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芥子的比喻

當耶穌基督光榮的作為都令人民歡欣鼓舞、令祂的仇敵羞愧時,耶穌接著用一些比喻來解釋天國:「天主的國相似什麼?我要把它比作什麼呢?它相似一粒芥子……」 在路加福音17章6節,耶穌以一粒芥子來比喻信德:「如果你們有信德像芥子那樣大,即使你們給這棵桑樹說:你連根拔出,移植到海中去! 它也會服從你們的。」如果一粒芥子可比作信德,而芥子和芥子生長起來的大樹可比喻為天主的國,那在我們內的信德,不就會促成天國的來臨嗎?一粒芥子平凡而微不足道,但當它被碾碎,它的力量便傾盆而出;同樣,信德看似平平無奇,但當在逆境被壓迫時,這美德的恩寵便會滿溢。為主殉道的人都是一粒粒的芥子;他們信德的芬芳雖然本來被隱藏,但當遇到迫害,他們縱然倒在武力下,他們殉難的種子卻分佈到世界的盡頭。 主耶穌自己也是一粒芥子;祂願意被傷害,讓我們能看見「我們就是獻與天主的基督的馨香」(格後2:15)。祂願意如芥子般被栽種在園裡,因祂曾被埋葬,然後祂復活,「成為大樹,天上的飛鳥都棲息在它的枝頭上」。本來如一粒芥子的主耶穌,復活後如大樹般被提升到天上,祂正是那覆蓋世界的大樹,讓天主的力量和聖人都棲息在祂那裡。伯多祿是祂的一個分支,保祿也是祂的一個分支,遠處的我們現在都向祂飛翔。 來讓主耶穌基督栽種在你靈性的花園,讓花園綻放出信德工作的花朵,並讓各種德行的香氣發放。凡結果實的地方,就有基督的臨在。 (本文以英文為準)

揀選宗徒

在今天的福音,我們看到耶穌在挑選十二宗徒之前,獨自上山徹夜祈禱。在聖經時常提及不同的山,因為聖經談及的地域的確佈滿著山脈;而高山亦有一種象徵意義,人們認為身處山上比較接近在高天的天主。 在聖經中出現過的山很多時都跟重要時刻有關。在西乃山,天主跟梅瑟面對面交談。在加爾默耳山,天主當著巴耳邪神的先知面前應允了厄里亞先知。耶穌也在山上選定十二宗徒。 耶穌挑選宗徒前先花一整夜祈禱,為我們樹立一個榜樣。我們要做一些重大的決定時,也該仿傚耶穌,祈禱分辨怎樣做才合乎天主的旨意。 從十二位宗徒中,我們見到不同職業、性格的人。耶穌召選不同的人作為宗徒,一同宣講天國的福音,我們會否接納跟自己不同背景和個性的人呢? 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: Commentaries on the daily readings by Sacred Space, What is the significance of mountains in the bible?, 10月28日 聖西滿及聖達德宗徒慶日 In today’s Gospel, we read that before appointing the twelve apostles. Jesus spent the whole night praying on a mountain. In the Bible, we see that mountains are mentioned frequently. It is because mountains dotted the landscape of biblical regions. Mountains also have a logical religious symbolism, people thought they were “closer to God” who was believed to dwell in the heavens. The mountains mentioned in the Bible are often related to significant moments. On Mount Sinai, Moses spoke face to face with God. On Mount Carmel, God answered Elijah’s prayer in front of the prophets of Baal. In this reading we see that Jesus appointed the apostles on a mountain. Before the appointment, Jesus spent the whole night praying. Jesus is the model of prayer. Before making important decisions, we should imitate Jesus to pray and discern God’s will in order to act accordingly. Among the twelve apostles, we see that they had different occupations and personalities. Jesus chose people of very different backgrounds to preach the Good News together, will we accept people who are very different from ourselves? This reflection is prepared by the FLL Inspire editorial team as a digest of the following three articles:: Commentaries on the daily […]

凡貶抑自己的,必被高舉

在這主日的福音中,我們從耶穌比喻裡的法利塞人和稅吏身上,看見兩個不同和極端的例子。二人顯著的對比給我們一個良好的訓示,就是我們應該仿效稅吏,而非法利塞人的壞榜樣。法利塞人的「祈禱」完全集中在他自己身上,是個典型驕傲的人。他向自己列出對「其他人」包括對那個稅吏的控罪,然後吹噓自己的善行。 正如聖多瑪斯‧阿奎納在《論文》中提出,驕傲是「所有罪孽的開始」;它是七罪宗之首,只有謙遜的美德才可與之抗衡。由驕傲所推動的義德並沒有價值。它把人陷入地獄深處,而非提升到天堂。它導致人高舉自己並背棄上主。謙遜卻能高舉我們到成為天主兒女的神聖領域。 聖保祿提醒我們該「事事感謝」(得前5:18),舊約聖經則告誡人不該出言詆毀別人(德21:31),耶穌也教導我們不要定別人的罪(路6:37)。那個稅吏與法利塞人相反,願意痛悔己過,祈求天主的憐憫,這與舊約聖經的教導也互相呼應:「天主,你不輕看痛悔和謙卑的赤心。」(詠51:19) 稅吏的禱告自謙自卑,並重視天主永恆的憐憫,所以他能透過與天主和好,修補他因犯罪而導致他和天主關係中的裂痕。天主無法幫助不肯悔改也不求寬恕的人,所以這篇福音教我們要以稅吏的態度為榜樣。 「因為凡高舉自己的,必被貶抑;凡貶抑自己的,必被高舉。 」(路18:14) 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: Commentaries on the daily readings by Sacred Space, Summa Theologica(SS.Q162.A7-8), Catena Aurea on Luke 18 In this Sunday’s gospel reading, we are presented with two very polarising figures in the Pharisee and the tax collector. They are strikingly contrasted against each other to illustrate the good role model we should emulate in the tax collector as opposed to the bad example of the Pharisee. The Pharisee’s ‘prayer’ was completely focused on himself, the epitome example of pride. Firstly he said it “to himself”, and proceeded to verbally attack “the rest of humanity” and the tax collector in listing out all their alleged sins. Finally, he ended by boasting of his ‘good works’. As St. Thomas Aquinas asserts in the Summa, pride is “the beginning of all sins”. It is the primary vice of the 7 deadly sins, which can only be met by the corresponding virtue of humility. Righteousness is worthless when driven by pride. Instead of raising us up to heaven it will instead weigh us down into the depths of hell. It leads us to the denial of God and elevates the self. Humility, on the other hand, lifts us to the divine realms as humble little children of God. St. Paul reminds us to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess 5:18) instead of slandering each other […]

何時結果?

在今天的福音中,有些人向耶穌報告數個加里肋亞人被比拉多殘暴折磨致死的事。耶穌趁著這個機會去糾正他們的思想,並提醒所有人及時悔改的重要性。 耶穌說:「你們以為這些加里肋亞人,比其他所有的加里肋亞人更有罪,才遭此禍害嗎?不是的。」當時的人認為若一個人遭逢不幸,一定是因他犯罪而被天主懲罰。耶穌教導他們不要猜測別人遭遇不幸的原因,而要從中領悟生命無常,死亡可能隨時降臨,因此人要把握時間,及時悔改。 耶穌之後說了無花果樹的比喻。那棵三年都沒有結果子的無花果樹代表聽了耶穌宣講卻沒有回應的人,這些人本來不會得救;但耶穌卻代為求情,願意他們得拯救。 當生活風平浪靜時,我們往往忘記了生命是有期限的。人每每看到災難的發生才猛然醒悟生命的無常。讓我們提醒自己和身邊的親友及時悔改的必要。 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: Commentaries on the daily readings by Sacred Space, 常年期第廿九週星期六 In today’s Gospel, some people told Jesus about the slaughter of the Galileans by Pilate. Jesus used this opportunity to correct their thinking, as well as to remind everyone the immediate call to repent. Jesus said: “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means!” People at the time often think misfortunes are punishments by God. Jesus taught them not to speculate about the reasons behind people’s misfortunes, but to learn that death could come at any time. People are called to repent immediately. Jesus told a parable to illustrate His point. The fig tree which never bore fruit in three years represent those who did not respond to Jesus’ preaching. Originally, these people would not be saved. However, Jesus pleads to God on our behalf to give them a chance to be saved. When life is good, we tend to forget our lives are short. When we see disasters happen, we are reminded of how fragile our lives really are. Let us remember the time to repent is now and urge our friends and family to repent. This reflection is prepared by the FLL Inspire editorial team as a digest of the following two articles: Commentaries on the daily […]

時代的徵兆

耶穌在今天的福音中說,能透過氣象變化來預測天氣的人,如果願意的話,大概同樣能從先知的話,辨別救主耶穌的來臨。先知已從很多途徑透露了基督的奧秘,所以如果他們明智的話,該懂得觀察這個時機,不致錯失得到救恩的機會。可是耶穌斥責他們:「假善人哪!你們知道觀察地上及天上的氣象,怎麼不能觀察這個時機呢?」 我們其實也必須在能力範圍內,預測未來,因為將要來臨的天氣、風雨、會發生的事情,無論是局部還是舉世的,激烈還是溫和的,都有可能事先推測;正如海員要躲避風暴的危險,旅客會留意天氣的變化,管家也要預備充足的水果;所以事先預測未來的好處,實在是人所共知。 可是,如果有人辯稱他們未能分辨時代的徵兆,是基於他們對聖經和先知書的無知,耶穌也說過:「你們為什麼不能由自己來辨別正義的事呢?」因為即使沒有受過教育的人,仍然有與生俱來的能力,可辨別耶穌就是人類的救主,因祂的作為無人能及,也超越常人。對於這世界的不義,祂作為天主,將會給予正義的審判。 (本文以英文為準)

耶穌:帶來分裂的緣由 (二)

聖經有時會用「火」字來形容聖善和神聖的字眼。因為懂得如何淨化黃金和白銀的人,都會用火來消除任何雜質,所以主耶穌透過福音的教導,以聖神的力量潔淨信祂的人的心靈;這「火」會產生甚麼效應?來重溫耶穌的話:「你們以為我來是給地上送和平嗎?不,我告訴你們:而是來送分裂。」可是基督該是我們的和平,如聖保祿說:「祂以自己的肉身,拆毀了中間阻隔的牆壁,就是雙方的仇恨,並廢除了由規條命令所組成的法律,為把雙方在自己身上造成一個新人,而成就和平。祂以十字架誅滅了仇恨,也以十字架使雙方合成一體,與天主和好。」(弗2:14-16) 只有天主給予的和平是值得光榮的。不是所有和平都是好;有時,危險的和平可以把過分重視它的人與天主的愛隔離。例如,相信基督的人如果迎合偏離正軌的人,會陷入異端的圈套。面對這些情況,與他們對立及不斷抗爭,也是值得尊敬的。因此即使父親不信主,而兒子與他對立並反對他的立場,也是無可指責的。同樣地,如果父親相信並忠於天主,但兒子卻有損基督的光榮,父親漠視親情、不認他的兒子,也是無可指責的。這道理在母親與女兒,或兒媳與婆母的關係中同樣成立。 耶穌基督也以另一種方式向我們聲明:「誰愛父親或母親超過我,不配是我的;誰愛兒子或女兒超過我,不配是我的。」(瑪10:37) 因此,當你基於對耶穌虔誠的緣故,而拒絕地上的父親,你將獲得祂的在天之父成為你的父親。如果你的弟兄不願侍奉天主而對天主不敬,使你因而放棄他,主耶穌會接納你為祂的弟弟。如果你為了天上的耶路撒冷而離開你在地上的母親,你會在諸聖的大家庭中,得到光榮而強大的血統,與天上諸聖一起成為上主恩寵的繼承人。這都是人的意志所不能理解,言語所難表達的;主卻給我們啟示了。 (本文以英文為準)

教宗方濟各:聖母瑪利亞是與基督完美結合的典範

(梵蒂岡電台訊)教宗方濟各10月23日在公開接見活動中,向聖伯多祿廣場上的10萬信徒表示:聖母把耶穌和他的愛德帶給了世界,教會也應該這麼做,否則她將變成人道機構。教宗也邀請信徒在十月份在家庭中一起誦念玫瑰經。 教宗在談到「聖母瑪利亞是與基督完美結合的典範」時說:「聖母每個行動的完成,都是與耶穌的完美結合,這結合在加爾瓦略山上達到高峰。她感受到耶穌的痛苦,同他一起承行了天父的旨意,而服從帶來了果實,帶來戰勝邪惡與死亡的真正勝利。」 閱讀全文: 教宗方濟各:教會不是非政府組織,她應該像聖母那樣把耶穌帶到世界

忠信及精明的管家

在今天的福音中,耶穌說人應該像家主提防盜賊一樣,準備人子的來臨。伯多祿問耶穌,祂的比喻是為宗徒們說的,還是為眾人。 聖保祿曾在書信說過:「我給你們喝的是奶,並非飯食,因為那時你們還不能吃,就是如今你們還是不能」(格林多前書 3:2)「唯獨成年人纔能吃硬食,因為他們的官能因著練習獲得了熟練,能以分辨善惡。」(希伯來書 5:14) 就像一個身材健碩的人能肩負很重的擔子,而較為瘦弱的人不能,一些在信仰上較為成熟的人比起其他人要履行更多責任。因此,伯多祿的提問的確有意義,因為耶穌賦予了宗徒更大的能力。 耶穌用了另一個比喻去回答伯多祿的提問,比喻的重點由「家主」變成「管家」。這比喻為眾人都適用,但為宗徒們有另一重意義。一個管理財物的管家需要智慧和忠誠,而在管理教會的事上,主教和神父們同樣需要智慧和忠誠,否則,造成的損失更大,很多靈魂可能會失去得救的機會。讓我們多為教宗、主教和神職人員祈禱。 (本文以英文為準)

做好準備

在今天的福音中,耶穌吩咐門徒,叫他們要把腰束起,把燈點著,如同等候自己的主人由婚筵回來,好使主人來到時能立刻給他開門。祂說:「醒寤著的那些僕人,是有福的!」 耶穌曾不至一次教導我們要準備自己,隨時迎接祂的再來。祂說過十個童女的比喻,勸人仿傚明智的童女,為自己準備好足夠的油等候新郎。(瑪竇福音 25:1-13)祂也曾勸我們要像家主提防盜賊一樣,不讓自己的房屋被挖穿。(瑪竇福音 24:42-44)耶穌用上不同的比喻,要我們領悟同一個訊息:不論祂要在何時到來,我們都要時時準備好。 耶穌曾說過:「至於那日子和那時刻,除父一個外,誰也不知道,連天上的天使都不知道。」(瑪竇福音24:36)與其猜測祂再來的日子,不如積極的活好每一個當下,這樣,基督再來時,我們便能懷著喜樂歡迎祂。 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: Commentaries on the daily readings by Sacred Space, 常年期第廿九週星期二 In today’s Gospel, Jesus said to His disciples that they should gird their loins and light their lamps, and be like servants who await their master’s return, so that they will be ready to open immediately when he comes. He said: “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.” Jesus had taught us a few times the importance of readiness. He used the Parable of the Ten Virgins and asked us to learn from the wise virgins who brought oil with their lamps. (Matthew 25:1-13) He also asked us to be like a master who stays awake to not let his house be broken into. (Matthew 24:42-44) He used different analogies to preach the same message: no matter when He comes, we have to be ready. Jesus said: “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” (Matthew 24:36) Instead of speculating when that day will be, we should live constantly in the present to seek and find God there. When Christ comes again, we will be able to welcome Him with joy. This reflection is prepared by the FLL Inspire editorial team as a digest of the following two articles: Commentaries on the daily readings […]

生命與財富

從過去到現在,對財物的貪戀一直是人類的一大誘惑。就算不是基於貪婪,一般人還是希望積聚財產,令生活得到保障。財產可以包括物質的財物、金錢、投資,也可以是地位、名譽、工作、人際關係等等。這些事物本身並沒有問題,問題在於人如果過分重視這些世上的事物,會影響我們與天主的關係,因為如此一來,我們就如耶穌所形容的「糊塗的富翁」,倚賴的不再是天主,而是這些短暫的事物,自以為它們能確保我們生活的安穩。其實耶穌多次提醒我們,地上的一切都可以被盜賊偷竊,或被蟲損壞,只有我們在天上積聚的,才是永恆。 耶穌說:「人的生命並不在於他的資產」,所以我們該做個聰明的門徒,把天主放在生命的中心,把眼光放在天主所應許的永恆寶藏上,因耶穌說:「你們不能事奉天主而又事奉錢財。」(路16:13) 你的生命紮根於甚麼?甚麼是你生命中的財寶? 「你的財寶在那裏,你的心也必在那裏。」(瑪6:21) 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: Commentaries on the daily readings by Sacred Space, 常年期第廿九週星期一. Throughout history, it’s always been one of the greatest temptations for human beings to crave for money and wealth. Even in some cases, it is not due to greed, people still wish to own more to feel more secure in life. These possessions can be materialistic such as properties, money, and investment; or it can be one’s reputation, social status, job, relationships, etc. The possession itself is usually neutral, but the problem is if we attach too much to these possessions, it would affect our relationship with God. We would then become whom Jesus called the “foolish rich man”, because we rely on temporal things more than God and yet blinded to believe these things will bring us security in life. Jesus warned us that “one’s life does not consist of possessions”. Therefore we should be wise disciples, and fix our eyes on God and His promise of eternal treasure in heaven, rather than things in this life that will eventually pass away. For Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters… You cannot serve God and money.” (Luke 16:13) It is a choice we have to make. What are your attachments in life? What do you see as your treasure in life? “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart […]

不斷祈禱

在這主日的福音中,耶穌跟門徒講了「不義判官和寡婦」的比喻。路加也清楚指出這個比喻的目的是教人應時時祈禱。比喻中那位「不敬畏天主,也不敬重人」的法官,面對那位卑微寡婦的不斷哀求,終於決定為她伸冤,以免被她不斷纏擾。既然不義的法官最終也願意給寡婦伸冤,只要我們有恆心的不斷向仁慈的天父祈求,祂一定會聽我們的祈禱。 但這是否代表不論求什麼,只要有恆心,天主就一定會答應?比喻中寡婦所求的是公義,而這是絕對符合天主旨意的,因祂本身就是公義。如果我們要祈求符合天主旨意的事,唯一的方法是祈求我們的心能日益肖似祂聖子耶穌的心。 這篇福音以耶穌的提問作結:「但是,人子來臨時,能在世上找到信德嗎?」耶穌提醒我們在等待祂再來的日子裡,一定要滿懷信心,持久地祈禱。如果那位卑微的寡婦能以靠著堅忍而等到法官為她伸冤的一天,我們也必定能依靠恆久的祈禱等到耶穌再來履行正義,給義人帶來永福。 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: Commentary on Exodus 17:8-13, 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2 and Luke 18:1-8, 常年期第二十九主日. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus told His disciples a parable of the unjust judge and the widow. Luke points out clearly that the purpose of this parable is to teach the necessity for people to pray always without becoming weary. In the parable, the judge who “neither feared God nor respected any human being” finally decided to deliver a just decision for the widow, to prevent her from bothering him. Even the unjust judge can be made to yield to the pestering of the widow, when we pray persistently to our merciful Heavenly Father, He would certainly answer our prayers. But does that mean we could ask God for anything as long as we pray persistently? In the parable, the widow asked for justice, which conforms to God’s will since He Himself is justice. If we are to pray according to His will, the only way is to pray that our hearts would become like Jesus’. This reading ends with Jesus’ question: “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Jesus reminds us to remain faithful and steadfast in prayers while waiting for His coming. Just as the humble widow received justice at last through her persistence, through our persistent prayers, we could also see the coming […]

宣認耶穌是主

為了準備門徒去面對將來的迫害,耶穌在兩方面安慰和鼓勵他們:只要他們在人前承認祂,祂將來也要在天主的使者前承認他們;當他們受審時,聖神自會教他們應說的話。 得到這樣的承諾,門徒們該很安心,但其實真要面對時,實在一點都不容易。回顧被耶穌揀選為教會磐石、並說過決不會跌倒的伯多祿,都曾三次否認耶穌,我們就可想像,在面對迫害時仍然勇於宣認耶穌基督是主,可以有多困難。 耶穌也提醒我們,出言干犯祂的人,可獲得赦免,可是為何褻瀆聖神,卻不能獲得赦免呢?一般的罪,都是出於人的軟弱,所以伯多祿雖然否認過耶穌,但他願意悔改,也就得到天主的寬恕。出言干犯耶穌,也是基於祂的人性,例如說耶穌是貪吃嗜酒的人,或批評祂是稅吏和罪人的朋友(瑪11:19),這也可以被寬恕。可是「褻瀆聖神」,卻是一個褻瀆天主的罪,故意違背良知和真理;就如法利塞人漠視顯而易見的事實,心硬地批評耶穌驅魔,是仗賴魔王貝爾則布(瑪12:24),這樣違背良心地褻瀆耶穌的天主性,是把自己置於不能接受天主的原諒和恩寵的境況中。 在這世代,我們較少機會遭受肉體上的迫害,但要公然宣認耶穌是我們的救主,並生活出基督徒的身份和價值觀,也難免會受到批評、譏笑或歧視。當我們遇上這些情況時,讓我們祈求天主給我們勇氣和耐心,堅守對基督的信仰,繼續以言行為主作證。 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: Commentaries on the daily readings by Sacred Space, 常年期第二十八週星期六. To prepare His disciples for the persecutions that is to come, Jesus consoled and encouraged them in two ways: He promised as long as they acknowledge Him before others, He will acknowledge them before the angels of God; when they are brought to trials, the Holy Spirit will teach them what they should say. These two promises from the Lord should be very reassuring, but if we recall how Peter denied Jesus three times, though he promised his faith in Jesus will never shaken (Matthew 26:33), we can imagine how difficult it is to proclaim Jesus is Lord at the times of trials and persecutions. Jesus also taught us that speaking against Him can be forgiven, but blaspheming against the Holy Spirit cannot not be forgiven. Most sins are committed due to human weakness or ignorance. For example, Peter denied Jesus out of weakness and fear, and therefore as long as he repent, he receives God’s forgiveness. Speaking against Jesus, is generally speaking against His human nature, for example some criticized Jesus is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19), and this according to Jesus is pardonable. However, to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is a sin of blaspheming against God’s spirit, an intentional violation of […]