LUKE AND THE OX
Today, 18th of October, we Celebrate Saint Luke, traditionally known as the writer of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. He was a disciple of the Apostle Paul and a medical doctor. Born a gentile he is the only non-Jewish writer of a canonical gospel.
The symbol for Luke is the Ox or Bull, which is often shown with wings. The ox was the sacrificial animal of the Old Covenant. Recall how Luke’s Gospel opens with the sacrifice offered by Zacharias.
By the twelfth century, the doctors of the Church read further into the symbolism of the Ox or Bull, pointing towards Jesus Christ himself as the sacrificial victim.
But is there perhaps a third possible meaning to the symbolism of the ox or the bull of sacrifice? Can it be a gentle nudge or poke to all believers, a reminder that sacrifce, penance and mortification on some level are a necessary part of the spiritual journey?
An extra little bit of trivia: Luke is the patron saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, and strangely enough butchers.
Image: Part of the “Four Evangelists” project, expressed in satin-stitch embroidery by Yana of art-way.net