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.

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jan. 31 (Year B) Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 95; 1 Corinthians 7:32-35; Mark 1:21-28

What happens when a great prophetic figure passes from this Earth? Who takes their place and how do people once again hear the voice of God?

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jan. 24 (Year B) Isaiah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 25; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

The mission of Jonah was far more dramatic than the edited snippet in the lectionary would have us believe. When God ordered Jonah to prophesy against Nineveh, he ran the other way. He wanted no part of it, but God did not care about Jonah’s likes and dislikes.

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jan. 17 (Year B) 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19; Psalm 40; 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20; John 1:35-42

We hear many voices calling us each day — some of them important and true, but most consist of noise, disinformation and outright dishonesty. But a communication from God has some distinct characteristics that make us stop and listen.

Baptism of the Lord (Year B) Jan. 10 (Isaiah 55:1-11; 1 John 5:1-9; Mark 1:7-11)

Without food and water, all life withers and dies. What a fitting biblical metaphor for God! We are invited to come to the waters and to receive wine and milk — all for free. No preconditions or charges and all are included. The prophet exults in God’s generosity. The food is not only abundant, but also the best. At the same time, he is puzzled: why, in the face of such generosity, are so many people uninterested? Why do they fling away their money and their energy on things that are worthless and do not satisfy? 

Epiphany of the Lord (Year B) Jan. 3 (Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72; Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12)

Most people will be more than happy to see 2020 growing smaller in the rearview mirror. It has been long, hard and painful and brought disease, death, financial hardship and loss of human community. It seemed at times that it would never end, and in fact, it has not. We have a long road ahead of us.

Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Dec. 27 (Year B) 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

After we leave this Earth, will we be remembered? And if we will be remembered, what form will that memory take?

Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 20 (Year B) 2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16; Psalm 89; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

David wanted to do something spectacular for God. He proposed building a house for God — a temple — but God was not interested. David was shocked, and even Nathan the prophet was caught unawares.

Third Sunday of Advent, Dec.13 (Year B) Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

How do we know when God is present or when God has visited humanity? God always leaves behind unmistakable signs of the divine presence. Most of them can be summed up with the word “freedom” and can be either physical, psychological or spiritual in nature — or all three.

Second Sunday of Advent, Dec. 6 (Year B) Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Psalm 85; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8

The God of the philosophers and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are very different.

First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 29 (Year B) Isaiah 63:16b-17; 64:1, 3-8; Psalm 80; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37

Who has not wished at one time or another that God would make an appearance? This would solve definitively so many problems: whether God exists; what God is like; why there is injustice and suffering in the world; and who is “right.” God could also remake the world and put everything the way it should be.