Posted 八月 24, 2014 by Paul Yeung in
 
 

一切由關係開始… All begins with a relationship…

常年期第二十一主日

依撒意亞 22:19-23

上主對宮廷長舍布納說:「我要革除你的職務,撤去你的地位。到那天,我要傳召希耳克雅的兒子厄里雅金,做我的僕人。我要把你的朝衣,給他穿上;把你的玉帶,給他束腰;將你的管治權,交在他手中。他將作耶路撒冷居民,及猶大家族的慈父。

「我要將達味家室的鑰匙,放在他肩上;他開了,沒有人能關;他關了,沒有人能開。我要堅定他,有如釘在硬地裡的木橛;他將成為自己家族榮譽的寶座。」

羅馬書 11:33-36

啊,天主的富裕、智慧和知識,是多麼高深!他的判斷,是多麼不可測量!他的道路,是多麼不可探察!有誰曾知道上主的心意?或者,有誰曾當過他的顧問?或者,有誰曾先施恩於他,而希望他還報呢?因為萬物都出於他,依賴他,而歸於他。願光榮歸於他,至於永世!阿們。

瑪竇福音 16:13-20

那時候,耶穌來到了斐理伯的凱撒勒雅境內,就問門徒說:「人們說人子是誰?」

門徒說:「有人說是洗者若翰;有人說是厄里亞;也有人說是耶肋米亞,或者先知中的一位。」

耶穌對他們說:「你們說我是誰?」

西滿伯多祿回答說:「你是默西亞,永生天主之子。」

耶穌回答他說:「約納的兒子西滿,你是有福的,因為不是肉和血啟示了你,而是我在天之父。我再給你說:你是伯多祿 (磐石);我要在這磐石上,建立我的教會;陰間的門,決不能戰勝她。我要將天國的鑰匙交給你;凡你在地上所束縛的,在天上也要被束縛;凡你在地上所釋放的,在天上也要被釋放。」

耶穌於是嚴禁門徒,不要對任何人說他是默西亞。

To Love God (Photo by beeki via Pixabay)

To Love God (Photo by beeki via Pixabay)

在今日的福音中,我們見證了耶穌如何挑選祂所創立的教會的第一個領袖。由一個世俗的觀點來看,這正等同一間公司的創辦人尋找接班人一樣。去尋找教會(基督淨配)的首領這重要的角色,我們會預期耶穌會要求透過多個面試去選擇一個理想的人選。但這事並沒有發生。而且,假若我們將這次耶穌與伯多祿的對話看作為一個「面試」的話,他的「試用期」就可以算是一敗塗地,事關在他回應耶穌首次預言自己受難和復活的時候,耶穌嚴厲地斥責他為「撒旦」(瑪竇福音 16:21-23)。

如此一來,為什麼耶穌還選擇伯多祿這個充滿缺點的人去作教會之基石呢?難道耶穌不察覺伯多祿的「問題」嗎?明顯地,這些不是耶穌選擇伯多祿為祂的接班人及將天國鑰匙交給他的標準。耶穌的準則與人的標準可有天壤之別。在耶穌眼中的完美及能悅樂祂的事與我們所想的相差太遠了。事實上,不是伯多祿的履歷,而是他對基督的愛感動了耶穌。相比耶穌其他的門徒,伯多祿並不能幹,亦缺乏學識。但「能力」是天主能夠賞賜給欠缺的人。可是,天主「不能賞賜」的就是我們對祂的愛(我們對天主的愛是我們的自由,祂不會強加諸人身上)。耶穌所看重的就是這份我們與祂的關係。這令我想起我們事工的一位好友,一位年長的夫人,她雖然年事已高,但仍不斷努力渴望完成她亡夫畢生作慈善工作的遺願。她對丈夫濃烈的愛情給予她堅強的意志去繼續完成很多造福人群的慈善工作,去延續亡夫在世的芳表。這就是基督渴求與我們的關係。當我們對基督的愛越濃烈,我們就越能關心及熱愛耶穌心中所關注的事。這份濃烈的愛情給予我們無比意志,去學習聖母及伯多祿那份願成就天主的旨意而排除萬難的決心,甚至願意捨掉自己的生命。

在我與眾多支持及欣賞我們事工的人交流時,我發現很多對天主召叫猶豫不決的弟兄姊妹都有同一份嚴重的恐懼,就是害怕接受天主召叫所帶來的「後患」。他們稱自己為「少信德」。的確,我們每個都欠缺信德。但是我們對基督的信德是需要建基於我們對基督的愛之上。愛可以驅散所有恐懼。正正是伯多祿對基督的愛驅使他英勇無畏地向世界宣認耶穌是主的喜訊,甚至面對迫害及死亡也絕不退縮。聖伯多祿的例子,引證了天主會為愛祂及跟隨祂旨意的人提供他們所有的需要。

正當我們處於一個連宣傳「天主愛世人」都成為禁忌的世代時,我們有沒有真正實踐在彌撒中我們所宣認的:「基督,我們傳報您的聖死,我們歌頌您的復活,我們期待您光榮地來臨。」?抑或我們仍懼怕「後患」?我們是否真的愛耶穌?為什麼是伯多祿而不是其他人?為什麼是我?為什麼不是我?

「誰若願意跟隨我,該棄絕自己,背著自己的十字架來跟隨我。」(瑪竇福音 16:24)

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 22:19-23

Thus says the LORD to Shebna, master of the palace: “I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station. On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will place the key of the House of David on Eliakim’s shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut when he shuts, no one shall open. I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family.”

Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor? Or who has given the Lord anything that he may be repaid? For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Matthew 16:13-20

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

In today’s Gospel, we witness how Jesus selected the first leader of His Church that He instituted. From an earthly perspective, it is equivalent to how a founder of a company selects his/her successor. For a role as important as the leader of the Church, the spouse of Christ, one would expect that Jesus would desire to go through a series of interviews and make sure He selected the perfect candidate for the job. None of such happened. In fact, if we treat this episode as the “interview”, Peter would have failed his “probation” miserably when Jesus rebuked him as Satan while Jesus foretold his passion and resurrection (Matthew 16:21-23).

Why then, did Jesus pick Peter, a man as broken as he was, as someone upon whom He would build His church? Wasn’t Jesus aware of the “problems” of Peter? Clearly, that was not the standard which Jesus relied on when He picked Peter as His successor and entrusted him with the keys to the kingdom of heaven. The yardstick which Jesus uses must be very different from our human standard. What is perfect and pleasing in Jesus’ eyes is also very different from what is perfect and pleasing to us. It wasn’t Peter’s resume that impressed Jesus, but his love for Him. Peter was not as “capable” and knowledgeable as many of the other disciples of Jesus. But “capabilities” are something that God can provide to those who lack them. What God “cannot provide” is our love for Him (God has given us the free will to choose whether to love Him or not). It is our relationship with Him that counts. This reminds me of a good friend of our ministry, an elderly lady who in her old age strives tirelessly to fulfill the will of her deceased husband whose life was committed to charitable work. Her intense love for her husband provides her with the willpower without which it would have been impossible for her to continue accomplishing amazing charitable work to fulfill his will and sustain the legacy of her beloved spouse. This is what Jesus looks for in each one of us. As our love for Christ intensifies, we care and are passionate about what is dear to Jesus’ heart. This immense love produces in us a will, strong enough to mimic that of Mother Mary and Peter, who, against all odds, strived to fulfill the will of God at all cost even to the point of offering their lives.

My experience in talking with many people who admire the work of our ministry and yet hesitate to commit further for Christ has revealed to me that their deepest fear is the consequence of accepting God’s will. They call that a lack of faith. Yes, indeed we all lack faith. But the foundation of our faith in Christ is our love for Christ. Love drives away all fears. It is this love for Christ that made Peter bold and not afraid of proclaiming to the world that Jesus is the Lord, at the risk of being persecuted and killed. St. Peter is a perfect proof that God provides whatever is necessary to those who love Him and do His will.

At a time when even the proclamation of God’s love for the world has become a taboo, have we lived up to what we profess every week at mass: “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection, until you come again.”? Or are we still fearful of the consequences? Do we really love Jesus? Why Peter and not others? Why me? Why NOT me?

“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)


Paul Yeung

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