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.

Thirteenth Sunday Ordinary Time (Year C) June 26 (1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21; Psalm 16; Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Luke 9:51-62)

Many personnel managers would envy Elijah’s situation. God not only told him when it was time to train a successor, but also whom he should choose. Finding Elisha, the designated successor, Elijah threw his mantle over him in a traditional prophetic gesture of selection and empowerment. Elisha’s response was immediate and positive — he was willing, but needed just enough time to say goodbye to his parents. Elijah was rather nonchalant, and indicated that Elisha was a free man and could do as he liked. No one was forcing him to follow in the prophet’s footsteps. Elisha slaughtered the oxen and threw a farewell feast for his family and the people, and then he followed Elijah. 

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) June 19 (Zechariah 12:10-11; Psalm 63; Galatians 3:26-29; Luke 9:18-24)

Sometimes it takes an act of God to touch and move the human heart so that the tears can flow. Throughout history, up until this very day, people have often meted out countless acts of cruelty, injustice and unkindness towards one another. Leafing through history books, one could get the impression that history is written in blood. The worst part of it is the calloused and numbed consciences that seem unable or unwilling to acknowledge guilt or empathize with the pain of the victims. 

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) June 12 (2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13; Psalm 32; Galatians 2:16, 19-21; Luke 7:36-8:3)

We usually think of a “flash of recognition” in positive terms — a form of enlightenment. But David’s experience of this recognition was disturbing and even devastating. His climb to the top of the heap as king of Israel had been successful but not pretty. It had involved a lot of questionable decisions and actions, but he seemed disinclined to quibble — after all, it had worked. He had almost unlimited power and wealth — what more could one want? 

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) June 5 (1 Kings 17:17-21a, 22-24; Psalm 30; Galatians 1:11-19; Luke 7:11-17)

Should we ever reproach God for human suffering? People have usually been reluctant to do so, and they spend a lot of effort try to vindicate God. 

Body and Blood of Christ (Year C) May 29 (Genesis 14:18-20; Psalm 10; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 9:11b-17)

God has always been at work in the most unlikely places and individuals. The strange story of Abram (Abraham before his name change) receiving a blessing from King Melchizedek of Salem stirs up a lot of questions.

Trinity Sunday (Year C) May 22 (Proverbs 8:23-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15)

How does one describe something that is infinite and ineffable in terms that humans can understand? The writers of the Scriptures often used poetry and metaphor, but even these attempts fell short of the majesty of God. No concept, doctrine or metaphor can ever contain the divine reality — they merely point to it and present it to us in the broadest strokes.

Pentecost Sunday (Year C) May 15 (Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-14; John 20:19-23)

Humans have always dreamed of being endowed with powers that will lift them far beyond ordinary human limitations. Mythology — both ancient and modern — is often an expression of this wish. The immense popularity of the superhero genre of film is a fine example.

Ascension of the Lord (Year C) May 8 (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Luke 24:46-53)

What is it like to ascend to the heavens? The sight of astronauts floating effortlessly around a space station or outside on a repair mission has become so commonplace that it doesn’t even elicit much comment. When we read the account of the Ascension in Acts, it seems to pale in comparison to the accomplishments of our own time.

Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year C) May 1 (Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23; John 14:23-29)

There are two basic approaches to drawing people to a relationship with God and an experience of divine love and mercy. Some anxiously, and usually angrily, place as many obstacles before others as possible. They set conditions that have to be met before someone can belong to the community or dare to approach God. But there is another approach, and that is to place as few obstacles or conditions before people as possible — in short, do everything in one’s power to bring them home.

Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year C) April 24 (Acts 14:21b-27; Psalm 145; Revelation 21:1-5a; John 13:1, 31-33a, 34-35)

What sort of word did Paul and Barnabas proclaim to the communities they founded? We can expect that the death and resurrection of Jesus was first on the list — details about His life came later. Most importantly, their proclamation included the warning that Jesus had been appointed judge of the living and the dead.