I have become a volunteer for this year’s RCIA class at Sacred Heart Parish. I did it because I wanted to learn more about the Catholic Church, as I was “fast-tracked” through my RCIA class last year and came in after the first half was over. This RCIA class is BIG! It’s not as big as my class was at the end, but it looks like it will be. My job is to help facilitate the discussion groups.

First of all, I am making a concerted effort to remember names (no small undertaking for me!). That means I have to write them down, which have I started doing. I can’t help but wonder that if I am this bad at remembering names now, what will I be like when I’m 70?

I felt a little like a “Country Bumpkin” when Maryanne, our teacher, was talking about the Bible. So I got out my Catholic Bible I got at RCIA last year, dusted it off, and went to work reading. . . I am starting off by reading the Book of Luke.

Here is how pathetic I am: I had always thought that Luke was one of the 12 Disciples . Hello! He wasn’t!! He was a THIRD-GENERATION Christian.

“Early Christian tradition, from the late second century on, identifies the author of this gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles as Luke, a Syrian from Antioch. The prologue of the gospel makes it clear that Luke is not part of the first generation of Christian disciples but is himself dependent upon the traditions he received from those who were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word. Because of its dependence on the Gospel of Mark and because details in Luke’s Gospel imply that the author was acquainted with the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70, the Gospel of Luke is dated by most scholars after that date; many propose A.D. 80-90 as the time of composition.

Luke’s consistent substitution of the Greek names for the Aramaic or Hebrew names occurring in his sources, his omission from the gospel of specifically Jewish Christian concerns found in his sources, his interest in Gentile Christians and his incomplete knowledge of Palestinian geography, customs, and practices are among the characteristics of this gospel that suggest that Luke was a non-Palestinian writing to a non-Palestinian audience that was largely made up of Gentile Christians. “ (Excerpted from the introduction to the Gospel of Luke, Fireside New American Bible, 2006 – 2007 Personal Study Edition.)

I also learned something else in class that I didn’t know before. Our teacher told us that the Bible is not a single book. Rather, it is a LIBRARY of many books. I had never heard the Bible described in this way.

I am looking forward to this week’s class and what we will learn.