Posted 十一月 10, 2013 by FLL Editorial Team in
 
 

堅毅與永生

常年期第三十二主日丙年讀經

瑪加伯下 7:1-2,9-14

那時候,有兄弟七人,與他們的母親一同被捕。國王命人用鞭子和牛筋,痛打他們,強迫他們吃法律禁止的豬肉。

其中一個兄弟,代表發言說:「你想問什麼?你想由我們知道什麼?我們已經準備,寧死不願背叛我們祖先的法律。」

他在快要斷氣的一剎那,高聲說:「你這窮凶極惡的人!你使我失去現世的生命,但是宇宙的君王,必要使我們這些為他的法律而殉難的人復活,獲得永生。」

這一個以後,輪到第三個兄弟受刑了!在命令他伸出舌頭時,他就爽快地伸出,且毅然伸開雙手,慷慨地說:「這些肢體是從上天得來的,但是,現在為了他的法律,我不吝嗇這一切,希望有一天,從他那裡,仍再得到。」國王和他的侍從,都驚訝這少年人,不怕受苦的精神。

他死了以後,他們用同樣的酷刑,處罰第四個兄弟。他臨死時,這樣說:「我們這些深信天主許諾使人復活的人,死在人手中,是求之不得的;可是為你,決不會復活獲得永生。」

聖保祿宗徒致得撒洛尼人後書 2:16-3:5

弟兄姊妹們:

願我們的主耶穌基督,和那愛我們,並開恩將永遠的安慰和美好的希望,賜與我們的天主父,鼓勵你們的心,並在各種善工善言上,堅固你們。

此外,弟兄們!請為我們祈禱,好叫主的聖道,也像在你們那裡一樣,順利展開,並得到光榮;也叫我們脫離壞人與惡人,因為不是人人都有信德。主是信實的,他必堅固你們,保護你們免於凶惡。我們在主內信賴你們;你們既然現今實行了我們所吩咐的,將來也必實行。願主指引你們的心,去愛天主,並學習基督的堅忍。

路加福音 20:27-38

那時候,否認復活的撒杜塞人中,有幾個來問耶穌,說:「師父,梅瑟給我們寫下:如果一個人的哥哥死了,撇下妻子而沒有子嗣,他的弟弟就應娶他的妻子,給他哥哥立嗣。有兄弟七人,第一個娶了妻子,沒有子嗣就死了。第二個,及第三個,都娶過她為妻。七個人都是如此:沒有留下子嗣就死了。後來,連那婦人也死了。

「那麼,在復活的時候,這婦人是他們那一個的妻子?因為他們七個人,都娶過她為妻。」

耶穌對他們說:「今世之子也娶也嫁;但那堪得來世,及堪當由死者中復活的人,他們也不娶,也不嫁;甚至他們也不能再死,因為他們相似天使;他們既是復活之子,也就是天主之子。

「至論死者復活,梅瑟已在荊棘篇中指明了:他稱上主,為亞巴郎的天主,依撒格的天主,及雅各伯的天主。天主不是死人的天主,而是活人的天主;所有人為他都是生活的。」

The Ascension by Benjamin West, 1801

The Ascension
by Benjamin West, 1801

今天的舊約讀經,第二個兄弟和第四個兄弟的見證是非常震撼與強烈的。第二個兄弟的話直接令我們聯想起耶穌山中聖訓真福八端的其中一端:「幾時人為了我而辱罵迫害你們…你們是有福的。」第四個兄弟深信死者會復活而更加堅定地宣揚:「我們深信天主使人復活的許諾,所以死在人手中,是求之不得的」。今天的聖詠是一個被寃枉的人的哀嘆;一方面道出追隨天主的堅定意志,另一方面又表達將要與天主重會的信心。第二篇讀經是聖保祿宗徒一番鼓勵的說話,亦是一篇祈禱,祈求天父賜予力量及信德給信徒做他們的工作。在福音中,耶穌根據撒杜塞人的立場反駁他們,引述梅瑟五書來證實死者復活的信念。

其實,在我們日常生活中,往往都會遇到很多困難、考驗和挑戰。從一個在世的平信徒的角度來看,這些源源不絕的苦惱對我們身心構成莫大的影響之餘,更令我們的信德動搖,甚至質疑天主是否真的存在 。

但是在今天的讀經裡耶穌很清楚地告訴我們:現世生活和死亡不是終結,而是一道門檻;跨過這門檻,就可以進入超越現世生活的新生命。基督藉着衪的聖死和復活,為我們賺得新生命,開啟了天堂之門,而天堂便是永受祝福的人所處之地 。

聖保祿宗徒也提醒我們只要我們「完成各種聖善言行」,建立好愛主愛人的關係,慈愛的天父亦會恩賜我們「永恆的安慰和美好的希望」。願我們能緊記這一點,一同行走基督的光明之路,邁向天國。

這篇默想是以 Foundations and Faith program 為根據,並獲得版權持有人 RCL Benziger, LLC 批准使用。

Reading – Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Liturgical Year C)

2 MC 7:1-2, 9-14

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested and tortured with whips and scourges by the king, to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law. One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said: “What do you expect to achieve by questioning us? We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.”

At the point of death he said: “You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. It is for his laws that we are dying.”

After him the third suffered their cruel sport. He put out his tongue at once when told to do so, and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words: “It was from Heaven that I received these; for the sake of his laws I disdain them; from him I hope to receive them again.” Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man’s courage, because he regarded his sufferings as nothing.

After he had died, they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way. When he was near death, he said, “It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the hope God gives of being raised up by him; but for you, there will be no resurrection to life.”

2 THES 2:16-3:5

Brothers and sisters:

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people,
for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you, you are doing and will continue to do. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.

LK 20:27-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.”

Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out ‘Lord, ‘ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

In today’s Old Testament reading, the second and fourth brothers’ testimonies were very powerful and earth-shattering. The second brother’s words directly lead us to remember one of the Beatitudes Jesus preached to us in his Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me”. The fourth brother deeply believes in the resurrection of life after death and steadfastly proclaims: “It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the hope God gives of being raised up by Him.” The psalmist’s lament describes on the one hand his unshakable determination, and on the other hand expresses his faith in his reunion with God. The second reading is St. Paul’s encouragement for the Christian community at Thessalonica. It is also a prayer, petitioning God for strength and the virtue of faith for the community members in carrying out their work. In the Gospel, Jesus uses the Sadducees’ own position to retort them, citing the Torah to justify the resurrection of the dead.

In our daily lives, we often encounter adversity, trials and challenges. From a lay person’s perspective, in addition to deeply affecting our mental and physical health, these never-ending headaches can also shake our faith and even cause us to question God’s existence.

But in today’s reading Jesus tells us very clearly: our life in this world is not the end. It is, rather, a threshold that leads us to a new and transcendent life. From His death and resurrection, Christ gained for us this new life, opening the gates of heaven. And heaven is the dwelling place of the eternally blessed.

St. Paul also reminds us that as long as we complete “good deeds and words”, building up loving relationships with God and our neighbours, our loving Father in heaven will continue to “give us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace”. May we always remember this point and journey towards heaven together, walking on the path of light that Jesus has paved for us.

This material is adapted from the Foundations and Faith program with the permission of the copyright holder, RCL Benziger, LLC.


FLL Editorial Team