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.

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) July 9 (Zechariah 9:9-10; Psalm 145; Romans 8:9, 11-13; Matthew 11:25-30)

The radiant prophecy from Zechariah is familiar to most as the text associated with the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The evangelist clearly saw Jesus as the embodiment of the king in this prophecy. Scholars are not certain as to the time in which it was written — many dates have been proposed, but none is certain. It was written as an oracle of hope during a time of distress and fear, which means it could have been written at almost any time. The best estimates place it after the exile, possibly in the fifth century BC. It was probably an independent oracle utilized by the author of the book.

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) July 2 (2 Kings 4:8-12a, 14-16; Psalm 89; Romans 6:3-4, 8-11; Matthew 10:37-42)

Throughout the Old Testament, acts of hospitality and kindness were often the setting for miracles and the granting of divine favours. The most memorable example was the hospitality granted by Abraham to the three angelic visitors at Mamre. On that occasion, one of the visitors promised that when they returned Sarah would have a son.

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) June 25 (Jeremiah 20:10-13; Psalm 69; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 10:26-33)

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time  (Year A) June 18 (Exodus 19:1-6a; Psalm 100; Romans 5:6-11; Matthew 9:36-10:8)

A scant three months had passed since the Israelites left Egypt. Their liberation was incredibly dramatic. Plagues, parting seas and the humbling of one of the superpowers of the ancient world were the means by which God had led them to freedom.

Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Year A) June 11 (Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16; Psalm 147; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-59)

Throughout humanity’s history, people have been challenged to learn the meaning of “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” There is a constant struggle between faith and trust on the one hand and fear and sin on the other. Too often fear wins out and disaster follows close behind.

Most Holy Trinity  (Year A) June 4 (Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9; Daniel 3; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; John 3:16-18 )

Moses had an extremely important appointment that he had to keep. The appointment was with God, who would be revealed to him. He would also receive the Ten Commandments on stone tablets.

Pentecost Sunday (Year A) May 28 (Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23)

To the first believers in Christ, the Holy Spirit was far more than an idea or a doctrine — it was a living, powerful presence. To encounter the Spirit was to be in for a bumpy and sometimes scary but exciting ride. Of one thing they were sure: Jesus Christ was present and working in their hearts and communities.

Ascension of the Lord (Year A) May 21 (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20)

We can only imagine what it would have been like to walk and talk with the risen Jesus for 40 days. What did His followers talk about? What did the Lord teach them? If only someone had taken notes!

Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A) May 14 (Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; Psalm 66; 1 Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21)

The Samaritans fare rather well in the pages of the New Testament. Despite the fact that there was considerable antipathy between the Samaritans and the Judeans, they are often portrayed as eager and open to the words of Jesus. The tension sprang from their questionable ethnicity and theology. In the eyes of the Judeans, the ethnic purity of the Samaritans had been compromised by intermarriage with non-Jews.

Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year A) May 7 (Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33; 1 Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12)

Tension and misunderstanding in church communities is nothing new. As the faith continued to spread, more people from disparate backgrounds joined the community, which often gives rise to friction and resentment.