Representatives from parishes across the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh gathered Saturday 17 November at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh for a day studying the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke, led by scripture scholar Father Andrew Garden, Parish Priest of Saint David’s, Dalkeith, and Saint Luke & Saint Anne’s, Mayfield.

“Father Andrew's talk was a walk through the Gospel of Luke,” explained Christine Clark of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Commission, the organiser’s of the study day entitled, Knowing Jesus Through Luke. The First Sunday of Advent, 2 December, will see the Church begin to read through the Gospel of Luke at each Sunday Mass with the start of a new yearly cycle of readings.

“There was a timely focus as we approach that new cycle of readings, Year C, on the person of Christ,” added Christine, “especially his desire for authentic contact with every one of us; the healing and complete change that take place when we come and sit ‘at the feet of Jesus’ and listen and respond with the same love that was shown to Zacchaeus, the Prodigal Son, the Good Thief, passages of Sacred Scripture that only feature in the Gospel of Luke.”

Saint Luke is traditionally regarded as the author of both his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, which recounts the history of the early Church. He is believed to have a medical physician and a follower of Saint Paul.

“Father Andrew’s uplifting talk prompted many questions and comments,” said James Walker, a parishioner at St Mary’s Cathedral who attended the study day, “Fr Andrew suggested that carrying a copy of Luke's gospel as we prepare to enter Year C is a good way of getting to know Jesus better.”

The study day continued with a presentation on how to read at Holy Mass by Margaret Macgill, Former Principal Teacher of English at Saint Columba’s High School in Dunfermline and a parishioner at St Joseph’s in Burntisland.

“Margaret explained to us that readers are story-tellers and they must understand the message by preparation, prayer and their own faith, to be a good-communicator one must fully believe in your message,” said James Walker, “Margaret then showed us how it should be done by reading at Mass in the afternoon.”

The third and final study session of the day saw Father Garden provide a practical lesson on directed prayer. The day then concluded with Holy Mass in St Margaret’s Chapel with Archbishop Leo Cushley as the main celebrant.