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.

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Oct. 4 (Year A) Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80; Philippians 4:6-9; Matthew 21:33-43

In ancient Israel, a vineyard was far more than just a place to grow grapes. It was a rich symbol embedded in much of Israel’s religious literature, signifying God’s abundance and gracious generosity. It played a key role in the economy and often defined one’s wealth.

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sept. 27 (Year A) Ezekiel 18:25-28; Psalm 25; Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 21:28-32

God is so unfair. The just suffer, the wicked prosper and the world is not a just or peaceful place.

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sept. 20 (Year A) Isaiah 55:6-9; Psalm 145; Philippians 1:20-24, 27; Matthew 20:1-16

Understanding the ways of God is not a project for human reasoning or intellect. God can only be understood on God’s own terms.

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sept. 13 (Year A) Sirach 27:30-28:7; Psalm 103; Romans 14:7-9; Matthew 18:21-35

In a sense, we all create our own Heaven and hell. It is a fundamental spiritual law that we reap what we sow in one form or another. No one “gets away” with anything — we should not think that the apparent delay of justice is God’s failure or proof of an amoral universe.

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Sept. 6 (Ezekiel 33:7-9; Psalm 95; Romans 13:8-10; Matthew 18:15-20)

Correcting or admonishing other people is a perilous undertaking. It should be done sparingly and with the utmost care and sensitivity.

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 30 (Year A) Jeremiah 20:7-9; Psalm 63; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16:21-27

Jeremiah, ever the reluctant prophet, was bitter, disillusioned and angry. He felt that he had been sold down the river by God. In fact, the Hebrew word that is translated as “enticed” has an even stronger connotation — seduction and force.

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 23 (Year A) Isaiah 22:15, 19-23; Psalm 138; Romans 11:33-36; Matthew 16:13-20

Power is not a right and not something to be coveted or seized. Any position or exercise of power is for the common good and the benefit of others.

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 16 (Year A) Isaiah 56:1, 6-7; Psalm 67; Romans 11:13-15, 29-32; Matthew 15:21-28

“Maintain justice and do what is right.”

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 9 (Year A) 1 Kings 19:9, 11-13; Psalm 85; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:22-23

God is certainly capable of great deeds of power. This is most evident in the Exodus account of the Old Testament. But there is another side of God — God’s preferred side — that is quiet, gentle and often disguised to the point of invisibility.

18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Aug. 2, Isaiah 55:1-3; Psalm 145; Romans 8:35, 37-39; Matthew 14:13-21

What is the catch? Whenever we hear that something is “free,” our suspicions kick in. There must be some hidden angle — nothing is free, we will have to pay in some way.