral,_Luke_the_Evangelist,_Saint-Petersbergwastrel son welcomed home by his extravagant father.

Because of Luke, we meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus after the resurrection and see him revealed in the breaking of the bread. Because of Luke, we see the Holy Spirit arrive on the day of Pentecost.

Because of Luke, we see how 100 men and women can turn the known world upside-down. Because of Luke, we learn along with Peter that God has called no one unclean.

Through Luke, we meet John’s mother Elizabeth, Anna the prophet, Stephen the deacon, Cornelius the Roman Centurion, an unnamed Eunuch from Ethiopia, Lydia the businesswoman and homeowner. Through Luke we meet Saul the persecutor and Paul the missionary.

PARIS_~1There is no doubt that the stories of Luke are an indelible part of my understanding of Jesus’ life and ministry and of the work of the Church.

But for me there’s something intangible, too, about Luke’s message. Shot through Luke’s works is a deep understanding of all being welcome, all being known, all being forgiven, all being loved. And it is due to Luke that I discovered that I too am called to convey this message of welcome and love and belonging to the world.

I simply cannot imagine my faith without the words and witness of Luke.

-- Laura Toepfer

RomeroOscar Romero

Palm Sunday 2013 marked the 33rd year since the assassination of Archbishop Romero. It has been thirty-three years since he was killed, saying mass for the few nuns and cancer patients in the hospice where he chose to live, even as the highest Church official in El Salvador.

For me, the hardest aspect of Romero's story is that there is no clear-cut happy ending; there is no moment you can point to when "it gets better." He lasted only three years as archbishop, then he was killed by the death squads who roamed his country. The government would not even let him be buried in peace: the funeral was the scene of a riot. From a purely rational standpoint, he failed.

And yet...his ministry reflected the love of God Incarnate in a way that few others have.  Romero so believed in a God made human that it was impossible for him to view his fellow humans with anything less than the devotion he reserved for God. God became human in Jesus, and now all humanity was no less holy, no less worthy than Christ --and not far off, in a distant heaven, but here and now.

That sounds like a pretty treatise, but for Romero, nothing was more urgent, or relevant, than the Incarnation. It was life and romerogentedeath. When he preached, he gave voice and affirmation to thousands who felt themselves punished and abandoned by God and the Church. When he said that God saw the suffering of the poor, and wanted it to end, he embodied God's love for them in a tangible way. When he read out the names of the desaparecidos on the radio, and handed them to the pope, it was a sign that God, too, remembered. When he called out the death squads, and asked them to repent, Romero made the gospel real for a struggling people that needed it.

oscar-romeroRomero always said he was unafraid of death, because he "believed in resurrection; he would rise again in the Salvadoran people." And indeed, after his death, it was the people who kept his memory alive. It was the people of El Salvador who turned out en masse for his funeral. It was the people who turned his grave into a shrine, declared him presente at rallies, remembered his words, and kept on struggling for justice, because they believed in the gospel Romero preached. They believed in the God Romero knew. And they had begun to see themselves as Romero did -- as inherently dignified, remembered, and loved by God.

Romero lives on, by virtue of the country he loved, the people he continues to inspire, and through the gospel he died to live.

Romero presente.

-- Megan Castellan


Luke the Evangelist vs. Oscar Romero

  • Luke the Evangelist (56%, 2,162 Votes)
  • Oscar Romero (44%, 1,670 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,831

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105 comments on “Luke the Evangelist vs. Oscar Romero”

      1. I love that book. I read it twice, but many years ago. I recently came across a copy in our library's book sale and am planning to read it once again!

  1. I think Oscar will probably win this one, but I must go with Luke - without whom so much would be lost to time.

  2. I may have voted for Luck but I disagree that Oscar failed. He is a modern day martyr for Christ as all of those who went to the arena in the early history of the church. He is an example of the strength of faith we all need to have especially in this day and age.

    I came to know and respect Oscar and a great deal of other I know nothing about all because of Lentmadness. Thank you!

    1. Well-said, Fiona!

      "Luke wrote it, thanks be to God; but Romero lived it."

      May we all be given the strength to do likewise!

      1. How do you know Luke didn't live it also.

        With what he wrote I would assume he lived it also.

    2. Amen - and it's what I aspire to; but I had to vote for Luke - the Gospel and the Book of Acts were the first scripture I ever read and it was that scripture that brought me to the body of Christ.

  3. Well Oscar's dedication to the poor was exemplary; but he knew this as a tenet of Christianity because of Luke's writing, so I would have to go with Luke.

  4. This is painful! I have always believed that Oscar Romero was deserving of the Golden Halo but Luke's celebrity blogger said it so well. Luke's stories and language contain the essence of my faith. His Gospel is so rich and significant and despite my deep admiration for O.R., I voted for Luke.

  5. Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:26-29. This is why I voted for Oscar Romero.

    1. Ibid. While I did not have the verse in mind the message is the same. Here was a man who did not walk with Jesus yet came to know him and to act on the message of Jesus.

  6. It is amazing and mysterious annd somehow fitting that the most we know of the wonders of God come from one whose identity we really do not know. The Magnificat alone would be enough to venerate Luke, whoever he was and whoever he is as one who has probably influenced more of us than can even be imagined to be followers of Jesus Christ, Son of God, who once again and forevermore is on the road to true Life Everlasting.

  7. The writer of Luke-Acts spoke to me early and often in discernment. I will stay and hear more.

  8. I’m not sure “Luke" wrote the book with his name on it. (Or “Acts” for that matter.) I know Romero lived and for many years his life was under threat of death or torture. Serving the God he loved, he walked the Jesus way anyway. His sweat, tears and courage drenched his people. Cowardly Evil stole his breath, but his spirit lives with God and is presente with God’s people every day. I am profoundly grateful for whoever “Luke” was and the witness he bore. But Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez and servants like him put flesh and blood on scripture. Without that, words fade. bendiciónes

  9. Laura Toepfer was spot on about Luke. His Gospel called me as no other and planted seeds still springing up. I agree 100% with her conclusions, especially, "I simply cannot imagine my faith without the words and witness of Luke." (For a coincidental example, see my post on my blog from yesterday about the Good Thief That being said, Oscar Romero's death woke me up when young to the sometimes ugly reality of the world. Yet, his life continues to speak about how we don't have to give into it. We are the body of Christ. We are the church and have blessings to share. Like others, I don't see a vote for one saint as a rejection of another. They are already winners - thanks be to God! Perhaps our nation and world needs to be reminded of Oscar in these times. The Gospel leads us to the revealed Christ. Romero was one who believed and lived it despite any consequences. He has my vote for today.

  10. Getting ready for tomorrow's big vote Cornelians might not know that Frances Perkins was on the faculty of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations there after she left the Federal Government. Go Frances!

    1. As a Cornelian in the early 60's I do indeed remember Frances Perkins. I often saw her in the bookstore in her black hat, black coat, sensible shoes with her black purse tucked under her arm. Now Im in awe of just having been in her presence.

  11. were it not for Luke's words maybe Oscar would not have had his faith....whoever Luke was-he may have been many people. or just one. i can not decide. oscar lived it...Luke wrote it. they are both winners. i have to wait on this one.

  12. I was totally prepared to vote for Oscar today, especially because of the ambiguity about who Luke was, which has bothered me the whole season. Then Laurie T.'s excellent writeup swayed me. So it's Luke for me today, but with all props to Oscar!

  13. A very difficult choice, made more so by the compelling arguments provided by Laura and Megan. Luke is the foundation on which Romero acted. I voted for Luke.

  14. Reflecting on my choices throughout Lent Madness, I see a pattern: voting for the modern saints. For me, these brave - and holy - men and women challenge us to move out of our comfort zone of worship inside our churches and honoring what was, compelling us to action and confronting the injustice still rampant in the world. The early saints paved the way for those that followed, and contemporary saints such as Frances Perkins and Oscar Romero remind us that God's - and our - work in this world is far from finished and demonstrate how one person can make a difference, even in today's world.

  15. Laura Toepfer's fantastic writeup said it all - and made my choice today much easier than I thought it would be: it's Luke for me, for all the reasons she mentioned.

    And that's some really, really Good News! 😉

    1. Yes, Marceline Hilda was robbed! A fact that I will be bitter about for sometime to come. Strange that a whole lot of votes came from nowhere...the most votes I think of any match up to date. Now I'm not saying people were "stuffing the ballot box" but....

  16. Oscar lived out the message Luke brought to us and paid dearly for it. We are all called, but few heed

    1. I agree with others who woke up before me. Laura did a magnificent job of reminding us of the value of Luke to all Christians. He set the stage and Oscar became a star in the drama of which all Christians should play a part in. Luke should be awarded the Golden Halo tomorrow.

  17. Luke. Got to be. Without Luke...we would so short on sermon material. We would not any real scope on Jesus and his amazing ministry with women and children. What would Journey to Adulthood do without Luke? Without Jesus hanging out in town after his Bar Mitzvah, J2A would have no signature scripture for the best curriculum on the planet! And...if Luke does not make it to the big dance tomorrow...then every quarter of my bracket will have been wrong. So Luke can save me!

    1. Not only J2A, but Catechesis of the Good Shepherd too. It's amazing how Luke speaks to children.

  18. Laura Toepfer articulated Luke's legacy beautifully. Saints like Oscar Romero and sinners like me carry his words and ponder them in our hearts. In times of trouble, the words are there, to comfort, to guide, to give courage to the marvelous souls celebrated in Lent Madness.

  19. I knew I would be voting for Romero today. Nevertheless, I must thank Laura for her write up of Luke: Your post on the evangelist caused me to pause and truly appreciate all he has offered us.
    I'm maintaining my trend if voting for the modern saint this Lent Madness.

  20. Oscar Romero has been my choice from the very beginning. Must stand fast now, though I feel torn, for sure. Love Luke and give thanks always for his words.