Posted 一月 12, 2014 by Paul Yeung in
 
 

聖洗的恩寵

主受洗節(慶日)

依撒意亞先知書 42:1-4,6-7

上主這樣說:「請看,我扶持的僕人,我心靈喜愛的所選者!我在他身上傾注了我的神,叫他給萬民傳報真道。他不呼喊,不喧嚷,在街市上也聽不到他的聲音。破傷的蘆葦,他不折斷;將熄的燈心,他不吹滅;他將忠實地傳報真道。他不沮喪,也不失望,直到他在世上奠定了真道,因為海島都期待著他的教誨。

「我,上主,因仁義召叫了你,我必提攜你,保護你,立你作人民的盟約,萬民的光明,為開啟盲人的眼目,從獄中領出被囚的人,從牢裡領出住在黑暗的人。」

宗徒大事錄 10:34-38

那時候,伯多祿說:「我真正明白了:天主是不看情面的;凡在各民族中,敬畏他,而又履行正義的人,都是他所中悅的。

「他藉耶穌基督——萬民之主——宣講了和平的喜訊,把這道先傳給以色列子民。

「你們都知道:在若翰宣講洗禮以後,從加里肋亞開始,在全猶太所發生的事:天主怎樣以聖神和德能,傅了納匝肋的耶穌,使他巡行各處,施恩行善,治好一切受魔鬼壓制的人,因為天主同他在一起。」

瑪竇福音 3:13-17

那時候,耶穌由加里肋亞,來到約但河、若翰那裡,為受若翰的洗;但若翰想要阻止他,說:「我本來需要受你的洗,而你卻來就我嗎?」耶穌回答他說:「你暫且容許吧!因為我們應當這樣,以完成全義。」於是若翰就容許了耶穌。耶穌受洗後,隨即從水裡上來,忽然,天為他開了。耶穌看見天主聖神,有如鴿子降下,來到他上面;又有聲音由天上說:「這是我的愛子,我所喜悅的。」
Davezelenka (CC-BY-SA-3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Davezelenka (CC-BY-SA-3.0), via Wikimedia Commons

主受洗節提醒我們不要輕看聖洗聖事。

耶穌藉著悔罪的聖洗,不單要「完成全義」(瑪竇福音 3:15),祂亦以此來到罪人當中 ,把人的罪過扛在身上。祂接受約翰洗者象徵悔改的聖洗,顯示了祂對天父旨意的完全接納,也在祂與那些犯過罪卻渴望成義的人的共融中表現出來。祂被傅以天主聖神,是為在世上把救恩廣傳的使命作準備。

同樣,藉著聖洗,我們被傅以聖神。這為我們生命賦予了新的意義–重生,亦裝備我們接受新的使命。在我們接受自己作為基督門徒的身份的同時,我們把舊我棄絕,並為我們的召叫獻上自己。

聖洗不是一小撮人的專利,而是為所有人的,因「天主是不看情面的,凡在各民族中,敬畏他而又履行正義的人,都是他所中悅的。」(宗徒大事錄 10:34-35) 藉著聖洗,天主授予我們能力把福音傳到地極,這就是我們的召叫。

我們不該害怕這項新使命,因為伴隨著福傳使命而來的是聖神的恩賜,使我們足以完成遠超乎我們所能想像的事。耶穌不斷授予門徒各種能力和權力,由此可見天主願意我們參與祂的救贖工程。

耶穌聖潔無罪尚且注重聖洗,那我們更該為聖洗這份恩賜而感慶幸,並滿懷喜樂的履行我們作為基督門徒的責任。

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7

Thus says the LORD: Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. a bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Acts 10:34-38

Peter proceeded to speak to those gathered in the house of Cornelius, saying: “In truth, I see that God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him. You know the word that he sent to the Israelites as he proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”

Matthew 2:1-12

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

The Baptism of the Lord reminds us how important Baptism is that we should not take lightly.

Besides trying to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15), through a baptism of repentance, Jesus also identified himself with every sinner, taking on our sins. His Yes to John’s baptism of repentance is a Yes to the entire will of God, expressed in solidarity with men, who have incurred guilt but yearn for righteousness. By the anointment of the Holy Spirit, He prepared Himself for His mission on earth to bring salvation to all.

Likewise, through our baptism, the Holy Spirit comes upon us to anoint us. This anointment gives our life new meaning–a rebirth–and it prepares us for our new mission. It symbolizes a denial of our old self as we accept a new identity to be disciple of Christ. With this new identity, we have made a new commitment to a new calling.

Baptism is not for a selected privileged group, but for the whole world because “God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34-35) Through baptism, we are empowered to bring this Good News to the ends of the earth, and this is our new calling.

We should never be afraid to commit ourselves to this new mission as it is accompanied by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which empower us to accomplish things we would never have imagined. And it is God’s will for us to participate in His work of Salvation, which is evidenced by how Jesus ministered to His disciples through constant empowerment.

If Jesus who is without sin, places such importance on his Baptism, let us constantly remind ourselves to celebrate the gift of Baptism and joyfully carry out our responsibilities as disciples of Christ.


Paul Yeung

 
Executive Director of Fountain of Love and Life (FLL).