Posted November 17, 2013 by FLL Editorial Team in
 
 

The Path of Righteousness

常年期第三十三主日丙年讀經

瑪拉基亞 3:19–20a

看,那日子來臨,必勢如冒火的火爐,所有驕傲的人,和作惡的人,都要成為禾稭;那日子一到,必要將他們燒盡——萬軍的上主說——不給他們留下根和枝條。但為你們這些敬畏我名號的人,正義的太陽,將要升起,以自己好似箭羽的光芒,普施救恩。

得撒洛尼後書 3:7–12

弟兄姊妹們:

你們自己原來知道:該怎樣效法我們,因為我們在你們中,沒有閒散過,也沒有白吃過人的飯,而是黑夜白日,辛苦勤勞地工作,免得加重你們任何人的負擔。這不是因為我們沒有權利,而是為以身作則,給你們立下榜樣,叫你們效法我們。當我們在你們那裡的時候,早已吩咐過你們:誰若不願意工作,就不應當吃飯,因為我們聽說,你們中有些人,游手好閒,什麼也不作,卻好管閒事。我們因主耶穌基督,吩咐這樣的人,並勸勉他們安靜工作,吃自己的飯。

路加福音 21:5–19

那時候,有些人正談論聖殿是用美麗的石頭,和還願的獻品裝飾的,耶穌說:「你們所看見的這一切,當那日子一到,便沒有一塊石頭,留在另一塊石頭上,而不被拆毀的。」

門徒於是問:「師父,那麼,什麼時候要發生這些事?這些事要發生的時候,將有什麼先兆?」

耶穌說:「你們要謹慎,不要受欺騙!因為將有許多人,假冒我的名字而來,說:我就是(默西亞);又說:時期近了。你們切不可跟隨他們。你們幾時聽見戰爭及叛亂,不要驚惶!因為,這些事必須先要發生,但還不即刻是結局。」

耶穌於是又給門徒說:「民族要起來攻擊民族,國家攻擊國家;將有大地震,到處有飢荒及瘟疫;將出現可怖的異象,天上要有巨大的凶兆。

「但是,這一切事以前,你們為了我的名字,要被拘捕和迫害;人們要把你們解送到會堂,並關進監獄;且押送到君王及總督之前,為給你們一個作見證的機會。

「所以,你們心中要鎮定,不要事先考慮申辯,因為我要給你們口才和明智,是你們一切仇敵,所不能抵抗及辯駁的。

「你們要被父母、兄弟、親戚及朋友出賣;你們中有一些,要被殺死。你們要為我的名字,受眾人憎恨;但是,連你們的一根頭髮,也不會失落。你們要憑著堅忍,保全你們的靈魂。」

在今天的第一篇讀經中,先知瑪拉基亞說「上主的日子」將要來臨,而祂會審判眾人,懲罰罪人和賞報義人。經文以太陽作比喻,指出那日子來到時,作惡的人會被燒盡,而正義的人則會獲得救恩的光芒。答唱詠重申第一篇讀經的主旨,强調天主的正義將會來臨,實現於世。路加福音中有人讚賞聖殿的華麗宏偉,但耶穌卻預言聖殿將會被摧毀;接着更進一步預言及描述世界末日的情景。祂預告有信德的人會被高舉,在迫害他們的人面前獲勝;但不是由於他們的力量,而是藉着天主恩賜的言語和智慧。最後,耶穌告誡門徒只要有堅忍的能耐便能獲得永生。

「義德」是今個主日的主題, 英文為“justice”一字, 來自拉丁文的字根“ius”,意即「正確」。義德使我們尊重每個人的權利,致力人際關係的和諧,促進平等及公益。追求義德即是伸張他人的權利,及這些權利下的義務。真福若望保祿二世曾經說過:「要衡量一個社會的質素,就要看當中弱小的成員得到怎樣的對待…」這句話一針見血地顯出義德的含義和精神。

義德是有信德的人的本質,他們愛天主,所以也愛近人。對在困境中仍堅毅不屈、力持公正的人,耶穌許諾給他們「口才和明智」, 讓他們可以繼續為主作證。在某程度上,義德是必須的,因為它是維持人際關係的支柱,使人與人之間不致產生分裂而成為陌路人, 甚至敵人。

假如人與人之間在世界上能彼此充滿圓滿的愛,就無需法律或誡命,因為不公的事情已經不會再發生。但事實上,現實世界常常都發生些不公的事情。因此,耶穌亦提醒我們不必害怕,要堅持、忍耐,持續行走基督光明、正義的道路。

嘗試想想:我們上一次申將正義或為正義作證是何時?

耶穌說:「凡你們對我這些最小兄弟中的一個所做的,就是對我做的。」(瑪: 25:40)

這篇默想是以 Foundations in Faith – Catechist Catechumenate Manual 為根據,並獲得版權持有人 RCL Benziger, LLC 批准使用。

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Liturgical Year C)

Malachi 3:19-20a

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.

2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

Brothers and sisters:

You know how one must imitate us. For we did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone. On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked, so as not to burden any of you. Not that we do not have the right. Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us. In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food.

Luke 21.5-19

While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here — the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”

He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

“Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

In the first passage, prophet Malachi speaks of a coming “day of the Lord”, which will bring judgment upon the people, punishing the guilty and rewarding the just. Here the symbol of the sun suggests that evil-doers will be incinerated while the righteous healed in the glory of mercy on the day when the Lord comes. The psalm reaffirms the first reading’s emphasis on God’s justice which is fast approaching and will soon be realised. In the Gospel of Luke, the passage begins with an admiration of the physical splendour of the temple but Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the temple is accompanied by an even stronger prophecy of the end times. Those who have faith will be upheld and triumph over their persecutors not by their own power, but through the words and wisdom of Jesus which will be graced upon them. Finally, Jesus concludes with a counsel of patient endurance for his disciples, reminding them to seek the path to eternal salvation.

“Justice” is the theme of this Sunday, with the word originating from its Latin root ‘ius’, which means ‘right’ or ‘that which is correct’. Justice moves us to respect each individual’s rights, working towards harmonious relationships which promote equality and the common good. Pursuing justice means pursuing the rights of others and the duties which flow from acknowledging and respecting such rights. Blessed John Paul II once said that “A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members…” These words clearly express the spirit and deeper meaning behind the concept of “justice”.

Justice is a quality of those who possess the virtue of faith, those who love God and neighbours. Those who stand firmly for justice in the midst of trying times are promised “words and wisdom” by Jesus to continue to testify for God. In some sense, justice is necessary because it is the pillar which regulates human relations in society, and it prevents division among members from being strangers to each other, or worse, becoming enemies.

If all human relationships are driven by perfect love, then law and commandments would no longer be needed, because injustice would no longer exist. But in reality, injustice can be seen time and again in the world. As such, Jesus again reminds us to not be afraid, to remain patient in perseverance and continue to walk on Christ’s path of light and righteousness.

Let us think: when was the last time we stood up and spoke out for justice and righteousness?

Jesus said “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Mat 25:40)

This material is adapted from the Foundations in Faith – Catechist Catechumenate Manual with the permission of the copyright holder, RCL Benziger, LLC.


FLL Editorial Team