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.

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Oct. 30 (Wisdom 11:23-12:2; Psalm 145; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2; Luke 19:1-10)

It is easy to feel insignificant while gazing up at a starry night or looking at photos of countless galaxies taken from the Hubble telescope. We could come away with the feeling that we don’t count for much.

October 13, 2016

Leave judgment to God

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Oct. 23 (Sirach 35:15-17, 20-22; Psalm 34; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14)

The world is not always a fair place. So often justice eludes us, especially when greed, special interests and prejudice enter the picture. Human beings often make poor judges, swayed as they are by so many things. Even on a personal level, people frequently pass judgment on others.

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Oct. 16 (Exodus 17:8-13; Psalm 121; 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2; Luke 18:1-8)

Good leadership is essential in all human endeavours, whether in war, business or politics. The qualities of a leader can make or break any battle or collective activity. During the battle with the Amalekites, Moses stood on a hill with his lieutenants where he could be easily seen by his troops. His raised arms gave them courage — in their own minds, he was imparting some sort of blessing or power. They felt reassured that God was with them. As long as his arms remained raised, the Israelites prevailed; when Moses’ arms drooped, they began to lose ground.

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Oct. 9 (2 Kings 5:14-17; Psalm 98; 2 Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19)

It is often said that we imagine God in our own image and likeness. We think that God shares our likes and dislikes, hatreds and loves, opinions and way of looking at the world. God might even belong to our favourite political party or social class. Throughout the two biblical testaments, God repeatedly demonstrates that this is just not so. God shocks people by violating their opinions and prejudices, and by doing what is unexpected and distressing.

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Oct. 2 (Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4; Psalm 95; 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14; Luke 17:5-10)

Habakkuk could have been written yesterday — in fact, it could have been written at almost any point in history. It describes events and situations that humans have always faced: violence, destruction, fear and injustice. We are not sure when the prophet Habakkuk lived and exercised his ministry. The best estimates are the very late seventh century B.C., possibly during the reign of Josiah the King.

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Sept. 25 (Amos 6:1a, 4-7; Psalm 146; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31)

The absence of love is indifference, and it is indifference that will bring our world low if we are not more heedful of divine law. 

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Sept. 18 (Amos 8:4-7; Psalm 113; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Luke 16:1-13)

Exploitation, injustice and corruption are as familiar as the sunrise and sunset. There are many similarities between eighth century B.C. Israel — the time of the prophet Amos — and our own world. Amos pulled no punches in his public utterances against the establishment. Looming over them was the threat of the violent and rapacious Assyrian Empire. Amos sought to call Israel back to the path of justice and righteousness — in other words, the way of God — before it was too late. Interestingly, he did not touch on what we might call “religious” practices, such as ritual, liturgy and sacrifice. Instead, he described familiar patterns of human behaviour: dishonest business dealings, as well as brutal and greedy tactics that crushed people and enslaved the poor.

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Sept. 11 (Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14; Psalm 51; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-32)

Fickleness and ingratitude are unfortunate human characteristics that have always been with us. God had done so much for the Israelites. He had liberated them from Egypt with mighty signs and wonders, as well as providing them with food and water in the hostile wilderness. But they asked the age-old question: what have you done for me lately?

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sept. 4 (Wisdom 9:13-18b; Philemon 9-10, 12-17; Luke 14:25-33)

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Aug. 28 (Sirach 3:17-20, 28-29; Psalm 68; Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a; Luke 14:1, 7-14)

The virtue of humility gets a lot of bad press. It is often seen as an invitation to be treated as a doormat or as a lack of self-esteem. Humility can also be used to oppress people by “keeping them in their place.”