Fr. Scott Lewis, S.J
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.
Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year C) May 1 (Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23; John 14:23-29)
There are two basic approaches to drawing people to a relationship with God and an experience of divine love and mercy. Some anxiously, and usually angrily, place as many obstacles before others as possible. They set conditions that have to be met before someone can belong to the community or dare to approach God. But there is another approach, and that is to place as few obstacles or conditions before people as possible — in short, do everything in one’s power to bring them home.
Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year C) April 24 (Acts 14:21b-27; Psalm 145; Revelation 21:1-5a; John 13:1, 31-33a, 34-35)
What sort of word did Paul and Barnabas proclaim to the communities they founded? We can expect that the death and resurrection of Jesus was first on the list — details about His life came later. Most importantly, their proclamation included the warning that Jesus had been appointed judge of the living and the dead.
Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year C) April 17 (Acts 13:14, 43-52; Psalm 100; Revelation 7:9, 14b-17; John 10:27-30)
There are many ways to relate a series of events, poetic, scientific, artistic and journalistic modes among them. When most people hear the word “history” they think of a straight-forward narration of unvarnished “facts.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. There is no such thing as an unbiased or dispassionate narrator — everyone has a point to make, an axe to grind, an agenda to address or an ideology to advance. This should not really surprise anyone, and there is nothing nefarious or sinister about it.
Third Sunday of Easter (Year C) April 10 (Acts 5:28-32, 40b-41; Psalm 30; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19)
The leaders of the temple had every reason to silence the apostles. Their open and fearless proclamation of the Risen Christ exposed for all the huge mistake that they had made. Jesus had challenged their authority, attitudes and way of life. People in general do not like to be challenged in this way, even less so those in positions of power and prestige.
Resurrection of the Lord (Year C) March 27 (Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Psalm 118; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18)
The most profound and gripping theologies take the form of a story. Few people are moved by dry metaphysical speculations or hairsplitting, but many are moved by a powerful story. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is as one movie title had it, The Greatest Story Ever Told. Perhaps that is part of the problem in our own time — we have opted for an overly rationalized and skeptical approach to our faith, allowing the power and excitement of the great story to slip away.
Passion (Palm) Sunday (Year C) March 20 (Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 2:14-23:56)
How do we make sense of catastrophe and disaster? We usually look for explanations and causes, or more often than not, someone to blame.