主日的聖言與反省 : 甲年常年期基督普世君王節 – 君王職

by Edmond Lo
2014-11-23

我們的主、耶穌基督、普世君王


厄則克耳先知書  34:11-12,15-17


吾主上主這樣說:看,我要親自去尋找我的羊,我要親自照顧我的羊。如同牧人在羊群失散的那日,怎樣尋找他的羊,我也怎樣尋找我的羊;我要把那些曾在陰雲和黑暗之日,四散在各地的羊,從那些地方救回來。

我要親自牧放我的羊,親自使他們臥下——吾主上主的斷語——失落的,我要尋找;迷路的,我要領回;受傷的,我要包紮;病弱的,我要療養;肥胖和強壯的,我要看守;我要按正義牧放他們。

我的羊群啊!關於你們,吾主上主這樣說:看,我要在羊與羊,綿羊與山羊之間,施行審判。

格林多前書 15:20-26,28


弟兄姊妹們:

基督確實從死者中復活了,做了死者的初果。因為,死亡既因一人而來,死者的復活,也因一人而來;就如在亞當內,眾人都死了,照樣,在基督內,眾人都要復活;不過,各人要依照自己的次第:首先是作為初果的基督,然後,是在基督再來時,屬於基督的人,再後,才是結局;那時,基督將消滅一切率領者、一切掌權者和大能者,把自己的王權,交於天主父。

因為,基督必須為王,直到把一切仇敵,屈伏於他的腳下。最後被毀滅的仇敵,便是死亡。萬物都屈伏於子以後,子自己也要屈伏於那使萬物屈服於自己的父,好叫天主成為萬物之中的萬有。


瑪竇福音 25:31-46


那時候,耶穌對門徒說:「當人子在自己的光榮中,與眾天使一同降來時,那時,他要坐在光榮的寶座上;一切民族,都要聚在他面前。他要把他們彼此分開,如同牧人分開綿羊和山羊一樣:把綿羊放在自己的右邊,山羊在左邊。

「那時,君王要對那些在他右邊的說:我父所祝福的,你們來吧!承受自創世以來,給你們預備了的國度吧!因為我餓了,你們給了我吃的;我渴了,你們給了我喝的;我作客,你們收留了我;我赤身露體,你們給了我穿的;我患病,你們看顧了我;我在監裡,你們來探望過我。

「那時,義人回答君王說:主啊!我們什麼時候見過你飢餓,而供養了你,或口渴,而給了你喝的?我們什麼時候見了你作客,而收留了你,或赤身露體,而給了你穿的?我們什麼時候見你患病,或在監裡,而來探望過你?

「君王便回答他們說:我實在告訴你們:凡你們對我這些最小兄弟中的一個所做的,就是對我做的。

「然後,君王又對那些在左邊的說:可咒罵的,離開我,到那給魔鬼和他的使者預備的永火裡去吧!因為我餓了,你們沒有給我吃的;我渴了,你們沒有給我喝的;我作客,你們沒有收留我;我赤身露體,你們沒有給我穿的;我患病或在監裡,你們沒有來探望我。

「那時,他們也要回答說:主啊!我們幾時見了你飢餓,或口渴,或作客,或赤身露體,或有病,或坐監,而我們沒有給你效勞?

「那時,君王回答他們說:我實在告訴你們:凡你們沒有給這些最小兄弟中的一個做的,就是沒有給我做。

「這些人要進入永罰,而那些義人,卻要進入永生。」

君王職
Edmond Lo
Like God

INRI

在慶祝基督普世君王節主日,我們以為彌撒的讀經會彰顯我們的救世主耶穌為王,在天國治理萬邦的榮耀。我們以為會聽到聖經講述基督最終的得勝,祂是 「天主的聖言」,「萬王之王,萬主之主」,祂戰勝了一切邪惡的力量(參見若望默示錄19:11-15); 又或許讀經會講述尊威的耶穌「被接升天,坐在天主的右邊」,光榮地加冕的情景。(參見馬爾谷福音16:19)

我們聽到的卻不完全是這樣。我們聽到天主最關顧的竟是他的羊,那些「失落的」,疲累需要「歇息的」,「迷途的」,和「受傷的」羊都需要好好地看顧(請看讀經一)。為什麼這些讀經是慶祝基督普世君王節的焦點?究竟牧養羊群和耶穌的王權有甚麼關係?

在天主來說,君王應該關心他的人民,有如牧人照顧他的羊群一樣:君王主要的責任是要好好守護天主託付給他的人民的福祉。天主賜給他們君王職權是要他們服務,而不是獨裁地統治,是給予,而不是接受,是要獻出所有,(就好像耶穌獻出了所 有,為我們犧牲了自己的生命)而不是橫征暴斂。歷史上有很多自私自利的君主濫用了天主所賜的權力,來滿足一己私欲。而「萬王之王,萬主之主」的耶穌,(默19:16),像善牧一樣照顧祂的子民。故此,達味頌揚上主說:「上主是我的牧者,我實在一無所缺」(聖詠23:1),達味是獨一無二的牧者君王, 是基督的預像。難怪今天的福音讀經告訴我們,當人子光榮地降臨時,「萬民都要聚集在衪面前; 衪要把他們分開,好像牧人分開綿羊和山羊一樣」(瑪竇25:32)。

處於領導位置的人應該以這強而有力的信息作反省。君王和執政者,神職人員和教會領袖,教師和家長, 你們應撫心自問:你是否善用天主賦予的權力和資源, 好好地熏陶和關懷那些託付給你的人,而不是為滿足自己的私欲?你用你的權力來服侍或是用來壓逼?你是否一個善牧?你必須誠實回答這些問題,因為耶穌, 那位牧者君王,在祂光榮地降臨時,會根據你的答案,來決定你將來的去處。你要不是加入綿羊, 在祂的右邊, 進入永生,就是發覺自己處於左邊的山羊中, 進入永罰(參見瑪竇25:33,46)。

在結束基督普世君王節的讀經反思之時, 讓我們抬起頭, 凝望十字架苦像頂端的牌子, 上面是比拉多的題字 “INRI”, 意思是 「 納匝肋人耶穌、猶太人的國王」。這個牌子, 放在基督飽受摧殘的,血淋淋的,受難犧牲的軀體上方,提醒着世人, 怎樣才是一個真正的君王。

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe


Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17


Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord GOD. The lost I will seek out, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy, shepherding them rightly.

As for you, my sheep, says the Lord GOD, I will judge between one sheep and another, between rams and goats.

1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28


Brothers and sisters:

Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

Matthew 25:31-46


Jesus said to his disciples:

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Kingship
Edmond Lo

In celebrating the feast of Christ the King, one would expect the Mass readings to showcase Jesus, the Messianic King, reigning in heavenly glory. The scriptural passages that one would expect to hear would be perhaps the final triumph of Christ, the Word of God, the “King of kings and Lord of lords”, over all forces of evil (cf. Revelation 19:11-15); or perhaps the Ascension, in which the exalted Christ was crowned with glory at the right hand of God (cf. Mk 16:19).

Not quite. What we hear instead is a God whose greatest concern is his sheep, which are “scattered”, in need of “rest”, “strayed”, and “injured”; sheep that need to be shepherded rightly (see the 1st reading). Why are passages such as this the focus of the Christ the King celebration? What does shepherding have to do with Jesus’ kingship?

To God, a king should care about his people the way a shepherd cares about his flock: his duty is, first and foremost, to safeguard the well-being of the people that God entrusted to him. A king’s position of authority is given to him to serve and not to dictate, to give and not to receive, to empty himself (as Jesus did in emptying himself and sacrificing his life for us) and not to inflate. Unlike all the self-serving kings in history who misused the authority that God gave them for self-gratification, Jesus, the “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16) will take care of his people like a Good Shepherd. For “the Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want” (Ps 23:1), chanted David, whose unique position as a shepherd king is already a prefiguration of Christ. No wonder in the gospel reading, we are told that when the Son of Man comes in his glory, “all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Mt 25:32).

This is a powerful message for everyone in a leadership position to reflect on. Kings and governors, clergy and church leaders, teachers and parents: Are you using your God-given authority and resources for the edification of the people entrusted to your care and not for your own self-gratification? Do you use your power to serve or to oppress? Are you good shepherds? Your honest answers to these questions may well determine where Jesus, the Shepherd King, will place you when he returns in his glory. You will either join the sheep on his right that go off to eternal life, or find yourselves among the goats on his left that are bound for eternal punishment (cf. Mt. 25:33,46).

As we conclude this reflection on Christ the King, let’s lift up our gaze to the Crucifix where Pilate’s inscription “INRI” (Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews), ominously displayed atop the Cross and strategically placed above the battered and bloodied body of the crucified Christ, reminds the world what a king truly looks like.


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