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.

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

The lives of many saints were often noted for periods of sinfulness or a lack of regard for spiritual values. All of this changed when God burst into their consciousness. The lives of Augustine, Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola and Dorothy Day can be divided into “before and after” periods — the before and after referring to their spiritual crisis and subsequent awakening. The two ways — that of life and death — are laid out in stark terms by Ezekiel. Those who turn to sin will die, while those who turn to righteousness will live.

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

Isaiah calls upon us to seek the Lord while He may be found, and to call upon Him while He is near. Is God going anywhere? Will there be a time when God is not present?

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sept. 17 (Sirach 27:30-28:7; Psalm 103; Romans 14:7-9; Matthew 18:21-35)

The psalm proclaims that “the Lord is merciful and gracious.” And fortunately for us, the Lord is indeed merciful and gracious, but there is a catch that we often overlook. We are made in the image of God so we too must be merciful and gracious. After all, we are bound together not only with God but with all human beings.

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Sept. 10 (Ezekiel 30: 7-9; Psalm 95; Romans 13: 8-10; Matthew 18: 15-20)

So often dire warnings fall on deaf ears. People are not inclined to take advice or warnings, especially when it interferes with what they deem to be their “rights” or if it upsets their comfortable way of life.

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Sept. 3 (Jeremiah 20:7-9; Psalm 63; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16:21-27)

Jeremiah was a reluctant prophet and for a good reason. He knew that the message that he was missioned to proclaim to the people would be received badly. He knew that it would anger many people and that his life would be in grave danger.

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Aug. 27 (Isaiah 22:15, 19-23; Psalm 138; Romans 11:33-36; Matthew 16:13-20)

God would make an uncompromising and decisive HR manager. Shebna held a very influential and powerful post — master of the king’s household. Unfortunately, his performance was lacking and he was corrupt, arrogant and possibly treasonous. God’s word to him was simple and to the point: You’re fired!

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

The command of the Lord was forceful and unambiguous: maintain justice and do what is right. It doesn’t require a theology degree or private revelations to understand, and yet people find this extraordinarily difficult.

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Aug. 13 (1 Kings 19:9, 11-13; Psalm 85; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:21-33)

Elijah expected a grand show. The word of the Lord directed him to stand on the mountain because God was going to pass by. At first, it seemed that he would not be disappointed. There was a wind so strong that it split rocks. But God was not in the wind. This was followed by a strong earthquake — but no God. Finally, there was a consuming fire, but God was not even in the fire. 

Transfiguration of the Lord  (Year A) Aug. 6 (Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; Psalm 97; 2 Peter 1:16-19; Matthew 17:1-9) 

Violent and frightening times always give birth to new theologies, and the time of the Maccabean War in the second century B.C. was no exception. The people of Judea were being persecuted by the Seleucid Greeks of Syria, who sought to obliterate the Jewish religion, customs and traditions. Many were dying for their faith while others were more than happy to serve their new overlords.

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time  (Year A) July 30 (1 Kings 3:5-12; Psalm 119; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52) 

What if we were offered the fulfillment of one wish? What would we choose? Our choice would say a lot about us and our values.