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 (Year B) Jan. 28 (Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 95; 1 Corinthians 7:32-35; Mark 1:21-28)

Who is the mystery prophet of whom Moses and God spoke? He was never named and virtually no clues or hints were given. This led to speculation throughout the centuries, with the prophetic label pinned on different candidates. In the New Testament, he is simply referred to as “the prophet coming into the world,” and many thought that Jesus fit the role perfectly.

God's Word on Sunday: In God’s way, mercy extends to all


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

This very abridged version of the story of Jonah omits some of the most important — and interesting — aspects of his prophetic ministry.

God's Word on Sunday: God’s call goes out to all of us


Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) Jan. 14 (1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19; Psalm 40; 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20; John 1:35-42)

The call of God comes to people in many different ways. Just as no two people are alike, no two calls are alike — each one is tailor-made to the individual. We might label Samuel’s prophetic call as the “voice in the middle of the night.” In gratitude for the gift of her child, Samuel’s mother Hannah had given him over to Eli to be raised and formed for service to God. This was long before the building of the permanent temple or the presence of Israelites in Jerusalem.

God's Word on Sunday: Our actions will allow the light to shine


Epiphany of the Lord (Year B) Jan. 7 (Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72; Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12)

The thick darkness covering the Earth is easy enough to find, but the glorious light requires a bit more searching. In the past year, there has been an abundance of darkness — war, terrorism, mass shootings, corruption and the continual degradation of the environment and climate. Many lives have been lost; many are homeless; and many more are without hope.

God's Word on Sunday: Things will work out on God’s timeline, not ours


Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (Year B) Dec. 31 (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)

Abraham and Sarah had staked their entire lives on God’s promise. They left their native land for a destination unknown. God promised Abraham that in return for his trust and obedience, God would make him the father of a great nation. Having offspring was extremely important in ancient Israel. To die childless was to be snuffed out forever, for one’s name lived on only through descendants.

God's Word on Sunday: In God’s house, loyalty is unwavering


Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B) Dec. 24 (2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-2, 14a, 16; Psalm 69; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38)

Does God need a house? Apparently not, for David’s plan to build one for God was emphatically rejected by God. It was something God neither expected nor requested. Instead, God called to mind the many blessings that had already been given to David — security, defeat of enemies, the throne of Israel, as well as peace and prosperity. God then turned the tables on David, vowing to make him a house in a much broader and deeper sense — an enduring relationship with all of David’s descendants.

God's Word on Sunday: The good news is meant for all on Earth


Third Sunday of Advent (Year B) Dec. 17 (Isaiah 61:1-3a, 10-11; Luke 1; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28)

What does a message from God sound like? Isaiah sets the tone for the divine revelation and visitation that is repeated by Jesus in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Luke. A message from God is good news and the source of joy. Good news for whom? For those most in need of it — the poor, the broken-hearted, the downtrodden and for those who are oppressed or lacking freedom. Missing from the list are the high and mighty, the arrogant, the violent and those who perpetrate the injustice and oppression present in our world.

God's Word on Sunday: On our tough road, God is with us


Second Sunday of Advent  (Year B) Dec. 10 (Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Psalm 85; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8 )

What would “comfort” and “good tidings” sound like in 2023? To whom would they be directed? To be at all meaningful, the message cannot be only for believers and churchgoers. Although originally given to the people of Israel in Babylonian exile, our own times call for a more universal application.

God's Word on Sunday: The divine will show when we’re ready


1st Sunday of Advent  (Year B) Dec. 3 (Isaiah 63:16b-17; 6:4-1, 3-8; Psalm 80; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:33-37 

Many people have shared the feelings of frustration, helplessness and deep longing that Isaiah expressed with such poignancy. He lived in a very precarious and insecure world, one that was wracked with violence and rife with corruption. The glory of his nation was a distant memory that was rapidly fading. The people of Israel had just returned from 50 years of exile in Babylon to a devastated Judea and Jerusalem. The temple was in ruins, and the feeble attempts to rebuild it had fallen flat. It was a shadow of its former self. Many of the people lacked the enthusiasm and commitment necessary to restore the nation.

God's Word on Sunday: We will be judged by what we have not done


Christ the King  (Year A) Nov. 26 (Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17; Psalm 23; 1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28; Matthew 25:31-46) 

As the old saying goes, “If you want the job to be done properly, do it yourself!” In the reading from Ezekiel, God seems to have reached that conclusion.

God's Word on Sunday: Our time on Earth builds toward eternity


33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) Nov.19 (Proverbs 31:10-13, 16-18, 29, 26. 28-31; Psalm 128; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; Matthew 25:14-30) 

The selection from Proverbs concerning the qualities of a perfect wife sounds more like a job description than a love letter. The qualities outlined became the benchmark against which wives were measured. She is a hyper-competent and multi-tasking manager of the household and seems to bear the entire burden without the slightest complaint. One wonders what a hypothetical description of the perfect husband would have contained.