The Catholic Register - Fr. Scott Lewis

Fr. Scott Lewis is an associate professor of New Testament at Regis College, part of the Toronto School of Theology. He is a past president of the Canadian Catholic Biblical Association.


The Spirit guides

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) July 20 (Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; Psalm 86; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13:24-43)

The truly great and powerful are those who often choose not to fully exercise their power. Human cultures tend to follow those who can flex their muscles, bully and threaten and coerce others through fear. Even when displays of power are called for, these individuals are prone to using far more than necessary and often in ways that are unjust and lacking in compassion.

God’s word is at work worldwide

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) July 13 (Isaiah 55:10-11; Psalm 65; Romans 8:18-23; Matthew 13:1-23) 

When is a word more than a word? We usually associate words with the squiggles on a page or a discrete unit of speech. In the case of the Scriptures this view can lead to narrow, overly literal and superficial understanding. 

Live by the Spirit

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) July 6 (Zechariah 9:9-10; Psalm 145; Romans 8:9, 11-13; Matthew 11:25-30) 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a superhero arrived on the scene and put an end to the wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, as well as all acts of terrorism and violence? 

The Kingdom’s keys belong to those who are faithful

Sts. Peter and Paul (Year A) June 29 (Acts 12:1-11; Psalm 34; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; 17-18; Matthew 16:13-19) 

Dramatic prison breaks are featured in many novels and movies. Recently Canadians were shocked at a daring helicopter escape from a prison in Quebec. Peter, however, could top any of these stories. He was sprung from captivity by an angel! 

How we deal with adversity reveals our commitment to God

Body and Blood of Christ (Year A) June 22 (Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16; Psalm 147; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-59) 

Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. If only it were true! 

God’s compassion, mercy journey by our side

Trinity Sunday (Year A) June 15 (Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9; Daniel 9; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; John 3:16-18) 

The people in the Bible perceived God in diverse and sometimes contradictory ways. Throughout the book of Exodus, the people of Israel alternated between resentment and complaint towards God on the one hand and sheer terror on the other. They complained bitterly to God continually out of their fear and lack of trust. But when Moses approached the mountain to encounter God, the people refused to go anywhere near it. They were quite content to send him in their place, and in fact Exodus referred to him as the one who spoke face to face with God as if to a friend. 

‘One God, one world, one people’

Pentecost Sunday (Year A) June 8 (Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23)

People have many different understandings of the Holy Spirit. For some, it is a life-changing encounter with the divine, while for others it remains a distant and abstract theological formula. Even within the pages of the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is cloaked in differing forms and works in various ways.

No shortcuts to the Lord

Ascension of the Lord (Year A) June 1 (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20)

The people who witnessed the ascension of Jesus didn’t really understand what God was up to and they were not exactly in sync with the mind and heart of God. We perhaps share more with them than we care to admit.

True followers have Jesus’ guidance

Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A) May 25 (Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; Psalm 66; 1 Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21)

The proclamation of the Gospel took hold in a very powerful way in Samaria. The Samaritans received the Word enthusiastically. Exorcisms, healings and miracles were the order of the day. This doesn’t make much of an impression on us now — we have heard it so many times, so what is the big deal?

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life

Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A) May 18 (Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33; 1 Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12)

Tension between various groups has been a fact of life in the Christian Church right from the beginning. Human nature is fairly constant.

God’s mercy allows us to repent

Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year A) May 11 (Acts 2:14a, 36b-41; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:20b-25; John 10:1-10)

Peter’s words rolled across the crowd like the voice of doom. They were thunderstruck at his message: somehow they had crucified the one whom God had designated as Lord and Messiah.

The divine will always involved pain, struggle

Third Sunday of Easter (Year A) May 4 (Acts 2:14, 22b-28; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35)

There are two streams of history active in our world and they often work at cross-purposes. The first stream consists of human schemes and behaviour that are often the expression of desires, fears, jealousy and hatred. Even our best intentions are often fatally compromised by the presence of these tendencies. The world as we experience it is the unhappy result. The other stream is that of God’s will operating in history. It is relentless; even when temporarily diverted or blocked by human behaviour, it always triumphs in the end. God’s will is the redemption of all humanity and the transformation of the world.

No substitutes for the Lord

Second Sunday of Easter (Year A) April 27 (Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 118; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31)

The Church had very simple beginnings. There were no impressive church buildings or elaborate liturgies. In those first generations of the faith, believers met together in their homes. Their new faith was not just a religion but a new way of life lived together and in common. The presence of the Spirit and their shared, unified life were the source of energy and power. There was no “mine and thine” attitude, for they shared all that they had, ensuring that no one was deprived of the basics of life. Their shared ideals and union of minds and hearts bound them together in what they called the body of Christ. This resulted in a community in which the trust and support level was very high. But far more powerful was the observation that they ate their shared meals with “glad and generous hearts.”

Youth Speak News

The Vatican

Arts