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.

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Sept. 18 (Amos 8:4-7; Psalm 113; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Luke 16:1-13)

Exploitation, injustice and corruption are as familiar as the sunrise and sunset. There are many similarities between eighth century B.C. Israel — the time of the prophet Amos — and our own world. Amos pulled no punches in his public utterances against the establishment. Looming over them was the threat of the violent and rapacious Assyrian Empire. Amos sought to call Israel back to the path of justice and righteousness — in other words, the way of God — before it was too late. Interestingly, he did not touch on what we might call “religious” practices, such as ritual, liturgy and sacrifice. Instead, he described familiar patterns of human behaviour: dishonest business dealings, as well as brutal and greedy tactics that crushed people and enslaved the poor.

God in His mercy writes no one off

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24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Sept. 11 (Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14; Psalm 51; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-32)

Fickleness and ingratitude are unfortunate human characteristics that have always been with us. God had done so much for the Israelites. He had liberated them from Egypt with mighty signs and wonders, as well as providing them with food and water in the hostile wilderness. But they asked the age-old question: what have you done for me lately?

God’s wisdom will prevail

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sept. 4 (Wisdom 9:13-18b; Philemon 9-10, 12-17; Luke 14:25-33)

Be comfortable in your own skin

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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Aug. 28 (Sirach 3:17-20, 28-29; Psalm 68; Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a; Luke 14:1, 7-14)

The virtue of humility gets a lot of bad press. It is often seen as an invitation to be treated as a doormat or as a lack of self-esteem. Humility can also be used to oppress people by “keeping them in their place.”

The narrow door is the path to religious faith

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Aug. 21 (Isaiah 66:18-21; Psalm 117; Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13; Luke 13:22-30)

The third section of the Book of Isaiah has a universal outlook that is both inspiring and moving. During their exile in Babylon, the people of Israel continued to reflect on their understanding of God and their new experience in an alien land. Their vision of God evolved — no longer was God merely Israel’s deity, but the God of all humanity.

Jesus shows the path, we must choose right one

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20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) Aug. 14, (Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10; Psalm 40; Hebrews 12:1-4; Luke 12:49-53)

Few people like to hear the unvarnished truth. Instead, most prefer truth that is sugar coated and in line with what they want to hear. This applies even more to those in power, for they are often surrounded by yes-men that communicate a view of reality that is very slanted and distorted.

Genuine faith will guide us through the darkness

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19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) August 7 (Wisdom 18:6-9; Psalm 33; Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19; Luke 12:32-48)

How do we navigate through life, keeping hope alive and persevering in the face of trials? The biblical tradition is consistent and clear — the righteous person lives by faith.

Pursue the real, not what is fleeting

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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 31 (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23; Psalm 90; Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11; Luke 12:13-21)

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus taught that all things are constantly in flux. He famously stated that it is impossible to step in the same river twice.

Our daily choices truly matter

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17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 24 (Genesis 18:20-32; Psalm 138; Colossians 2:12-14; Luke 11:1-13)

Our place is at Lord’s feet

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16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 17 (Genesis 18:1-10a; Psalm 15; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42)

Sometimes there is more than meets the eye in the people we encounter each day. Thousands pass us anonymously, while occasionally we exchange a few words or a gesture with certain individuals. Is this accidental or coincidental? 

God fulfills our needs

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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) July 3 (Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66; Galatians 6:14-18; Luke 10:1-12, 17-20)

There are times when joy seems difficult, even impossible. Telling someone in the depths of misery to rejoice can seem insensitive and even cruel. But that is exactly what God told the people of Jerusalem when they were struggling with the grim reality of life after return from exile.