Fr. Scott Lewis, S.J

Fr. Scott Lewis, S.J

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 .

 

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.

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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. 

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.