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請增加我們的信德罷!

在這主日的福音,耶穌帶給我們兩大訊息:信德和服務。 在面對難題時,我們都會像宗徒般向天主說:「請增加我們的信德罷!」信德不是一份感覺,而是聖德。聖多瑪斯.阿奎納認為聖德就像一種習慣,需要透過鍛煉來建立。就像人不斷操練以練出一身肌肉,如果我們要有更大的信德,我們只有不斷在生活中實踐,才能增進信德,而當逆境來臨時,就是考驗我們信德的時候。榮休教宗本篤十六世去年訂下的信德年還有個多月便完結,讓我們趁著僅餘的時間接受信德的挑戰。 耶穌給我們的第二個訊息是服務。祂用僕人侍奉主人的比喻,提醒所有蒙召在教會內服務的人:若我們完成天主交付的使命,也絲毫沒有自我誇耀的理由,更沒有權力要求任何獎賞。求天主賜予我們一顆謙卑的心,不求回報地為祂服務。 這篇默想由生命恩泉文摘編輯小組撰寫,內容以下列文章為根據: Mustard Seed Faith – Be Not Afraid!, 常年期第二十七主日. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus gives us two messages: faith and service. In the face of difficulties, like the apostles, we would say to God: “Increase our faith.” Faith is not a feeling, but one of the theological virtues. St. Thomas Aquinas says that a virtue is a habit, it gets stronger when it is exercised. Just like some people who exercise regularly in order to build muscles, we have to live out our faith in our daily lives. Our faith gets tested when adversity comes. The Year of Faith announced by Pope Benedict XVI last year is coming to an end next month. Let us not be afraid to take up challenges that strengthen our faith. The second message that Jesus spoke of is related to service. He used a parable of a servant serving his master to remind all those who serve in the Church, that if we have done all we have been commanded, there is no reason to boast, nor a right to demand rewards. Let us ask God to grant us humble hearts, so that we will be willing to serve Him without seeking rewards. This reflection is prepared by the FLL Inspire editorial team as a digest of the following two articles: Mustard Seed Faith – Be Not Afraid!, […]

認識聖父聖子的恩寵

耶穌派遣了七十二門徒,兩個兩個到各城各地去傳教,他們回來時都歡天喜地,因他們見識到因著耶穌基督的名號,他們都能行祂的異能,甚至連惡魔都屈服於他們。確實,受耶穌派遣的人,都被一一授予了祂的權柄。可是,耶穌提醒門徒不該歡喜於這能制服惡魔的權柄,因為真正值得歡喜和感恩的並非是他們能做甚麼,而是他們的名字已經登記在天上。能夠被揀選進入天國,得享永生,才是真正的福樂。 耶穌因著聖神也透露了祂和天父之間的奧秘:除非藉著天父的啟示,沒有人能認出耶穌是天主子;除非耶穌願意啟示給我們,也沒有人能認識父。因此能認識、相信天主,是天上而來的恩寵。要知道時至今日,即使基督的福音已幾乎傳遍普世,還是有很多人看不出或不願相信耶穌基督就是天主子、我們的救主,所以我們這些憑著信德的恩寵而接納基督的福音的人,是有福的。因此我們該好好珍惜這份恩寵,把天主放在生命的第一位,並學習耶穌,時常稱謝天父。 Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom He sent in pairs to visit and preach in towns and places. They all came back rejoicing because they witnessed they can do great things in His name, and even the demons are subject to them. Indeed, those who are sent by Jesus are given His power, but Jesus reminded them not to rejoice because the spirits are subject to them, because the real joy and grace is that they’re chosen to enter the kingdom of heaven. Rejoicing in the Holy Spirit, Jesus also revealed to His disciples the mystery between Him and His Heavenly Father: “No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” Therefore, to know and believe in the Father and the Son is a grace from above, though it also depends on our response. Notice that even to this day, where the gospel is almost preached throughout the world, many people still fail to see that Jesus is the Son of God and He is our savior. So those who accepted the gift of faith to see this mystery of God should always be thankful, and like Jesus, always give our Heavenly Father thanks and praise.

Why Am I Called A Catholic?

By Edmond Lo. Originally posted at his blog. At a home gathering in New York City hosted by my sister and attended by her friends from a denominational Christian community, a guest asked me politely why I identified myself as a Catholic and not as a Christian. Just as politely I assured her that I was honored and proud to be called a Christian just as much as the members of the early Church had been when their Christian identity was first confirmed publicly in Antioch (cf. Acts 11:26). Then I drew her attention to the “mystery of Christ” that God revealed to St. Paul and the holy apostles: When you read this you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which… has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit, that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel…To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ… (Eph. 3:4-8). The same realization of the universality or catholicity of the Christian faith hit St. Peter like a rock when he received a mysterious vision in which he was asked to eat things that were considered profane under the Mosaic law (cf. Acts 10:9-16). When […]

聖方濟.亞西西(紀念)

在今天的福音中,耶穌警告那些拒絕信從福音的人,他們要比那些違反天主的自然律的人受更大的懲罰。苛辣匝因、貝特賽達、葛法翁以及若望提及的提庇黎雅是加里肋亞革乃撒勒湖(亦即加里肋亞海或提庇黎雅海)沿岸城市。耶穌為這些城市哀痛因為他們看過奇蹟異能後,仍然沒有悔改,比起違反天主法律的外邦人更壞。 祂接著說:「在你們那裏所行的異能,如果行在提洛和漆冬,他們早已披上苦衣,坐在灰塵中,而改過自新了。」苦衣是用山羊的毛織成的,代表人深深記著以前犯下的罪。而灰土代表死亡,因為人死後會化成灰土。坐下則代表良心的卑微。我們看到耶穌當年的預言實現了,因為苛辣匝因和貝特賽達沒有相信,而提洛和漆冬則友善的對待達味和撒羅滿,而耶穌的門徒之後在那裡傳福音時,他們也信從了。 今天是聖方濟.亞西西的瞻禮,他曾跟不願意悔改的罪人說了以下的話: 為那些不做補贖、不領受耶穌聖體聖血、順從邪情惡慾(哥羅森書 5:3)和本性私慾(迦拉達書 5:16)的人,或那些不遵守對天主的承諾、以肉身追隨世俗的事的人,你們被魔鬼箝制著:你是盲目的,因為你看不見真光——我們的主耶穌基督。你欠缺屬靈的智慧,因為你缺乏天主聖子,亦即是天父的真正智慧。聖詠中曾這樣形容:他們的智慧被吞噬,背棄祢誡命的人被詛咒。你知道並承認你行的惡事,而你將失掉你的靈魂。 (本文以英文為準)

誰去收割祂的莊稼?

我們在上星期讀到耶穌派遣了十二宗徒出外宣講福音。在今天的福音中,我們看到耶穌更多派另外七十二人出外。 耶穌說:「莊稼多而工人少,所以你們應當求莊稼的主人,派遣工人來,收割他的莊稼。」我們常在推廣聖召的單張看到這句說話,這當然十分貼切,但收割莊稼的任務,並不局限在神父、修女身上,所有基督徒都該加入成為當中的一份子。只要有心回應這召叫,永不會太遲。 為願意出外宣講的人,耶穌也事先提醒他們這絕不容易:「看,我派遣你們猶如羔羊往狼群中。」我們宣揚的訊息縱使是真理、愛和公義,卻不是人人都願意接受的。人們可能把我們的訊息扭曲。我們甚至會被視為威脅而遭受迫害。 耶穌曾說過「狐狸有穴,天上的飛鳥有巢;但是人子卻沒有枕頭的地方。」(路加福音 9:58) 祂也吩咐出外傳福音的人不要帶些什麼,以免所擁有的最終成為束縛,妨礙福傳的任務。你願意放下不必要的身外物,接受耶穌的派遣出外宣講福音嗎? We read from the Gospel last week that Jesus sent the twelve apostles to preach the Good News. In today’s Gospel, we read that Jesus sent another seventy-two people on their mission. Jesus said: “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” This is a line we often read in vocation campaigns, which is absolutely relevant. However the task of harvesting is not strictly for priests and nuns. All Christians should be part of it. It is never too late to respond this call. For those who are willing to go out and preach, Jesus warned them that it would not be easy: “Behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” The message of truth, love and justice that we preach might not necessarily be well-received. People might distort our message, or see us as threats. We may face persecution. Jesus had once said that: “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” (Luke 9:58) He also asked the disciples to travel light, in order to avoid their belongings from weighing them down. Are you willing to forego unnecessary belongings and respond to Jesus’ call to spread the Good News?

教宗方濟各:不要害怕成聖

(梵蒂岡電台訊)教宗方濟各10月2日在周三公開接見活動時,以《信經》中所宣認的「聖教會」為題作了要理講授,他強調:教會是聖的並不歸功於自己的德行,而是「因為天主聖化她」。教宗還說,教會是眾人的家,這對漠不關心者和慾求寬恕卻怯於祈求的人都一樣。 教宗方濟各在要理講授中歌頌天主的仁慈,向眾人保證天主是一位時刻準備寬恕的父親,哪怕自命罪不可恕、背向天主的人,天主也寬恕他們。教宗說:「我們在教會內所遇到的天主不是無情的判官,而是蕩子比喻中的父親。你可以做離家出走、遠離天主的小兒子。然而當你有勇氣說:我想回家時,你將發現家門敞開,天主迎向你而來。因為天主始終在等你!天主會擁抱你,親吻你,為你舉行歡宴。這就是主耶穌!這就是我們天父的慈愛!」 閱讀全文:教宗方濟各:天主聖化教會,敞懷寬恕眾人

護守天使(紀念)

在今天的福音中,當耶穌談及「他們的天使在天上,常見我在天之父的面」時,祂不是談及所有的天使,而是一些比其他更大的天使;因為他們能常見天父的面,顯出他們的榮耀。至於一出生便有天使負責護守的人,他的靈魂更是何等尊貴! 這些天使把人的禱告一一奉上給天主,所以如果我們鄙視這些透過天使傳達給永生天主願望和請求的人,是危險的。 雖然耶穌形容這些天使為「他們的天使」,但其實他們是永生天主的使者;比起一些墮落了的天使,他們一直忠於天主;但他們也是我們的天使,因為他們已把我們當作主內的同胞。他們能常見天父的面,我們也將要一樣,正如若望所預視:「現在我們是天主的子女,但我們將來如何,還沒有顯明;可是我們知道:一顯明了,我們必要相似他,因為我們要看見他實在怎樣。」(若一3:2) (本文以英文為準)

對於撒馬黎雅人的冷淡

聖人該知道死亡——即靈魂與肉體的分離——並不可怕,但基於某些人仍然害怕死亡,便有人認為以死亡懲罰罪惡,可讓在生的人得到一個正面的阻嚇,也讓被懲罰的人不再犯罪。 主耶穌卻沒有因撒馬黎雅人的拒絕動怒,反而斥責祂兩個想焚村的門徒,因為完滿的德行是容不下復仇的心態;在完滿的愛當中也容不下憤怒。虔誠的人不該憤恨,靈性高尚的人也不該存有報復之心。 耶穌斥責雅各伯及若望,並不是因為他們想傚法先知厄里亞,而是針對他們的無知,因他們還不夠經驗去從愛中領悟悔改的可貴,反而在怒火中尋求報復。其實耶穌早已教導他們該愛人如己;耶穌來,並不是為處罰人或定他們的罪,而是來拯救世人。我們也不該常認為犯罪的人該得到嚴懲,因施予憐憫往往更有益處,它不但能令我們更有耐心,也能把罪人導向悔改之路。 (本文以英文為準)

教宗若望保祿二世與若望廿三世封聖日期

教宗方濟各九月三十日在梵蒂岡舉行樞密會議,宣布將於明年四月廿七日(救主慈悲主日),冊封教宗若望保祿二世與若望廿三世為聖人。 Pope Francis announced on September 30 that John Paul II and John XXIII will be declared saints on April 27, 2014 (Divine Mercy Sunday).

以耶穌名字驅魔的人

耶穌在今天的福音中對門徒說:「在你們眾人中最小的,這人才是最大的。」若望聽到這話,害怕他們阻止人驅魔是做錯了,因為禁止人的那位必定覺得自己更大。因此若望對耶穌說:「老師,我們曾看見一個人,因你的名字驅魔,就禁止了他。」這樣做不是出於嫉妒,而是因為那人沒有跟像門徒般得到驅魔的能力,也沒有接受耶穌的派遣。因此他補充了一句:「因為他不與我們同夥。」 若望沒有被責備,因為他所做的是出於愛。耶穌教導他說:「不要禁止! 因為誰不反對你們,就是傾向你們。」正如阿黎瑪特雅人若瑟和尼苛德摩,這些秘密的門徒,在時候到了,都沒有拒絕他們的任務。 但耶穌也曾說過:「不隨同我的,就是反對我;不同我收集的,就是分散。」在瑪竇福音中,耶穌也說過,祂將來要對很多曾因祂的名字驅魔的人說不認識他們。為什麼祂的話看來自相矛盾? 這是因為基督的名字是偉大的,即使為不聖善的人,祂的名字依然能發揮作用。因此沒有人能說自己有潔淨人的恩寵,因為那人只是藉祂的永生之名而驅魔。 (本文以英文為準)

聖彌額爾總領天使瞻禮

9月29日,多倫多總教區慶祝聖彌額爾主保瞻禮。聖彌額爾是七位總領天使之一,亦被視為眾總領天使之首。在今天的讀經二,聖若望默示錄這樣記載:「天上就發生了戰爭:彌額爾和他的天使一同與那龍交戰,那龍也和牠的使者一起應戰,但牠們敵不住,在天上遂再也沒有牠們的地方了。於是那大龍被摔了下來,牠就是那遠古的蛇,號稱魔鬼或撒殫的。那欺騙了全世界的,被摔到地上,牠的使者也同牠一起被摔了下來。」 聖彌額爾的名字的意思是:誰相似天主?面對邪惡,當魔鬼的惡意似乎得逞時,這名字提醒我們沒有任何困難比天主的愛更大。聖彌額爾是我們緊急時可以請求的援助。教宗良十三世撰寫了一篇祈求聖彌額爾的禱文,當我們覺得力有不逮或面對誘惑時,讓我們懇求聖彌額爾把魔鬼擊退: 聖彌額爾總領天使,在戰爭的日子裏保衛我們,免我們陷入魔鬼邪惡的陰謀,和奸詐的陷阱中,我們謙卑地祈求,但願上主譴責牠。上主萬軍的統帥,求你因上主的威能,把徘徊人間,引誘人靈,使其喪亡的撒殫及其他邪靈,拋下地獄裏去。亞孟。 On September 29, the Archdiocese of Toronto celebrates the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, patron of our Archdiocese. St. Michael is one of the seven archangels, and is also known to be the leader of all the archangels. In today’s second reading, St. John wrote in Revelation: “War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; love for life did not deter them from death. Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them.” The name Michael signifies “Who is like God?” In the face of evil, when the devil’s plan seems to prevail, this name reminds us that there is no difficulty […]

第二次預言祂的苦難

耶穌所作的一切都令人欽崇,因祂行的神蹟散發著一種奇特而神聖的光芒;正如聖經舊約的聖詠集預言:祢協助他獲得了偉大的光榮,祢加給他無比的榮耀與尊崇 (詠 21:6)。 雖然所有人都驚嘆於祂做的事情,但關於祂將接受苦難的話,祂只告知了祂的門徒。祂在山上顯示了祂光榮的聖容,也治好了附魔的人,但祂必須為人類的救恩接受祂的苦難。祂的門徒可能心感困惑,問:「我們認為祂是天主,是被騙了嗎?」 其實耶穌讓他們知道將要發生在祂身上的事,並吩咐他們要謹記祂的話,是希望他們知道天主救恩的奧秘。其他人並不知道祂將要受苦難,但祂卻把這奧秘告知祂的門徒,讓他們放心,因祂死了還是會復活,以此戰勝死亡。 一些人可能會認為,既然舊約中已多次預言,為甚麼門徒卻還是不知道耶穌受苦難的奧秘?但正如保祿宗徒說:「直到今天,在讀舊約時,同樣的帕子仍然存在,沒有揭去,因為只有在基督內纔得除去。」(格後3:14) 所以我們的責任是要親近天主,並祈求:「求你開明我的眼睛,透視你法律的奇能。」 (詠 119:18) 天主會把基督顯示給我們:藉著祂、偕同祂,並在聖神的團結中,把光榮和讚頌歸於天主父,直到永遠,亞孟。 (本文以英文為準)