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法律的目的

我們在四部福音中都能看到耶穌和法利塞人之間的衝突往往跟如何守安息日有關。在今天的福音,門徒們在安息日掐麥穗的舉動引發衝突,但隨後耶穌卻藉這事去表明「人子是安息日的主」。 門徒們掐麥穗吃的行為一連觸犯安息日的四個禁令:掐麥穗違反收割禁令;用手搓的動作違反打穀禁令;把殼拋開違反簸穀禁令;吃下麥子違反預備食物禁令。面對謹守律法的法利塞人,耶穌以達味吃供餅的例子來說明:人的需要勝於律法禮規,重要的是律法的精神和目的,而非外在的形式。 我們要留意耶穌不是憑祂的愛好而決定應否守法。耶穌永遠不會做任何違反真理或美善的事,因祂和天父就是真理和美善的根源。律法的存在是為了引導人做好。飢餓與生存比起守齋的規定更為重要。在我們的日常生活中,我們要學懂在緊急的情形下,判斷怎樣做才不違反真理和美善。求天主聖神賜予智慧,讓我們不致被法律或指引綑綁而變得麻木不仁。 參考: 常年期第二二週星期六 In all four Gospels, we can see that the conflicts between Jesus and the Pharisees were often related to how they observed the sabbath. In today’s Gospel, we see that a conflict was resulted from Jesus’ disciples plucking heads of corn. But Jesus used the incident to illustrate that “the Son of Man is lord of the sabbath”. By plucking and eating heads of corn, the disciples violated the law which forbade reaping and threshing. Jesus used the example of David eating the bread of offering to illustrate to the Pharisees that, people’s needs are more important than observing the law. What is important is the spirit and purpose of the law, and not the law itself. We must understand that Jesus does not do whatever He feels like doing. He would never go against anything that involves the True or the Good; with his Father he is the Source of all that is true and good. The law exists to guide people to do good. Hunger and survival may override a rule to fast. In our daily lives, we have to learn to decide what is the right thing to do in urgent situations, so that we might not violate the True or the Good. May the Holy Spirit grant us wisdom, so that we might not become apathetic in our […]

有關禁食的問題

我們察覺到法利塞人一直心懷不軌:自從他們聽過基督回答他們的提問,便不斷找機會去證明耶穌和宗徒們不遵守猶太人的法律。因此他們說:「若翰的門徒屢次禁食,行祈禱;法利塞人的門徒也是這樣;而你的門徒卻又吃又喝!」他們彷彿在說:「法律禁止人們跟任何不潔的人交往,但你卻用憐憫作為跟稅吏和罪人吃飯的藉口;你為什麼不如其他依循法律的人一樣禁食?」 聖潔的人的確會禁食,以克己的方式來平息自己的慾望。但基督並不需要用禁食來增進自己的聖德,因為祂是天主,不像其他人般受慾望所束縛。而跟祂一起的宗徒當時也不需要禁食,藉著跟隨基督,他們無需禁食都能分享祂的恩寵。而基督曾經禁食四十天四十夜,目的是要讓人知道節制的重要。 當耶穌被問及為何祂的門徒不禁食,祂說:「伴郎與新郎在一起的時候,你們豈能叫他們禁食?」我們的救世主來到世上的日子,是喜慶的時刻,因此當時門徒不該禁食。但耶穌之後補充,「但日子將要來到,當新郎從他們手中被劫去時,在那些日子,他們就要禁食了。」意思是當我們犯了罪,跟耶穌疏遠了,那時我們必定要禁食,為自己的過犯懺悔。 (本文以英文為準)

耶穌召叫捕人的漁夫

耶穌被群眾擠擁得上了船,然後坐在船上繼續教訓群眾。聖經中,船常代表教會,所以祂選擇上了西滿的船施教,相信有預告的意味。祂行為的次序也好像別有深意:祂首先在西滿的船繼續施教;然後吩咐西滿划到深處,去撒網捕魚;最後召叫西滿做捕人的漁夫。 西滿大概早已驚嘆於祂的教導,所以即使自知在捕魚方面更有經驗,他還是謙恭地稱耶穌為老師,並遵照祂的話,在自己認為沒有魚的地方撒網。當看見自己網了很多魚,多得網險些破裂並裝滿了兩隻船後,西滿明白眼前人並不簡單,便自慚形穢,對耶穌說:「主,請你離開我!因為我是個罪人。」可是耶穌還是召叫他跟隨祂,成為捕人的漁夫。 這聖經章節告訴我們,耶穌召叫的往往不是義人或完美的人,而是那些願意聽祂的話並遵守的人。西滿自認是個罪人,也對耶穌的話不一定完全認同,但難得的是他會照著祂的話去做。面對種種現實的限制,有時我們會覺得跟著耶穌的話生活不是件易事,但西滿顯示給我們看,只要信賴天主,跟隨祂的旨意而行,我們也能窺見天主的光榮,在不可能中看見可能。 The crowd was pressing in on Jesus, so He got into one of the boats, and continue teaching the crowd from the boat. Notice that boat in the bible often represents the church community, so it’s significant that He chose to get into Simon’s boat to continue His teaching. It is interesting the sequence of things Jesus did: He taught from Simon’s boat, asked Simon to lower the nets for a catch, and lastly called him to become a fisher of men. Simon, who probably was amazed by His teaching as much as the crowd, called Jesus ‘Master’ and followed His command to lower the nets, though he should be more experienced in fishing than Jesus, and he had worked hard all night without catching anything. Then, after seeing the miracle of catching a great number of fish, Simon was overwhelmed by His power and goodness, he fell down and said to Jesus, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” At this point he knows Jesus is very special and His goodness reminds him of his sins, that he is not worthy. Nevertheless, Jesus chose him to be a fisher of men, and along with a few others, Simon left everything and followed Him. This bible passage shows that Jesus does not call perfect people to follow Him, but those who […]

教宗方濟各問青年人:你們願意成為眾人的希望嗎?

(梵蒂岡電台訊)教宗方濟各9月4日在暑期過後首次舉行週三公開接見活動,當天參加活動的信徒有7萬多人。教宗的要理講授緊緊圍繞巴西里約熱內盧世青節,再次勉勵所有青年成為世界的希望。 教宗高聲問廣場上的青年:「你們願意成為天主的希望嗎?(青年說:「願意」)你們願意成為教會的希望嗎?(青年說:「願意」)一顆接納了基督之愛的年輕的心,變成他人的希望,這是一股巨大的力量!你們年輕人,所有的青年人,你們應該把我們變成希望,把你們變成希望!向希望的新世界打開門。這就是你們的任務。你們願意成為我們眾人的希望嗎?(青年說:「願意」)」 閱讀全文:教宗在暑期過後的首次公開接見活動中談到世青節:青年人應打開希望的新門

肉體和靈魂的治癒

路加記錄的福音中,先講述耶穌治好附魔的男人,再敘述祂怎樣醫好一個婦人,因天主來是為醫治每個人,無論男人還是女人。 耶穌從會堂出來,便進了西滿的家,因祂眷顧祂的門徒,總置身在他們中間,亦藉此令他們更加積極。留意耶穌願意住在窮人的家裡;祂為了我們的緣故忍受貧困,好等我們也學習探望窮人,不要鄙視窮困或有需要的人。 那時西滿的岳母正發高熱,耶穌因眾人的祈求,叱退她的熱症,熱症就離開了她。疾病原是可以治癒的,可是耶穌卻用一個別人不可能採用的方式,把疾病叱退,以顯示祂有命令疾病的權柄。一般病人退燒後,需要時間休息復原,但西滿的岳母卻能立刻起來服侍他們,更顯出耶穌的威能。 如果我們更深入思考這些事,就該發現其實人的健康不只是身體上的,也有精神上的健康。當魔鬼的誘惑襲來,精神上的健康往往先被影響。正如厄娃被蛇引誘吃禁果時,並非因她飢餓。因此,以告解聖事痛悔自己肉體上和精神上的罪,並依靠天主的恩寵悔改,是拯救自己免於邪惡的良藥。 耶穌一次出於自願,也有一次由於別人的請求,祂醫治所遇見的病者,顯出祂對罪人超然的愛;祂總是應允信徒的祈求,並讓他們盡量理解他們本來不明白的事,也會原諒他們的不理解。正如聖詠中形容:「誰能認出自已的一切過犯?求你赦免我未覺察到的罪愆。」(詠19:13) 因此,讓我們接納耶穌,讓祂進入我們心靈和精神當中,撲滅把我們燒得火熱的不良享樂,也在靈性上提升我們,堅壯我們,使我們能為祂服務,做那些能令祂喜悅的事。 (本文以英文為準)

耶穌的權威

耶穌離開納匝肋以後,到了葛法翁。祂教訓人時,人們都感覺到祂的話有一種權威。祂不像經師們要引述其他權威,祂的權威直接來自天主,是祂自己的。祂有權威,因為祂有一種獨有的智慧,能使人有力量改變。 在會堂裏有一個附著邪魔惡鬼的人,邪魔害怕耶穌的大能,說:「你來毀滅我們嗎?我知道你是誰:你是天主的聖者。」 身為基督徒,我們有多相信耶穌的權威和大能呢?當耶穌藉神父在修和聖事中寬恕我們,祂以天主的權柄宣佈我們的罪已被一筆勾銷,我們毋須再活在內疚中。每一次我們領受耶穌的聖體時,祂都在醫治我們,給我們力量背起生活中大大小小的十字架。 每當我們覺得力有不逮時,就讓我們記起耶穌的權威和大能吧!祂願意跟我們分擔。 After leaving Nazareth, Jesus went to Capernaum. When He was teaching in the synagogue, people recognized that He spoke with authority. Unlike the scribes who had to quote other authorities, His authority was directly from God, it was His own. His authority was of someone who has access to special knowledge, which empowers people and lead them to change. There was a man possessed by an unclean spirit. It spoke in fear of the power of Jesus: “Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” As Catholics, do we really believe in the authority and power of Jesus? When Jesus forgives us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation through the priest, He writes off the sins we committed with God’s authority. We no longer have to live in the darkness caused by guilt. Every time we receive Jesus in Eucharist, He heals us and gives us the strength to bear the crosses in our daily lives. Whenever we feel burdened, let us remember Jesus’ authority and power! He is willing to share our burdens.

教宗方濟各:使用暴力永不會帶來和平

(梵蒂岡電台訊)教宗方濟各9月1日主日在三鐘經祈禱活動中痛苦地為敘利亞、整個中東和全世界的和平發出呼籲。教宗說,在那「殉難的國家」裡正發生的事「深深刺痛」了他的心。因此,他宣布9月7日為敘利亞及世界和平舉行祈禱和守齋日。他也邀請所有基督信徒、其他宗教信徒和善意人士當天在聖伯多祿廣場參加這一活動。 教宗警告說:「使用暴力永不會帶來和平。戰爭引發戰爭!暴力滋生暴力!我以自己全部的力量,要求衝突各方聆聽自己良知的聲音,不要封閉在自己的利益內,而要將他人看作弟兄,勇敢而堅決地走上相遇和協商的道路,同時超越盲目的衝突。」 閱讀全文:教宗方济各在三钟经祈祷中呼吁:不要再有战争!宣布9月7日为叙利亚及世界和平举行守斋和祈祷日

耶穌在納匝肋遭拒絕

當主耶穌來到了納匝肋,祂沒有行奇蹟,以免加倍挑起人們對祂的怨恨。但祂對他們的教導不比任何奇蹟遜色。耶穌的話總有一種難以言喻的恩寵,能軟化聆聽者的心。但愚昧的人對祂的話感驚歎,卻因為祂地上的父親而輕看祂。因此他們說:「這不是若瑟的兒子嗎?」 耶穌雖然是若瑟的兒子,但是什麼令人們不敬畏祂呢?他們沒看見來自天主的奇蹟、撒旦經已屈服、病人得到醫治嗎?祂行奇蹟一段時間以後來到納匝肋,但他們的心充滿妒忌,因此,耶穌說:「你們必定要對我說這句俗話:醫生,醫治你自己吧!」 祂用了這事作例子教導人,如果你妒忌別人德行的果實,天主的仁慈是不會臨到你身上的。天主輕視驕傲的人,對那些妒忌天主在他人身上賜祝福的人,祂會撤回祂本來要行的奇蹟。耶穌降生成人是祂作為天主的證據,祂為了我們,把本來看不見的事變成看得見。而嫉妒卻使人鄙視同鄉的作為,而那鄉鎮本來是配得上做天主子的家鄉的。 耶穌判了他們罪,因此他們忿怒填胸。人們想把耶穌推下山崖。在這裡,我們要明白耶穌沒有使祂的身體受不必要的傷害。祂沒有為少數人的嫉妒而受傷,因為祂來是要為世上的所有人死。祂寧願醫治猶太人,而不是毀滅他們。 (本文以英文為準)

教宗方濟各: 9月7日 為敘利亞及世界和平祈禱守齋

教宗方濟各呼籲大家於9月7日為敘利亞、整個中東地區以及全世界的和平守齋祈禱。他說:「在星期六,9月7日,由晚上7時直到午夜,我們會聚集在這裡(聖伯多祿廣場)祈禱,懷著懺悔的心,去祈求天主賜和平這美好的禮物予敘利亞以及世上所有發生衝突和暴力的地方。」教宗也邀請非天主教的基督徒和其他宗教信徒用任何他們認為適合的方式參與祈禱日。 Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the entire Mideast region, and throughout the whole world to be held this coming Saturday, September 7th, 2013. Pope Francis said, “On [Saturday] the 7th of September, here [in St Peter’s Square], from 7 PM until midnight, we will gather together in prayer, in a spirit of penitence, to ask from God this great gift [of peace] for the beloved Syrian nation and for all the situations of conflict and violence in the world.” The Holy Father also invited non-Catholic Christians and non-Christian believers to participate in ways they feel are appropriate. 資料來源 Source: Pope Francis at Angelus: Sept 7 day of prayer for peace

凡貶抑自己的,必被高舉

在今天的福音中,耶穌到了法利塞人家中吃飯。那天是安息日,他們細心觀察耶穌會否做些甚麼,讓他們找到逮捕祂的理由。在新約中,基督徒一起聚餐本來應該充滿喜樂,是一個共融的時刻。但在這個宴會裡,被邀請的人忙著爭坐首席,人們互相視對方為敵人。 耶穌留意到這情況,便以說比喻的方式教導他們。祂警告爭取上座這種行動也許帶來不能預期的消極後果,因為可能有身份地位更高的客人會來到,主人將因而要求這些原本爭得上座的人讓位,他們便會因自己的行動而導致公開的蒙羞。 接著耶穌說明受邀者先尋求末位的好處,他們不僅可避免不必要的羞辱,而且主人更會在必要的情況下,親自前來請他們登上高位,他們便可因此而得到光彩。最後耶穌提出一個顛覆世俗價值觀的結論,這個價值觀是天主的價值觀:「凡自高自大的必被貶抑,凡自謙自卑的必被高舉。」(路加福音 18:14) 耶穌也教導人們在邀請客人時所應有的態度。在當時的社會,受邀的客人們會透過回請而報答主人,主人因而失去得到更多、更大報酬的機會。耶穌建議人應該邀請無法回請的人參與宴會,因為他們將得到天主的賞報。這是耶穌對義人的許諾。 參考: 受邀者與邀請者的正確態度 In today’s Gospel, Jesus had gone for a meal to the house of one of the Pharisees on a Sabbath day. The Pharisees watched Him closely to see if they could accuse Him. In the New Testament, the meals that Christians share are supposed to be moments of communion. But in this meal, the guests were busy with competing for the places of honour. Jesus had noticed the situation and so He taught them with a parable. He warned them that this action might bring about a negative result that they could not anticipate. In case a more distinguished guest were invited, the host would request the guest to take the lowest place. He would be embarrassed in the public. Jesus then taught them the advantage of taking the lowest place. This way not only could he avoid unnecessary embarrassment, the host might invite him to take a higher position, and in turn be honoured. Jesus gave a conclusion that goes against worldly values, which are the values in the Kingdom of God: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14) Jesus also taught people whom to invite when they host a banquet. In Jewish society back then, guests would invite the host back in order to repay his […]

塔冷通的比喻

那個要遠行的人是我們的救主,因祂要升天,祂按照每個門徒的能力,把福音交托給他們傳揚開去。在比喻中有人領五個塔冷通,有人領兩個,有人領一個,可見每個人受委托的程度都不同。 五個塔冷通可代表天主恩賜人的五種感官,讓人能感受和認識世上的事情;兩個塔冷通可表示理解和行動;一個塔冷通表示只是理解。 領受到五個塔冷通的人,有感受和認識世上事物的能力;他從受造物去認識造物主,從地上的事物理解天上的,從有限的時空感受永恆,也就是說,他把領受到的知識變成雙倍交出。也有人得到兩個塔冷通;當理解加上行動,他把所知的一切與其他信眾分享,也是把得到的塔冷通加倍了。反之,那個把塔冷通埋藏在地下的人,沒有為天國投入他的能力,而只埋頭於世上的俗務。 那兩個把塔冷通加倍的僕人,在主的眼中獲得同等的稱讚,都是善良忠信的僕人,因主看的不是他們獲得多少利潤,而是看他們的心意和行為。那個把塔冷通藏在地下的僕人,卻以藉口回應他的主人,所以耶穌斥責他為可惡懶惰的僕人;他把指摘推向主人,因而可惡,並且懶惰地埋沒了他的能力。 耶穌說這些沒用的僕人,會被丟在外面黑暗中,在那裏必有哀號和切齒。由此可見,不單是作惡的人會在地獄中受懲罰,不作好事的人也會面對同樣的噩運。 (本文以英文為準)

十個童女的比喻

在瑪竇福音中耶穌一連三個比喻,都是提醒我們一件事:為人子第二次來臨作好準備。 新郎是比喻耶穌基督,那十個等待迎接新郎的童女就是教會,進入婚宴就好比進入天國;我們在祈禱中常念:「願祢的國來臨」,但沒有人知道耶穌再度來臨並帶我們進入天國那日子何時會來。就是因為不知道,所以耶穌提醒我們總有些人因見祂遲遲還未回來,就態度變得鬆散,沒有遵從天主的教誨來生活。耶穌將會對這些人說:「我不認識你們。」就像那五個糊塗的童女雖然帶了燈,卻沒有足夠的油,新郎到來時想請求別人幫助已是不可能。 因此,我們要聽從耶穌的提醒,時常醒悟並作好準備,否則錯過了迎接新郎的時間,後悔也就來不及了。 「你們應當時時醒寤祈禱,為使你們能逃避即將發生的這一切事,並能立於人子之前。」(路21:36) In the gospel according to Matthew, Jesus used three parables to warn us one thing: be prepared for the second coming of the Lord. In the parable of the ten virgins, the bridegroom is Jesus Christ, the ten virgins waiting for bridegroom is the church, and entering into the wedding feast is entering into the kingdom of heaven. In the Lord’s prayer we often pray, “Thy kingdom come,” but no one knows when will Jesus come again and take us into His kingdom. And because we don’t know, while there’s still some time to wait, Jesus warns us that some people would take things easy and fail to live out God’s teachings. And He’ll say to them, “I do not know you.” Just like the five foolish virgins who brought the lamps but not having enough oil, even if they try to seek help from others, it’ll be too late and the door will be locked in front of them. Therefore, be always prepared for the bridegroom’s arrival, then no matter when He arrives, we’ll be ready for Him and be able to enter His kingdom with Him. “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)