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.
Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), Oct. 7 (Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4; Psalm 95; 2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14; Luke 17:5-10)

How do we keep our faith and sanity in the midst of violence, corruption and chaos? This is a question both old and new, and Habakkuk’s struggle with it speaks as much to us today as it did to his original audience.

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), Sept. 30 (Amos 6:1, 4-7; Psalm 146; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31)

The scene of decadence painted by the prophet Amos resembles an old Hollywood Bible movie. It is interesting that most prophetic tirades focus on economic injustice and ill-treatment of the poor and vulnerable. While that is certainly a major part of this denunciation, its main concern is the way the wealthy and political elite of the Northern Kingdom of Israel are living.

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C), Sept. 23 (Amos 8:4-7; Psalm 113; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Luke 16:1-13)

Greed and corruption are certainly nothing new, for they have been around as long as humans. The callous injustice shown the poor and defenceless in the reading from Amos is not exceptional in that regard. What is very different, however, is that a firm link has been established between worship of God and care of the poor, marginalized and vulnerable.

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Year A) March 2 (1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41)

Glamour, good looks and glitz are the reigning values of much of our culture. Appearance is everything and is the standard by which one’s worth is judged. If only as much time, money and energy were expended cultivating personal qualities and the inner life.

Third Sunday of Lent (Year A) Feb. 24 (Exodus 17:3-7; Romans 5:1-2, 5-8; Psalm 95; John 4:5-42)

Is the Lord with me or not? A very human question — perhaps one we have asked many times. One might prod the complaining Israelites to remember all of the mighty wondrous deeds that God performed on their behalf in order to liberate them from bondage in Egypt. But people can have very short memories concerning acts of kindness, especially when God is the benefactor. What has he or she — or God — done for me lately?

Second Sunday of Lent (Year A) Feb. 17 (Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm 33; 2 Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9)

Most people have a great reluctance, even fear, of being vulnerable. We like to control events and our environment. We insulate ourselves with power, wealth and relationships and a host of other things to give us the illusion of security.

First Sunday of Lent (Year A) Feb. 10 (Genesis 2:7-9, 16-18, 25; 3:1-7; Psalm 51; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11)

The Garden of Eden story has inspired centuries of interpretation and reflection. Unfortunately, not all of the interpretations have been helpful, for they have generated several ideas of very questionable theological value. Among them is the persistent idea that women are the weaker gender and the source of temptation. It has been called into service to paint humanity as totally depraved and sinful and to consign unbaptized babies to a non-existent limbo. Most of these interpretations burden the story far beyond its original purpose and they were often forged in the heat of theological conflicts.

Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A) Feb. 3 (Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13; Psalm 146; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; Matthew 5:1-12)

In the animal world there are many ways to impress and intimidate others: colourful plumage, the ability to inflate one’s appearance, displays of ferocity and various forms of body language. Human beings have their own ways of dominating and oppressing others: possessions, titles and marks of respect, fancy dress and ways of life, as well as power and aggressive competitiveness. The “bad” news is that God is definitely not impressed with any of this.

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A), Jan. 27 (Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17-18; Matthew 4:12-23)

It is very difficult to give hope and encouragement to those who have lost everything. What does one say to the victims of natural disasters or wars who have no homes to live in and only the rubble of their cities? Any words of comfort seem like empty platitudes.

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Jan. 20 (Isaiah 49:3, 5-6; Psalm 40; 1 Corinthians 1:1-3; John 1:29-34)

What is it like to be singled out by God for an important task? As any prophet or person of God can tell you, it is not always fun and games.