Posted 一月 11, 2014 by FLL Editorial Team in
 
 

祂應該興盛,我卻應該衰微

那時候,耶穌和門徒來到猶太地,同他們一起住在那裏施洗。那時若翰也在臨近撒林的艾農施洗,因為那裏水多,人們常來受洗。那時,若翰尚未被投在監裏。若翰的門徒和一個猶太人,關於取潔禮發生了爭辯。他們便來到若翰前對他說:「辣彼!曾同你一起在約旦河對岸,你給他作證的那位,看,他也施洗;並且眾人都到他那裏去了。」若翰回答說:「人不能領受什麼,除非有天上的賞賜。你們自己可以給我作證,我曾說過:我不是默西亞,我只是被派遣作他前軀的。有新娘的是新郎;新郎的朋友,侍立靜聽,一聽得新郎的聲音,就非常喜樂:我的喜樂已滿足了。他應該興盛,我卻應該衰微。」
若望福音 3:22-30

John the Baptist by rcleetus on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

若翰洗者說:「祂應該興盛,我卻應該衰微。」這話是甚麼意思?天主應該不會興盛或衰微。因為如果祂會興盛,祂就不是完美;如果祂會衰微,祂就不是天主。其實耶穌和若翰已以自己的生命證明這句話:若翰卑微地被處死;耶穌被高舉在十字架上,雖然也死得卑微,但卻令天主受到永遠的高舉和光榮。

主耶穌降生成人,令只會光榮自己的人學祂一樣謙遜,並透過悔改,把光榮歸於天主。所以「祂應該興盛,我卻應該衰微」這說話也能用在我們自己身上,因為透過我們棄絕罪過、以痛悔的心祈求天主的原諒,把自己的驕傲和虛榮放下,那麼天主的慈愛和臨在才會逐漸在我們生命中彰顯,同時透過我們的轉化和見證,令天主受到光榮。

(本文以英文為準)

Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing. John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there, and people came to be baptized, for John had not yet been imprisoned. Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew
about ceremonial washings. So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.”

John answered and said, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said that I am not the Christ, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease.”
John 3:22-30

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” What does this mean? God neither increases nor decreases. For if He increases, He is not perfect; if He decreases, He is not God. This is a great mystery! Before the Lord Jesus came, men were glorifying themselves; the Word came as a man, to lessen man’s pride and glory, and to increase the glory of God. He came to forgive sin when man confesses. For man’s confession is man’s humility: God’s pity is God’s glory. Therefore, let man acknowledge his own lowliness by repenting his sins and let God show His pity. “He must increase, but I must decrease:” that is, God must be glorified, but I must confess. This truth, Christ and John signified by their deaths. For John was lessened by the Head: Christ was exalted on the cross.

May the glory of God then increase in us, and our own glory decrease, that in the end our glory may increase in God! For the more you understand God, He seems to be growing in you; but God Himself does not grow, being perfect. You understood a little yesterday; you understand more today, and will understand much more tomorrow. It is as if one’s eyes were being cured of blindness, and begin to see a little glimmer of light, and the following days see more and more: the light would seem to grow; yet the light does not change whether one sees it or not. It is also true with our spiritual life: we makes progress in God, and God seems to be increasing in us; yet we ourselves decrease as we conform to God’s will, that we may fall from human pride and glory, and rise into the glory of God.

(Editor’s Note: If you haven’t this Christmas season, give God glory with a contrite heart! Examine your conscience and go to confession. One cannot maintain a presence of God in one’s life with sin in the way.)

參考 References:
Catena Aurea (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Tractate 14 on the Gospel of John (St. Augustine)


FLL Editorial Team