The Gospel of Luke and First Corinthians Go Together

We’re reading Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians and the Gospel of Luke together these days at Mass. The two may be more closely connected than we suspect, if my reading of Pheme Perkin’s, Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels ( Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA) is correct. Luke wrote some years later than Paul, but his audience would be much like those found in the church of Corinth.

Theophilus, to whom Luke dedicates his gospel, could easily be one of Corinth’s better-off Christians, who surely  would recognize  the lack of concern for the poor that Jesus condemns in Luke’s gospel as present in his own community as well. That unconcern appeared at table, in the celebration of the Eucharist in the Corinthian church, and Paul condemns it. (1 Corinthians 11, 17-22) Luke presents Jesus, over and over, at table, condemning the same unconcern for the poor as well.

Luke begins Jesus’ ministry in Galilee with his visit to Nazareth (Luke 4, 16-30) where he’s not recognized by his own who know him too well and are ready to throw him to his death over the hill.

The Corinthians–how many we are unsure– fail to recognize the humble Savior whom Paul preaches. “I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2, 1-5)

In Luke’s gospel, Jesus is the teacher and Lord bringing God’s word to the towns of Galilee. He brings God’s word to Corinth as well, but the Corinthians are attracted to the various disciples of Jesus, causing “jealousy and rivalry among you…Whenever someone says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ and another,’I belong to Apollos,’ are you not merely men? What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, just as the Lord assigned each one.”

God plants and waters the growth of his church; the disciples are disciples, only disciples, who must have “the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians, 3, 1-9)

Luke has a church like Corinth in mind when he writes his gospel. How about our church too, as we take  sides. “I belong to…” Good to read these two readings together now.

3 thoughts on “The Gospel of Luke and First Corinthians Go Together

  1. fdan

    Dear Father Victor, thank you for inspiring my understanding and love for the Word of God with words I never understood and loved so much before.


  2. Berta

    Life is just a repeat of past mistakes. Are we not going through much of the same thing now in our world. Yes, the Pandemic is affecting us all, but who has been dying more? Yes, we’re going through more and more unrest in our cities. But who is being blamed and who is getting killed?
    With these words of Paul and of Jesus we come to realize that the poor and marginalized are still with us, ignored and unwanted. Please, Lord Jesus help us to do something about it. Jesus did say that the poor will always be with us, so let’s act together and do the Christian thing! Love our neighbor as ourselves! Love our neighbor as Jesus loved us and them! Let’s have a revolution of LOVE !!!!!


  3. fdan

    Hear ye, hear ye to a Revolution of Love! May the words of st. Bonaventure help us:
    “…our hearts should kneel down and ask the Father to give us, through his Son and the Holy Spirit, true knowledge of Jesus and of his love. Once we know him and love him like this, we shall be made firm in faith and deeply rooted in love, and we can know the breadth, length, depth and height of holy Scripture. That news can then lead us to the full knowledge and overwhelming love of the most holy Trinity.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s