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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)

聖若翰洗者殉道

若翰洗者在起初被群眾錯認為默西亞,他最終被斬首,意味著他的名聲被貶低;而耶穌最初被群眾誤認為先知,之後祂被高舉在十字架上,代表信仰的提升,所有信眾都認出祂是天主子。正如若翰洗者自己曾說過:「他應該興盛,我卻應該衰微。」若翰注定要衰微,他在日光開始縮短的時分出生;而主耶穌就在日光開始加長的時分出生。 我們很難想像若翰洗者這位在母胎中已充滿先知之恩,更被耶穌稱為「婦女所生的,沒有一個比若翰更大」的,竟然會被收監,最終因為一個女孩子跳舞獲獎賞而被斬首。他一直過著樸素艱苦的生活,竟然因如此下流的手段而死。我們難道要猜想他曾做過邪惡的事,而要這樣死去?他吃的只是蝗蟲和野蜜,他會在進食時犯罪嗎?他不曾離開過曠野,他會在談話時犯罪嗎? 天主為何會在現世如此對待那些祂在萬世以前已召選的人?原因只可能是:祂知道祂將會如何在高天報答他們,所以才在世上把他們貶至最低;表面看來祂把他們丟下,在靈性上卻提升他們到達一個難以想像的地步。 (本文以英文為準)

經師和法利塞人的傲慢

今天的福音記載了耶穌指責經師和法利塞人「七禍哉」中的第六和第七禍哉。 耶穌說:「你們好像用石灰刷白的墳墓:外面看來華麗,裏面卻滿是死者的骨骸和各樣的污穢。」由於地勢的關係,在以色列是比較難開發墳墓,當時的人會把屍體安放在山洞或從岩石鑿出的洞內,並用一塊大石堵住洞口。當屍體腐化到只剩下骨頭時,人們會把骨頭放在骨罐內,讓出墳墓給另一家人使用。按猶太人的法律,踏入墓地會使人不潔,不潔的人不能進入聖殿。為了方便辨認那個山洞內有屍體,人們會把葬了人的山洞刷白,以免人誤闖墳墓而變得不潔。 耶穌如此形容經師和法利塞人,因為他們往往忙於營造出一個完美的外表,連最微小的細節都顧慮到,但他們的心卻被傲慢和仇恨佔據,有如外表潔白但內藏腐屍的墳墓一樣。耶穌也說過一個比喻,提及法利塞人和稅吏在聖殿祈禱,法利塞人自以為優勝。法利塞人最大的罪過是他們的盲目,他們完全看不見自己的真正面貌。我們所有人都有可能犯同樣錯誤。 耶穌也譴責他們為修建先知和義人的墳墓而自豪,並自以為他們決不會像他們的祖先般謀害先知。事實上,經師和法利塞人正在計劃殺害先知中的先知——耶穌。在今天福音的最後一句,耶穌這樣預告將要發生在祂身上的事:「那麼,你們就來完成你們祖先的勾當吧!」 當我們愈對信仰認真,愈希望我們的行為能乎合信仰的要求,我們就愈容易墮入同一個陷阱,把自己看得比我們看不起,甚至我們攻擊的人為高。願天主聖神光照我們,千萬別墮下這陷阱。 In today’s Gospel, we read the last two of the seven “Woes” which Jesus said of the Pharisees and scribes. Jesus said: “You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.” Given Israel’s rocky landscape, graves were not easy to dig. Instead, bodies were frequently laid to rest in caves or tombs carved into the rock, which could be sealed with a big stone at the entrance. When only the bones were left the family removed them and put them in an ossuary, leaving the tomb to be used by another family. According to Jewish law, stepping into cave with a body would make them religiously unclean, and be denied access to the Temple. People who are unclean would As a result, the tombs and caves were painted white so that they would stand out. This way people can avoid stepping into a tomb inadvertently. Jesus used this analogy to describe the Pharisees and scribes because they put on an external show of religious perfection down to the tiniest detail but inside their hearts and minds were full of pride and hatred and contempt for their fellow-men. It was epitomised in the story that Jesus told of the Pharisee and the tax collector who went to the […]

耶穌斥責經師和法利塞人

天主吩咐過司祭和肋未人,人民十分之一的收成該獻於聖所,並歸於上主。法利塞人只關注這些事情,卻忽略了天主更重要的教導。他們嚴格仔細地計算穀物十分之一的奉獻,卻沒有在交易中履行正義、沒有憐憫窮人、沒有重視對上主的信德,這些其實都是更重要。忽略什一之物比忽略仁義的罪疚輕得多,所以主耶穌斥責他們:「瞎眼的嚮導!你們濾出蚊蚋,卻吞下了駱駝。」 可是避免有人聽見了以為可忽視什一之物的奉獻,耶穌補充說:「這些(公義、仁慈與信義)固然該作,那些(捐獻十分之一的薄荷、茴香和蒔蘿)也不可放過。」這些話表明天主的一切誡命,無論最大還是最小的,都該履行。這也提醒人不要以為捐獻了地上的產物就不會犯罪;其實除非他們小心讓自己遠離罪惡,否則他們的奉獻對他們毫無益處。 出於同樣的理由,耶穌責備法利塞人虛偽,對外面的人和在家顯露不同臉容。祂並不是指責他們洗擦杯盤的認真,而是他們表裡不一,因此耶穌形容他們「好像用石灰刷白的墳墓;外面看來倒華麗,裏面卻滿是死者的骨骸和各樣的污穢」。祂譴責人賣弄無謂的審慎,卻忽視執行有益的道德,因用的是杯盤的裡面,如果充滿罪污,清洗外面又有什麼好處呢?我們需要的是內心良知的純潔,那麼身體也就可能變得潔淨。 The Lord had commanded, that for the maintenance of the Priests and Levites, whose portion was the Lord, tithes of every thing should be offered in the temple. Accordingly, the Pharisees (to dismiss mystical expositions) concerned themselves about this alone, that these trifling things should be paid in, but overlooked other weightier things. He charges them then with covetousness in exacting carefully the tithes of worthless herbs, while they neglected justice in their transactions of business, mercy to the poor, and faith toward God, which are weighty things. And because it was much less guilt to omit the tithing of herbs than a duty of benevolence, the Lord derides them, “You blind guides, which strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel.” But because it was possible that some, hearing the Lord speak thus, might thereupon neglect paying tithes of small things, He prudently adds, “These things ought you to have done, (i.e. justice, mercy, and faith,) and not to leave the others undone, (i.e. the tithing of mint, anise, and cummin.)” In these words the Lord shows that all the commandments of the Law, greatest and least, are to fulfilled. They also are refuted who give alms of the fruits of the earth, supposing that doing this they cannot sin, whereas their alms do them no good unless they are careful to keep […]

禍哉,經師和法利塞假善人

在今天和未來兩天的福音,耶穌指責經師和法利塞人七次,人們稱為「七禍哉」。今天福音記載了首三項。 耶穌首先指責他們:「禍哉,你們經師和法利塞假善人!因為你們給人封閉了天國:你們不進去,也不讓願意進去的人進去。」我們可從兩方面理解耶穌的話。一方面這是指經師和法利塞人拒絕耶穌,而祂本身就是天國的化身。祂宣講天國,藉著祂,所有願意的人都有機會進入天國。另一方面,經師們把律法詮譯得很複雜,令守律法變得近乎不可能。不論我們是父母、教師、神父或修女,我們也要檢討自己的行為有否阻礙別人走近耶穌,而自己也遠離祂。 耶穌然後指責他們:「你們走遍了海洋和陸地,為使一個人成為歸依者;幾時他成了,你們反而使他成為一個比你們加倍壞的『地獄之子』」這是指經師和法利塞人熱心歸化僑居在外的猶太人皈依猶太宗教。但他們卻向皈依者灌輸了錯誤訊息,使他們只注重形式和禮儀而不明白如何做才能得救。 耶穌再指責經師和法利塞人教導人指著聖所、全燔祭壇所起的誓不算,但指著上面的金子、供物就算數。他們本末倒置,只注視金子和供物,更不明白發誓的真義,是出於人對天主的信仰。我們要注意別讓物質成為阻礙別人接近天主的絆腳石。 Today and for the following two days, we read of the seven “Woes” that Jesus said against the Pharisees and scribes. Today’s Gospel covers the first three. Jesus first accused them: “You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.” This can be a reference to their rejection of Jesus who was himself the embodiment of the Kingdom, was preaching the Kingdom and who, by his presence, had made the Kingdom accessible to all who came to him. On the other, it can also mean that they made the observance of the Law impossibly difficult by their complex interpretations of what was and was not allowed. Whether we are parents, or teachers, or priests or religious, we can also by our behaviour both block people’s access to Jesus and be far from him ourselves also. Jesus then accused them: “You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.” This refers to them zealously convert Jews who lived elsewhere to believe in Judaism. But they corrupt them with false ideas of what true religion is, causing them to mistake rituals as what really brings about salvation. Jesus also accused them of teaching people that […]

窄門

當耶穌談及窄門時,祂說我們要「竭力」,除非我們用意志勇敢地奮鬥,我們是不能抵擋世俗的巨浪的,我們的靈魂將再次被投進深淵。在世上,導入喪亡的道路十分寬闊,而導入生命的路是多麼狹窄,稍微轉身,不論轉左或轉右,都是很危險的,就像在一道橋上,滑向哪一邊都會跌入河裡。人的靈魂左搖右擺,有時候當想到永遠的時候,人會選擇行善,而在其他時候,當人只想著現在的一刻,他寧願選擇享樂。 家主是基督,祂身為天主,無處不在。即使祂在天上,祂清晰的臨在於那些悅樂祂的人內;而為那些仍在塵世的朝聖途上奮鬥的人,祂在暗中扶持。當祂使整個教會注視祂時,祂會進來,並把門關上,那時墮落的人再沒有機會悔改。站在外面的人會敲門,懇求祂的憐憫,但再哀求也是徒然。 這些全適用於基督徒身上。我們在彌撒中領受基督的聖體聖血,祂在我們靈魂的大街上施教。但這盛宴不會得到不虔誠的人的喜愛。對聖經的熟悉也不會使天主認識他,邪惡的行為使他不配進入天國:「他要說:我告訴你們:我不認識你們是那裡的;你們這些作惡的人,都離開我吧!」 有很多人起初充滿熱忱,之後冷卻下來;亦有很多人起初冷漠,在一瞬間卻變得熱情;很多在世上被鄙視的人在來世會享光榮;而另一些被人稱譽的,最終會被問罪。 When Jesus was about to speak of the entrance of the narrow gate, He said first, strive, for unless the mind struggles manfully, the wave of the world is not overcome, by which the soul is ever thrown back again into the deep. For as in earthly life the departure from what is right is exceeding broad, so he who leaves the path which leads to the kingdom of heaven, finds himself in a vast extent of error. But the right way is narrow, the slightest turning aside being full of danger, whether to the right or to the left, as on a bridge, where he who slips on either side is thrown into the river. For the soul wavers to and fro, at one time choosing virtue when it considers eternity, at another preferring pleasures when it looks to the present. The master of the house is Christ, who since as very God He is every where, is already said to be within those whom He gladdens with His visible presence though He is in heaven, but invisible to those whom He helps in secret while they are still contending in this earthly pilgrimage. But He will enter in when He shall bring the whole Church to the contemplation of Himself. He will shut the door when He shall take away from […]

宗徒聖巴爾多祿茂慶日

今天教會慶祝宗徒聖巴爾多祿茂的慶日。他在若望福音被稱為納塔乃耳。當斐理伯對他說耶穌就是舊約預許的默西亞,憑福音的描述,我們可以想像納塔乃耳聳聳肩,說:「從納匝肋還能出什麼好事嗎?」他對來自那地方的人沒有絲毫期望。但因著斐理伯對他的邀請,他還是去看看。 納塔乃耳跟伯多祿有點相似,他們在意識到耶穌是誰以後,便馬上明認祂是天主子。我們在此看到斐理伯做了一件很重要的事,他把耶穌介紹給他這位輕視納匝肋的好朋友,若非因著他的一句話:「你來看一看吧!」,納塔乃耳可能要拐好幾個彎才認識到耶穌。 耶穌讚賞納塔乃耳:「在他內毫無詭詐」,這是指他誠實、真摯,不會為取悅他人而說奉承話。讓我們也反省一下自己的一言一行,耶穌會否也稱我們「毫無詭詐」呢?如果未能做到的話,我們祈求耶穌的寬恕和協助,希望也能早日如納塔乃耳一樣,得到耶穌的讚賞。 一些記載指聖巴爾多祿茂是被活生生剝皮並釘死在十字架上,亦有傳統提及他是被斬首殉道。聖巴爾多祿茂的象徵物是一把刀子,表示他是被人用這把刀子剝皮,傳統圖像上也會出現手臂上挽著自己的皮。 聖巴爾多祿,為我等祈! Today, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Bartholomew. In the Gospel of John, he was called Nathanael. When Philip told him that he had found Jesus to be the Messiah, we can imagine him shrugging his shoulders as he said: “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” He had absolutely no expectation for anyone who came from that place. But due to Philip’s invitation, he went to take a look. Nathanael is pretty similar to Peter. Once he realized Jesus’ identity, he proclaimed at once that Jesus is the Son of God. We see that Philip did done something extremely important, he introduced Jesus to his good friend who looked down on Nazareth. If not for his words: “Come and see”, it might take Nathanael a lot more time before he came to know Jesus. Jesus gave Nathanael a pretty strong compliment: “There is no duplicity in him.” This means he was honest and genuine. He would not use flattering speech. Let us also reflect our own words and actions, would Jesus also say the same thing to us? If we fall short, let us pray for Jesus’ forgiveness and assistance, that we could get the same compliment that Nathanael once got. Tradition holds that St. Bartholomew was flayed alive and crucified, according to another tradition, he was beheaded. St. Bartholomew is […]

最大的誡命

耶穌說:「你應全心、全靈、全意愛上主你的天主。」你應愛,而非恐懼,因愛超越恐懼;恐懼屬於奴隸,愛則屬於子女;恐懼是出於被迫,愛卻是出於自由。若有人在恐懼中服事天主,因而脫免懲罰,他不會得到履行公義的獎賞,因他不是出於自願,而是出於恐懼。天主不希望被人卑躬屈膝地服侍,卻喜歡如父親一樣被敬愛,因祂已給我們成為祂義子義女的恩寵。 全心愛上主,就是用心去愛上主在萬有之上。全靈愛上主,就是懷著堅定的信德,把精神建於真理之上。全心去愛跟全靈去愛有別。全心去愛是以我們的血肉之軀去愛天主;我們必須先捨棄對這世上一切事物的依戀,否則很難做到。心靈的愛能在心中感受到,但靈魂的愛卻並非憑感覺,而是憑意識。誰相信天主是一切美善的根源,就懂得全靈愛天主。 耶穌不但教導我們最先和最大的誡命,也教導我們第二條誡命:「你應當愛近人如你自己。」誰愛犯罪,即不自愛;不自愛的人,不會愛近人如愛自己。愛人如己的人,也會愛天主,因人擁有天主的肖像;如國王能透過他的雕像被尊崇,同樣,天主也能在祂造的人內受顯揚。愛天主而不愛天主降生成人的耶穌,或是跟隨耶穌卻不愛天主,同樣不能獲得救恩;因此這兩條誡命被形容為相似,而且「全部法律和先知,都繫於這兩條誡命。」 (本文以英文為準)

聖母元后(紀念)

聖母元后(紀念) 教宗庇護十二世在 1954 年定下日子讓教會慶祝聖母為天地元后。這紀念日本在五月三十一日,到 1970 年被改為聖母升天後的第八日。 教會尊耶穌之母為元后,在聖經是有跡可尋的。在路加福音中,天使加俾額爾向瑪利亞預報說,天主要把達味的御座賜給她的兒子,他的王權沒有終結。後來當瑪利亞向依撒伯爾請安,依撒伯爾充滿了聖神回應:「在女人中妳是蒙祝福的,妳的胎兒也是蒙祝福的。吾主的母親駕臨我這裡,這是我那裡得來的呢?看,妳請安的聲音一入我耳,胎兒就在我腹中歡喜踴躍。那信了由上主傳於她的話必要完成的,是有福的。」既然耶穌是普世的君王,祂的王權沒有終結,那麼祂的母親瑪利亞在升天後被尊為后,是合情合理的。 天主,讓我們效法聖母瑪利亞,全心全意毫無保留地接納祢的旨意,並以謙卑的心去遵從。 萬福瑪利亞,妳充滿聖寵,主與你同在,妳在婦女中受讚頌,妳的親子耶穌同受讚頌。天主聖母瑪利亞,求妳現在和我們臨終時,為我們罪人祈求天主。亞孟。 Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary Pope Pius XII established this feast in 1954 to celebrate Mary as the Queen of Heaven. Initially the feast day was on May 31st. In 1970 it’s been changed to the octave day of the Assumption. In Pope Pius XII’s 1954 encyclical, he pointed out that Mary deserves the title because of several reasons: she is the Mother of God, she participated closely with Jesus in His redemptive work, and because of her preeminent perfection and intercessory power. Mary’s queenship has biblical roots. In the gospel according to Luke, during the annunciation, the angel Gabriel prophesied that Mary will bear a son, and “He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Then when Mary went to greet Elizabeth, Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and said to her, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, […]

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)