The Political Reality at the Heart of the Gospel

LukeBy Pádraig Ó Tuama, comments on the Gospel reading for the second Sunday of Advent (reposted from Spirituality of Conflict)

Luke’s gospel is an extraordinarily political one. Over and over, the writer mentions the names of people in power, referencing their eras, areas of governance and even some of their policies.

The readings for the past two weeks have been filled with warnings about signs of the times. Now, rather than talking about signs, Luke’s gospel text drops us into the actual events, describing in detail the political landscape of the times. Even a casual acquaintance with the gospel texts brings some familiarity with the complicated dynamics of conflict in the politics of the day — names such as Herod, Pilate, Judea, Pharisees, Scribes, Samaria, Syrophonecia, Gentile, Rome, all trip off the tongue, even though our knowledge about these geographies, groups and geopolitical realities might be patchy. Continue reading