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僱工的比喻

有很多人成為了基督徒,但能進入天國的人不多;很多人在言語上跟隨天主,但在日常生活中卻遺忘了祂。這使我們意識到兩點:(1) 我們不應該以為自己定能得救;因為被召成為基督徒不一定代表被召選進入天國;(2) 即使我們見到一些人活在罪惡中,我們不應該為他的得救感絕望,因為我們不認識天主豐厚的仁慈。 今天福音中講述的不同時辰形容人生命中的不同階段。早晨是我們的童年,第三時辰可理解為我們的少年期;第六時辰是人的壯年;第九時辰代表老年;第十一時辰差不多是人生的盡頭。 那些一直漠視天主直至人生將近完結的人,一直站在那裡閒著直至第十一時辰,但即使是對這些人,家主有時會先給他們報酬,因他們會比那些在童年時已被召的人早一步離世進入天國。 當耶穌說:「最後的將成為最先的,最先的將成為最後的」,祂在暗示那些後來才改過的人,往往比起那些一早被召相信天主,而後來卻全無德行的人更為優勝。耶穌說這個比喻是要激發那些年紀很大才昄依基督的人,令他們明白他們不會比其他人少得賞報。 (本文以英文為準)

駱駝穿過針孔

在今天的福音中,耶穌繼續談及財富如何影響人能否得救。耶穌用了一個很形象化的比喻:「駱駝穿過針孔,比富人進天國還容易。」我們聽到耶穌這句話,可能有些不舒服。即使我們不算富有,大概也希望看見那些憑著自己努力的人能賺取應得的財富。如果一個人付出血汗,賺得很多金錢,這有什麼不妥? 福音所指的「富裕」是什麼意思?這是指一個人擁有大量財產,而他身邊的人卻連基本需要也未能滿足。在這樣的情形下,我怎能繼續握著「我的」財產不放呢?如果天國是一個仁愛和公義的國度,我又怎能稱自己是天國的一分子呢?福音中所指的富裕是拒絕跟貧窮的人分享,這樣的態度與天國所要求的格格不入。耶穌說的話跟當時猶太人的理解很不同,他們認為財富是天主對於義人的一種賞報,如今竟然變成進入天國的阻礙,這真是很難接受的事。耶穌很明白大家的憂慮,因此祂安慰他們,天主自會施恩寵幫助人得救:「為天主,一切都是可能的。」財富本身不是邪惡的,但「因為你的財寶在那裡,你的心也必在那裡」(瑪竇福音 6:21)如果我們富有,我們要謹記耶穌的話,按聖神的旨意,把擁有的跟其他人分施。 聽過耶穌的話,伯多祿提出問題,他們那些為跟隨耶穌而捨棄一切的人,能得到什麼呢?耶穌告訴他跟隨祂的人可以放心,不只可以「承受永生」,連所捨棄的也將有「百倍的賞報」。天主並不虧待人,選擇答覆天主召叫的人,其實並沒有放棄什麼,反而得到更大的福報,天主的旨意總是要使人更好更幸福。 資料來源: 平日福音分享 Tuesday of week 20 of Ordinary Time – Gospel In today’s Gospel, Jesus continues to talk about the effects of wealth on one’s salvation. Jesus uses an imagery to make His point: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” Even if we are not rich ourselves, we would still admire people who become wealthy by their own hard work. His words may make us feel a bit uncomfortable. What is wrong with having lots of money earned by one’s own sweat and labour? What does the Gospel mean by being rich? To be rich here means to have a large surplus of money and possessions while around one are people who do not have what they need to live a life of dignity. How can I continue to hold on to “my” possessions when such a situation prevails? How can I claim to belong to the kingdom, the reign of God, which is a kingdom of love and justice? To be rich in the Gospel means refusing to share what you have with those who have not. As long as you behave like that, you cannot be eligible for the Kingdom. There is a radical incompatibility. To the Jews at Jesus’ time, […]

富少年

從今天的福音中,我們看見有兩種生活方式供人選擇;一種以行為主導,遵循誡命:不可殺人和其他誡命;而另一種以默觀主導,遵循福音,生活以這句話為中心:「你若願意是成全的」。正如舊約在新約之前,要先要有好的行為,才能進一步把生活默觀化。 對那些已經遵守誡命的人,耶穌指出他們如何能更進一步,「耶穌對他說:『你若願意是成全的,去,變賣你所有的,施捨給窮人』」留意祂的用字,祂不是說「去,耗盡你的所有」而是說「去,變賣你所有的」,不僅是部份財產(如阿納尼雅和撒斐辣在宗徒大事錄第5章所做的),而是所有。 但很多放棄財富的人沒有跟隨天主;如果他們只鄙視錢財而不跟隨救主的話,那是不足夠的。貶斥財富比起貶斥我們自己的行為容易,因此耶穌補充了一句「然後來跟隨我」。誰若跟隨耶穌,就要仿效祂,走祂所走的路。福音記載「少年人一聽這話,就憂悶的走了」,這種憂悶會導致死亡。而福音也解釋了他憂悶的緣故:「因為他擁有許多產業」,這些就是荊棘,阻止信德的種子成長(瑪竇福音 13:22)。 (本文以英文為準)

耶穌:帶來分裂的緣由

在這幾節福音中,耶穌說祂不是來給地上送和平,而是來送分裂,實在令人費解。聽起來,令人覺得不安。耶穌不是來給世界帶來愛嗎?為甚麼說帶來分裂呢?耶穌來到世上去承行天父的旨意,當中包括:願眾人合而為一。耶穌說:「我來是為把火投在地上,我是多麼切望它已經燃燒起來。」祂把聖神遣發到世上來,聖化世界。祂多麼渴望人能參與這聖化的工程。但耶穌在傳教時,祂知道祂的救世工程,有人接納,有人拒絕;各人對耶穌的態度,可以導致家庭不和甚至分裂,但為了放天主在我們生命中的首位,分裂是我們必須要接納的。 正如耶穌的母親瑪利亞帶嬰孩耶穌上耶路撒冷獻給上主,西默盎對瑪利亞說:「看,這孩子已被立定,為使以色列中許多人跌倒和復起,並成為反對的記號。」 耶穌深知自己將被帶走,祂說:「我有一種應受的洗禮,我是如何焦急,直到它得以完成!」這洗禮便是十字架上的苦難與死後復活。祂多麼迫切希望人能醒悟和悔改,尋求天主的國。 跟隨耶穌、為主作證是一個長途競賽。中間會面對不同的挑戰和反對。最大的反對者,可能就是自己。耶穌說:「我是道路、真理、生命,除非經過我,誰也不能到父那裡去。」如果要跟隨耶穌而生活,就是把自己的人生價值改變過來,才能為主作證。可是我們總是耽於安逸,不敢面對自己的罪過去悔改,白白錯失了成聖自己、 聖化他人的機會。 聖保祿宗徒致希伯來人書勸勉我們該卸下各種累贅,及糾纏人的罪過,以堅忍的心,跑那擺在我們面前的賽程,雙目常注視著耶穌。只要我們能醒悟和悔改,便能開放自己的心,讓聖神的火燃起我們傳教的心火,把天主的和平傳遍普世。 In the gospel according to Luke, Jesus said He did not come to establish peace on earth, but to bring division. This might make us feel confused or uneasy. Shouldn’t Jesus be bringing love into the world? Why did He say He came to divide us? By the Father’s will, Jesus draws us into communion with Him. “May they all be one,” Jesus said. “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” He sent the Holy Spirit to sanctify the world. He yearned that all of us would participate in His salvation plan. But when Jesus was preaching, He knew His salvation would be accepted by some, while rejected by others; and our response to His message can be a cause for conflicts and division, even within families. However, if we were to love God in the highest, this is a sacrifice we have to make. Just as Jesus’ mother Mary went to Jerusalem to present Jesus to the Lord, Simeon said to Mary: “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted.” Jesus knew soon He will be taken away, so He said: “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is […]

祝福兒童

古時的人有一個習俗,他們會把小孩子帶到長老那裡接受降福;亦是由於這個習俗,人們把小孩子帶到耶穌面前。他們看過耶穌之前行過的奇事,只要祂給人覆手祈禱,邪魔就被驅除。因此他們把孩子帶到祂前,認為只要耶穌觸摸孩子,他們就不會受惡魔或危險威脅。 門徒基於尊重耶穌的威嚴,想把孩子趕走。但耶穌藉著這機會教導他們,祂把小孩子擁著,說:「你們讓小孩子來吧!不要阻止他們到我跟前來,因為天國正是屬於這樣的人。」如果連單純的孩子也不配走近耶穌,還有誰配得上呢?因此耶穌說不要阻止他們。 孩子們如果將來成了聖人,我們為什麼阻止他們回到天父那裡?如果他們成了罪人,為什麼我們要在看到錯處以前已判處他們有罪?耶穌清楚說明「天國正是屬於這樣的人」,承諾那些如小孩一樣純真和簡樸的人會得到天國的償報。 這篇福音教導所有父母把孩子帶到神父面前,給孩子覆手的不是神父本身,而是耶穌基督,神父是因祂的名給孩子覆手的。如果人把食物在祈禱中獻給天主,而藉著吃這些食物而得到聖化;那麼,如果把孩子在禱告中獻給天主的話,他們豈不會更獲得聖化? (本文以英文為準)

人不可拆散

在今天的福音中,法利塞人再次用問題試探祂,問祂:人可否休妻。當時的猶太人對休妻有兩種不同的看法,一派認為只有犯奸淫才可休妻,而另一派則認為只要妻子做任何令丈夫不悅的事,男方都有權休妻。 耶穌藉著法利塞人的提問,引創世紀的經文,指出婚姻的意義:「凡天主所結合的,人不可拆散。」 在過去的數十年間,我們目睹發達國家的離婚率不斷攀升,要做到環境順逆,疾病健康都永遠愛慕對方,好像很不可能。當年門徒聽了耶穌的話也說「倒不如不娶的好」。 身為基督徒,我們明白若依靠自己有限的能力走婚姻的路,往往力有不逮,亦很容易受到社會風氣影響,覺得不如放棄好了。如果我們相信基督徒的婚姻是聖事的話,就該相信天主會不斷施恩寵,令夫妻倆能一直廝守下去。 「生命恩泉」曾經訪問過Gracie和Martin,他們在《沒保留的盟誓》中,分享他們如何走過崎嶇的婚姻路。請按此連結收看。 In today’s Gospel, some Pharisees tested Jesus by asking Him: Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife? Among the Jews there were two schools of thought on divorce. One school would only allow marital unfaithfulness as a justification for divorce. The other school, however, would allow a man to divorce his wife if she did anything he did not like. Jesus leveraged this opportunity to explain the true meaning of marriage: “what God has joined together, man must not separate.” In the past few decades, we see divorce rates rise in many developed countries. It seems almost impossible to be true to one’s spouse in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. When the disciples heard Jesus’ words, they said: “it is better not to marry”. As Catholics, we know that with our human limits, to sustain a marriage is beyond our own power. We might also be influenced by the societal trends and be tempted to give up. If we believe that Christian marriage is a sacrament, then we should trust that God would keep granting us grace to sustain our marriages.

聖母蒙召升天節

聖母蒙召升天節 – 當日彌撒 聖母瑪利亞現已居於天堂,因天堂為她來說是最合適的地方。如先知達味王預言,「王后佩帶敖非爾金飾,在你右邊侍立」(詠45:10);她金色長袍下光芒四射,輝映出每一聖德的多樣顏色。她的肉身因天主而受到光榮,正與兒子共享天上的福樂。這世界、墳墓、死亡皆不能留住她那孕育生命和接納天主恩寵的肉身。 因此,誕下天主子的身體與天主子同享光榮;這新約中「神聖的約櫃」(詠132:8)藉著從死者中復活的基督一起復活,不用再在地上等待,也不在墳墓中腐朽,而是與靈魂一起蒙召升天。雖然起初基於她的人性,她是稍微遜於天使,但她對天主救世計劃的參與和身為天主之母的榮耀,萬世萬代都要稱她有福,因此每年的聖母蒙召升天節都受到教會的紀念。 (本文以英文為準)

規勸在於寬恕與糾正

這篇福音,是耶穌基督為教會的團體生活給予指引,因為祂深知人的軟弱,明白我們當中難免有人會跌倒。祂教導我們當規勸有過犯的兄弟姊妹時,要先在獨處規勸,因這規勸的目的在於寬恕和糾正,帶領他與天主和彼此和好,離開罪惡。因此我們無論如何都不該在他背後向他人說他的過錯,或在其他人前羞辱他。 可是當犯錯的人不聽從規勸,就需多加一個或兩個人一起規勸,這和舊約的做法是吻合的,「因人無論犯了什麼不義,什麼罪惡,或什麼過錯,只憑一個見證,罪名不得成立;須憑兩個或三個見證的口供,纔可定案。」(申命記 19:15) 如果同伴還是不聽從,就要告訴教會;但如果他連教會也不聽從,就該把他看作外教人看待。 耶穌在此給教會在地上束縛和釋放的權柄,讓教會可牧養和管理天主的羊群,在必要時作出抉擇,免得害群之馬影響教會的信眾。 另一方面,不要忽視教會團體中共禱的力量,因耶穌說,那裏有兩個或三個人,因祂的名字聚在一起,祂就在他們中間;無論為什麼事祈禱,天父也必要給他們成就。這不局限於教會團體中的某些人,而是向所有信徒應許,所以當我們聚在一起祈禱時,別忘了感謝和感受天主子的臨在,並懷著信德祈盼天父的俯允。 This gospel shows how Jesus taught members of the church community to respond to wrongdoing within the community. Though there are multiple steps of things to be done until the issue is settled, the objective above all is to reconcile and bring back the lost sheep, rather than to punish or to criticize the wrongdoer in front of other members. Therefore, we have no need to expose other people’s faults if we can correct them in private. To bring in one or two other person after the wrongdoer refused to listen, is a practice that is consistent with the practice in the Old Testament, since “one witness alone shall not stand against someone in regard to any crime or any offense that may have been committed; a charge shall stand only on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” (Deuteronomy 19:15) If the person at fault still do not listen, the matter shall be brought to the church, and Jesus said the church community has the right to exclude the person from the community if he or she still refused to listen. Here Jesus grants the church community the authority to bind and loose, for the good of the church community as a whole, against corruption and division that may harm the mission of the church and its faithful members. Jesus […]

如同小孩一樣

耶穌在聽到門徒問祂「誰人在天國最大」之後,認為引導門徒的思考能幫助他們減輕野心,於是祂喚醒他們,叫他們仿傚謙卑的人。因此,「耶穌就叫一個小孩來,使他站在他們中間」。孩子年紀幼小,令門徒明白他們應該有一份的如小孩般的純真。 耶穌自己謙遜的來到門徒中間,不是來受服侍,卻是來服侍人,祂本身就是聖德的模範。祂說:「你們若不悔改而變成如同小孩一樣,你們決不能進天國。」祂不是要門徒回復到像小孩般的年紀,而是要他們有像幼兒一樣的單純。孩子年紀輕輕,本就應該是單純的,但為成年人,如果肯努力,也是可以達到的。 耶穌跟門徒說這句話,彷彿在說:「就如這個小孩一樣,你們不該頑固地發怒;受傷時不把傷痛放在心上;口裡說的話跟心裡所想一致;除非你擁有如孩子一樣的純真和潔淨的心,你們就不能進入天國。」 (本文以英文為準)

繳納殿稅

在今天的福音中,耶穌第二次向門徒預告祂要受苦、被殺,然後復活。門徒不明白「復活」的意思,因此只注意到耶穌提到的「苦難」,所以感到憂鬱。我們如果只想著十字架,當然也會感到憂愁,但在背起十字架的同時,讓我們也懷著復活的希望,這就是我們繼續向前的動力。 福音講述到了葛法翁,收殿稅的人問伯多祿耶穌不納殿稅嗎?按猶太人的法律,二十歲或以上的男子,除了司祭外,每年都該繳納半個「斯塔特」作為殿稅,支持聖殿的開銷。耶穌問伯多祿「地上的君王向誰徵稅?」,伯多祿答說「外人」。如果地上君王的兒子不必繳稅,身為默西亞、天主子的耶穌,當然也豁免向天父的聖殿繳稅。 這段經文的目的,明顯地在於說明耶穌的真實身份,不過這身份暫時仍是隱而不宣的。耶穌表達遵守當時法律,因此藉著一個奇蹟,使祂與伯多祿兩人都能繳納殿稅。藉著這個奇蹟,耶穌顯示祂的大能以鞏固門徒的信心,再次說明祂作為天主子身份。 In today’s Gospel, for the second time, Jesus warns His disciples about His suffering, death, and resurrection. The disciples do not understand what “resurrection” means, as a result they are overwhelmed with grief over Jesus’ suffering. When we only think about the cross, we would also be sad. As we pick up our crosses, let us also hope for our resurrection, that keeps us going forward. When they come to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax asked Peter if Jesus would pay the tax. A half shekel was levied each year on all Jewish males of 20 years or older. It was for the upkeep of the temple. Jesus asks Peter: “From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax?” Peter answers: “From foreigners.” If the sons of the kings on earth are exempt from paying tax, Jesus the Messiah, Son of God should also be exempt from paying the temple tax, since the temple is God’s house. The purpose of this passage is to illustrate Jesus’ identity, which is not yet revealed to others. Jesus obeys the law at the time. With a miracle, Jesus and Peter can both pay the tax, which also serves to strengthen the disciples’ faith and to prove His identity as the Son of God.

醒寤和忠信的僕人

耶穌這比喻關乎祂所有信徒,但留意祂對宗徒和導師有甚麼啟示。哪裡能找到忠信及精明的管家?管理財產的僕人無論是忠信但魯莽,還是精明但不忠信,家主的財物還是可能被耗損。正如天主的事工也需要忠誠和智慧兩者兼備。天主有很多忠心的僕人和信徒,但如果不善於管理教會事務,不僅會虛耗了產業,也可能給予悔罪的人過重的補贖或不合適的寬容,使人的靈魂也喪失掉。 誰若是忠心且有智慧的管家,天主會讓他管理祂的家,讓他按時分配家僕的食糧—可以是餵養他們靈魂的聖言訓誨,也可以是做好榜樣給眾人在生活中仿傚。也許天主也會委派他打理祂的一切,不只是祂的家,還有天上和地上祂統治的一切;如農的兒子若蘇厄和厄里亞,及天上所有聖人,成為天主的朋友,能享用祂的一切。 耶穌教導我們時,不只用行善者的光榮來引導我們,也以行惡者的懲罰來作為警醒:「如果那個僕人心裡說:我的主人必會遲來;」天主會把他從忠信的僕人中分開,「使他與不信的人,遭受同樣的命運。」因為他既然不關心他自己和他的家,即否定了自己的信仰,比不信的人更壞。天主對每個人每件事都酌情審判;給誰的多,向誰要求的也多,處罰也可能更大。因此被委任為司祭的,比起犯同罪的其他人,會遭受更重的刑罰。 (本文以英文為準)

落在地裏的麥子

耶穌在今天福音中說那粒落在地裏死了的麥子,就是祂自己。祂知道祂的死能結許多果實。為祂來說,結果實比起祂自己的安全和舒適更為重要。 但耶穌不只叫我們紀念祂,更要仿傚祂所做的。我們不只被召叫去相信祂,而是去作祂的門徒。耶穌失去了祂人性的生命,但卻得到了復活的人性。 我們全部人都有自己的生活方式,總有一些人、一些地方、一些事令我們感到安逸的。我的生活也許不完美,但卻是熟悉的。耶穌邀請我們把自己交出。祂叫我們把自己的計劃、意願和命運全都放在祂手裡。領洗的意義就在於此,「我生活已不是我生活,而是基督在我內生活」(迦拉達書 2:20) 我不再坐在司機的座位上,但我請耶穌坐在那裡。我把我最愛的所有都放在祭台上,當天主把它們交給我,我才領回。 為何我們要這樣做?就是因為我們真的相信,把生命和夢想的種子埋在天主肥沃的土壤裡,會結出許多果實。我們會像宗徒們一樣,不斷成長,成就一些完全超乎我們想像的事。 The grain of wheat that Jesus spoke of in today’s Gospel refers to Himself. Jesus knew that his death would be fruitful beyond all imagining. And being fruitful was more important to Him than being safe or comfortable. But the Lord calls us not just to remember it, but to imitate it. We are called to be not just believers, but disciples. Jesus lost his natural human life, but was given in return a new, risen, humanity which explodes the limits of the humanity we know. We all have a life that we’re rather attached to, with people, places, things, and activities that we are comfortable with. My life may not be perfect, but it is familiar. And it’s mine. The Lord invites me not just to give up dessert for a few weeks, but to give up myself. He asks me to die to my own plans, my own will, and put my destiny entirely in his hands. Incidentally, that is what baptism is supposed to mean–that it is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me (Gal 2:20). That I’m no longer in the driver’s seat, but I’ve put Jesus there. That all that is dearest to me, I’ve put on the altar, and will only take it back if the Lord gives it back. Why […]