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.


Our words must reflect our lives

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Feb. 1 (Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 95; 1 Corinthians 7: 32-35; Mark 1:21-28)

Movements and new organizations often do not survive the death of the founder. Usually something vital is lost and the original charism begins to fade.

We all must answer the call

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Jan. 25 (Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 25; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20)

Be ready and open to God’s call

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Jan. 18 (1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19; Psalm 40; 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20; John 1:35-42)

How many of us are called upon by God without realizing it? Divine addresses are seldom of the dramatic type portrayed in Hollywood biblical epics. They usually lack the beams of light and angelic choirs. God’s call is often innocuous enough to be overlooked or mistaken for something else. Only its persistence sets it apart.

Through water, blood, Spirit, we witness Christ’s reality

Baptism of the Lord (Year B) Jan. 11 (Isaiah 55:1-11; Isaiah 12; 1 John 5:1-9; Mark 1:7-11)

God is not like human beings — and we can rejoice in that. In fact, Isaiah went to great lengths to highlight the wide gulf between divine and human reasoning. This is certainly evident in the fact that God offers food and drink in abundance to all those who hunger and thirst absolutely free and without any preconditions.

God’s plan leaves no one out

Epiphany of the Lord (Year B) Jan. 4 (Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72; Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12)

Isaiah painted an inspiring and hope-filled picture of Israel’s future. His words must have been a welcome balm for a dispirited and discouraged people. The day would come when the radiance of God’s light and glory would be so overwhelming that it would stand as a beacon for the whole world. They were to ignore the seeming darkness around them and look to God’s glorious future.

Abraham’s leap of faith bore much fruit

Holy Family (Year B) Dec. 28 (Genesis 15:1-6; 17:3b-5, 15-16; 21:1-7; Psalm 105; Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19; Luke 2:22-40)

Even though Abraham is our father in faith because he trusted in God, that faith was sorely tested. Abraham had left everything behind — his land, kin and security — and became a wanderer, going wherever God led him.

Let us be servants of the Lord

We are often eager to do favours for others without considering how they might feel about it. Do they really want or need what we have in mind? Are we satisfying our own needs under the guise of being openhanded and generous? This is even more the case when God is the recipient of our favours and gifts.

Does God want or need what we offer?

Light shines forth even amid the darkness

Third Sunday of Advent (Year B) Dec. 14 (Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11; Luke 1; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28)

What would good news sound like in our world? A steady diet of negativity reported by the news media can leave one feeling depressed, fearful, hopeless and helpless. Often people turn to pain-numbing diversions of every variety to escape the darkness and confusion around them.

God is patient, merciful in action

Second Sunday of Advent (Year B) Dec. 7 (Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Psalm 85; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8) 

Anyone who has accompanied someone who is deep in grief or suffering knows how difficult it is to find the right words. In fact, most of the time it is better to say very little — presence and comfort go a long way. Above all, explanations or “answers” are seldom helpful. 

Be prepared for when the Lord returns

First Sunday of Advent (Year B) Nov. 30 (Isaiah 63:16b-17; 64:1, 3-8; Psalm 80; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37) 

Who is responsible when disaster or collapse strike? It is human nature to make excuses and look for something and/or someone to blame. The passage from Isaiah dates from the fifth century B.C. The exiles had returned from Babylon but the land of Israel still had not recovered. The temple and the city of Jerusalem were shadows of their glory days, and the land was depressed socially and economically. Various factions competed for dominance in the governance of the nation. People were clearly disillusioned and cynical, and most of us at one time or another have shared their feelings. 

The shepherd always looks after His flock

Christ the King (Year A) Nov. 23 (Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17; Psalm 23; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28; Matthew 25:31-46) 

There are many models of power and authority in the world but far too many of them are based on brute force, authoritarianism and domination. When coupled with a powerful ideology, they have enslaved millions and been the cause of countless deaths. There are less dramatic forms that constrict thought and expression or seek to control the lives of others. 

Be awake to spiritual opportunities

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Nov. 16 (Proverbs 31:10-13, 16-18, 20, 26, 28-31; Psalm 128; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; Matthew 25:14-30) 

The job description of a good wife in the Book of Proverbs is daunting. The described individual is a combination of social worker, business woman, mother and companion. One can only hope that equal standards apply to the husband in question. 

God’s Spirit dwells in us

Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (Year A) Nov. 9 (Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; Psalm 46; 1 Corinthians 3:9b-11, 16-17; John 2:13-22)

In ancient Israel the temple was a rich metaphor for the life-giving presence of God. For people of the ancient world, temples were theology books in stone. Their mathematical proportions and symbolic structures were meant to reflect divine and cosmological principles. The temple was often referred to as the navel or axis of the world.