Fr. Scott Lewis, S.J

Fr. Scott Lewis, S.J

Fr. Scott Lewis is an associate professor of New Testament at Regis College, a founding member of the Toronto School of Theology.

He is a past president of the Canadian Catholic Biblical Association.

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 10 (Deuteronomy 30:10-14; Psalm 69; Colossians 1:15-20; Luke 10:25-37)

People love to make the simplest things unbelievably complicated. Perhaps there is a fear that if something is clear and easy to understand it must be superficial or lacking in authenticity. This is certainly the case with how we should live and conduct ourselves.  

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 3 (Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66; Galatians 6:14-18; Luke 10:1-12, 17-20)

There are times when joy seems difficult, even impossible. Telling someone in the depths of misery to rejoice can seem insensitive and even cruel. But that is exactly what God told the people of Jerusalem when they were struggling with the grim reality of life after return from exile. 

Thirteenth Sunday Ordinary Time (Year C) June 26 (1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21; Psalm 16; Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Luke 9:51-62)

Many personnel managers would envy Elijah’s situation. God not only told him when it was time to train a successor, but also whom he should choose. Finding Elisha, the designated successor, Elijah threw his mantle over him in a traditional prophetic gesture of selection and empowerment. Elisha’s response was immediate and positive — he was willing, but needed just enough time to say goodbye to his parents. Elijah was rather nonchalant, and indicated that Elisha was a free man and could do as he liked. No one was forcing him to follow in the prophet’s footsteps. Elisha slaughtered the oxen and threw a farewell feast for his family and the people, and then he followed Elijah. 

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) June 19 (Zechariah 12:10-11; Psalm 63; Galatians 3:26-29; Luke 9:18-24)

Sometimes it takes an act of God to touch and move the human heart so that the tears can flow. Throughout history, up until this very day, people have often meted out countless acts of cruelty, injustice and unkindness towards one another. Leafing through history books, one could get the impression that history is written in blood. The worst part of it is the calloused and numbed consciences that seem unable or unwilling to acknowledge guilt or empathize with the pain of the victims. 

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) June 12 (2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13; Psalm 32; Galatians 2:16, 19-21; Luke 7:36-8:3)

We usually think of a “flash of recognition” in positive terms — a form of enlightenment. But David’s experience of this recognition was disturbing and even devastating. His climb to the top of the heap as king of Israel had been successful but not pretty. It had involved a lot of questionable decisions and actions, but he seemed disinclined to quibble — after all, it had worked. He had almost unlimited power and wealth — what more could one want? 

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) June 5 (1 Kings 17:17-21a, 22-24; Psalm 30; Galatians 1:11-19; Luke 7:11-17)

Should we ever reproach God for human suffering? People have usually been reluctant to do so, and they spend a lot of effort try to vindicate God. 

Body and Blood of Christ (Year C) May 29 (Genesis 14:18-20; Psalm 10; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 9:11b-17)

God has always been at work in the most unlikely places and individuals. The strange story of Abram (Abraham before his name change) receiving a blessing from King Melchizedek of Salem stirs up a lot of questions.

Trinity Sunday (Year C) May 22 (Proverbs 8:23-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15)

How does one describe something that is infinite and ineffable in terms that humans can understand? The writers of the Scriptures often used poetry and metaphor, but even these attempts fell short of the majesty of God. No concept, doctrine or metaphor can ever contain the divine reality — they merely point to it and present it to us in the broadest strokes.

Pentecost Sunday (Year C) May 15 (Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-14; John 20:19-23)

Humans have always dreamed of being endowed with powers that will lift them far beyond ordinary human limitations. Mythology — both ancient and modern — is often an expression of this wish. The immense popularity of the superhero genre of film is a fine example.

Ascension of the Lord (Year C) May 8 (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Luke 24:46-53)

What is it like to ascend to the heavens? The sight of astronauts floating effortlessly around a space station or outside on a repair mission has become so commonplace that it doesn’t even elicit much comment. When we read the account of the Ascension in Acts, it seems to pale in comparison to the accomplishments of our own time.