主顯節 2018年01月07日


主顯節

虛而待物

讀經一:(依60:1-6):萬民奔赴你的光明
讀經二:(弗3:2-3,5-6):眾人分沾天主的恩許
福 音:(瑪2:1-12):賢士來朝
中國文化: 毋聽之以耳,聽之以心;毋聽之以心,聽之以氣。氣者,虛而待物者也。 萬物靜觀皆自得。

纔誕生的猶太人君王在哪裡?我們在東方見到了他的星,特來朝拜他。……他們走進屋內,看見嬰兒和他的母親瑪利亞,遂俯伏朝拜了他,打開自己的寶匣,給他奉獻了禮物,即黃金、乳香和沒藥。
(瑪2:2,11)

主顯節即從前所稱的「三王來朝瞻禮」。本來聖經說的是「有幾個賢士從東方來」,他們未必是王,也未必是三人??當然也有可能是三人,而且都是王!

他們見到異星,便特來朝拜降生的救世主。他們拿出黃金、乳香和沒藥,來奉獻給他。

對於這三樣禮品,傳統的解釋是:黃金是最貴重的金屬,代表他們承認耶穌是君王;乳香是用來作祭獻的一種工具,而且香煙的上昇,象徵人的祈禱上昇到天主的座前,代表他們承認耶穌是天主;沒藥是用來殮葬死人的,代表他們承認耶穌是真人,一個可以為人而受苦受難的真人。

承認、朝拜、奉獻,原是基督徒敬禮的三步曲,也是「三事一體」的行動。即是說,我們一定要三樣都作全了、全作了,才算是真正而完整的信仰。

如果我們認識天主和承認他是我們的主天主,就一定會朝拜、欽崇、侍奉他。如果我們朝拜、欽崇天主,就一定會把我們的一切都奉獻給他;奉獻我們自己,也奉獻那些屬於我們的一切??尤其是我們的時間、金錢、才能和愛心;我們為天主而奉獻自己,為天主而生活,也為天主而奮鬥。

他們見到異星,便特來朝拜。

其實,看到異星的人,一定不只這幾位,但來的卻只有這幾位。為什麼?因為有些人可能一生都不抬頭望天,或者只是望一望便顧左右而去,或者是望到而不採取行動。

我們很少專注地望。你有注視過天空嗎?你有試過用至少一分鐘的時間,去定睛注視一朵花、一片雲、一座山、一條草嗎?你有欣賞過你所愛的人,包括你的父母、朋友、師長的面容嗎?你有注意過在路上和你擦身而過的人的舉止和神情嗎?你有進入過「萬物靜觀皆自得」的境界嗎?

你知道天主也在萬物之中,耶穌就在他最小的兄弟姊妹身上嗎?

聖若望的話非常值得我們警惕:「那普照每人的真光,正在進入這世界:他已在世界上,世界原是藉他造成的;但世界卻不認識他。他來到自己的領域,自己的人卻沒有接受他。」(若1:9-10)我們沒有接受天主,因為我們可能並不意識到他的臨在。

愛的第一個條件是意識。當一個學生在球場上玩得興高采烈時,他可能並不留意到在球場邊就有另一個同學孤零零地站在那裡,想玩又沒有人和他一起玩。那第一位同學不可能愛他、關心他,和他一起玩耍,因為他根本不知道有這麼一個孤獨的人就在他的身旁。他沒有注意、缺乏意識。

在主顯節中,救主本來是顯現給外邦人,即我們這些非選民的人。但許多人沒有接受這位降生的天主。外教人沒有接受,我們這些信了的人又有沒有接受,有沒有真的接受了呢?

領受了洗禮,參與了禮儀、祈禱、讀經,就等於是信了、接受了嗎?

莊子教我們在聆聽時「毋聽之以耳」,要「聽之以心」;耳朵會聽錯,所以要用心去聽才能領會。但他立刻補充說「毋聽之以心」,要「聽之以氣」,因為心也會出問題,我們也會有心猿意馬、心浮氣躁的時候;我們的心靈也是會閉塞的。這時我們便要「聽之以氣」。

「氣」是什麼呢?氣不是指氣功的氣!莊子對「氣」的解釋是「虛而待物」。「虛」是指懷著一個空虛的心靈,是虛懷若谷,是破除一切成見、破除一切的偏執和執著;「待」是靜靜的、主動的、熱切的期待。「虛而待物」就是以虛懷若谷的心去靜靜的等待。有了這種內心的質素,我們才可以進入別人的生命中,明白別人的說話,感受別人的心情。

這種「虛而待物」的精神,正是我們接觸天主的重要條件。否則,我們接觸到的,可能只是我們自己幻想、創造出來的「天主」。
在這主顯節的時期,你願意接受基督嗎?讓我們用「虛而待物」的心境,去熱切的靜待基督的來臨和眷顧。

 

主显节

虚而待物

读经一:(依60:1-6):万民奔赴你的光明
读经二:(弗3:2-3,5-6):众人分沾天主的恩许
福 音:(玛2:1-12):贤士来朝
中国文化: 毋听之以耳,听之以心;毋听之以心,听之以气。气者,虚而待物者也。万物静观皆自得。

才诞生的犹太人君王在哪里?我们在东方见到了他的星,特来朝拜他。……他们走进屋内,看见婴儿和他的母亲玛利亚,遂俯伏朝拜了他,打開自己的宝匣,给他奉献了礼物,即黄金、乳香和没药。
(玛2:2,11)

主显节即从前所称的「三王来朝瞻礼」。本来圣经说的是「有幾個贤士从东方来」,他们未必是王,也未必是三人??当然也有可能是三人,而且都是王!

他们见到异星,便特来朝拜降生的救世主。他们拿出黄金、乳香和没药,来奉献给他。

对於这三样礼品,传统的解释是:黄金是最贵重的金属,代表他们承认耶稣是君王;乳香是用来作祭献的一种工具,而且香烟的上升,象徵人的祈祷上升到天主的座前,代表他们承认耶稣是天主;没药是用来殓葬死人的,代表他们承认耶稣是真人,一個可以为人而受苦受难的真人。

承认、朝拜、奉献,原是基督徒敬礼的三步曲,也是「三事一体」的行动。即是说,我们一定要三样都作全了、全作了,才算是真正而完整的信仰。

如果我们认识天主和承认他是我们的主天主,就一定会朝拜、钦崇、侍奉他。如果我们朝拜、钦崇天主,就一定会把我们的一切都奉献给他;奉献我们自己,也奉献那些属於我们的一切??尤其是我们的時间、金钱、才能和爱心;我们为天主而奉献自己,为天主而生活,也为天主而奋斗。

他们见到异星,便特来朝拜。

其实,看到异星的人,一定不只这幾位,但来的却只有这幾位。为什么?因为有些人可能一生都不抬头望天,或者只是望一望便顾左右而去,或者是望到而不采取行动。

我们很少专注地望。你有注视過天空吗?你有试過用至少一分钟的時间,去定睛注视一朵花、一片云、一座山、一条草吗?你有欣赏過你所爱的人,包括你的父母、朋友、师长的面容吗?你有注意過在路上和你擦身而過的人的举止和神情吗?你有进入過「万物静观皆自得」的境界吗?

你知道天主也在万物之中,耶稣就在他最小的兄弟姊妹身上吗?

圣若望的话非常值得我们警惕:「那普照每人的真光,正在进入这世界:他已在世界上,世界原是藉他造成的;但世界却不认识他。他来到自己的领域,自己的人却没有接受他。」(若1:9-10)我们没有接受天主,因为我们可能并不意识到他的临在。

爱的第一個条件是意识。当一個学生在球场上玩得兴高采烈時,他可能并不留意到在球场边就有另一個同学孤零零地站在那里,想玩又没有人和他一起玩。那第一位同学不可能爱他、关心他,和他一起玩耍,因为他根本不知道有这么一個孤独的人就在他的身旁。他没有注意、缺乏意识。

在主显节中,救主本来是显现给外邦人,即我们这些非选民的人。但许多人没有接受这位降生的天主。外教人没有接受,我们这些信了的人又有没有接受,有没有真的接受了呢?

领受了洗礼,参与了礼仪、祈祷、读经,就等於是信了、接受了吗?

庄子教我们在聆听時「毋听之以耳」,要「听之以心」;耳朵会听错,所以要用心去听才能领会。但他立刻补充说「毋听之以心」,要「听之以气」,因为心也会出問题,我们也会有心猿意马、心浮气躁的時候;我们的心灵也是会闭塞的。这時我们便要「听之以气」。

「气」是什么呢?气不是指气功的气!庄子对「气」的解释是「虚而待物」。「虚」是指怀著一個空虚的心灵,是虚怀若谷,是破除一切成见、破除一切的偏执和执著;「待」是静静的、主动的、热切的期待。「虚而待物」就是以虚怀若谷的心去静静的等待。有了这种内心的质素,我们才可以进入别人的生命中,明白别人的说话,感受别人的心情。

这种「虚而待物」的精神,正是我们接触天主的重要条件。否则,我们接触到的,可能只是我们自己幻想、创造出来的「天主」。
在这主显节的時期,你願意接受基督吗?让我们用「虚而待物」的心境,去热切的静待基督的来临和眷顾。

 

EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

Empty Yourself, Respond to Everything

First Reading : ( Is 60:1-6 ) : All people will behold your Light
Second Reading : ( Eph 3:2-3, 5-6 ) : All people will share God's grace
Gospel : ( Mt 2:1-12 ) : The wise men came to adore
Chinese Classics
“You must concentrate your attention. Do not listen with your ears, but with your heart; do not comprehend with your heart, but with your vital energy. Vital energy is an emptiness that is alert and waiting to respond to everything.”(1)
“Watch and contemplate everything and you will understand.”(2)

Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage... On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Mt 2: 2, 11 )

Epiphany was formerly called the “Feast of the Three Kings.” Scripture says only that “some wise men came from the East” They may not have been kings, nor were they necessarily three. On the other hand, maybe they were kings and maybe there were three! They had seen an unusual star and they especially came to worship the new born Saviour. They brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh with which to adore him. A traditional interpretation of the three gifts is that the most precious metal, gold, acknowledged Jesus as King; the frankincense, used in worship and with smoke ascending symbolized our prayer arising to God's throne, and recognized Jesus as God; and the myrrh used to embalm the dead, acknowledged Jesus as a true human person who can suffer for us.

Recognition, adoration, offering - this is a three-fold action, three steps in Christian worship. All three must be present before there is a complete act of faith. If we recognize God and acknowledge Him as our Lord, then we will surely worship, adore and serve Him. If we worship and adore Him, then we will surely offer ourselves to Him; if we offer ourselves, then we will also offer all that we have: our time, possessions, talents, love. We offer our entire selves, we live for Him, we struggle for Him.

They saw the Star and they came to adore Him. Surely there were many others who saw the star, but only those few came searching. Why? Perhaps some people never look up to the heavens, or some look only close by, or they look and see but do not react. Truly we seldom look with attention. Have you ever looked closely at the sky? Have you ever looked long and attentively for one minute at a flower, a cloud, a mountain, a piece of grass? Have you ever looked with appreciation at your loved ones, your parents, friends, teachers? Do you pay attention to the gestures and expressions of the people who brush past you on the street? Have you ever entered into the state of “watch and contemplate everything and you will understand”(2)?

Are you aware that God is in the midst of all creation, that Jesus is present in the least of our brothers and sisters? St. John's words are truly worth our attention: “The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.”(Jn 1: 9-10) Perhaps we do not accept God because we are not aware of His presence.

Awareness is the first condition of love. When a student is totally intent on playing ball on the court, he probably is not aware that a fellow student is standing alone on the sidelines. He wants to play but no one invites him. The first student can't reach out to the one standing alone, or care for him or even pay attention to him, because he hasn't even noticed that he's there. He is totally unaware of his schoolmate.

At the time of the Epiphany the Saviour actually revealed himself to the Gentiles, that is, those not of the Chosen People. But there are many people who have never accepted God Incarnate. Non-Christians do not accept Christ. Believers too sometimes do not accept him. Do we truly accept him? We are baptized, we take part in the Eucharist, we pray, read Scripture - is that the same as really believing in him and accepting him?

Chuang Tzu taught us that when we listen, “do not listen with your ears”, but “listen with your heart”. Our ears may hear incorrectly so we should listen with our heart and contemplate the true meaning. But Chuang Tzu immediately supplemented this by saying, “do not comprehend with your heart” but “with your vital energy” because our heart can be biased too. We may get confused or upset, and our heart cannot grasp true understanding. In times like that, we should “listen with our vital energy”. (Chuang Tzu, “The World of Men”).(1)

What is “vital energy”?(3) Vital energy does not mean circulation, as in 'chi-kung'(4). Chuang Tzu's “vital energy” is “an emptiness that is alert, waiting to respond to everything.” Being “empty” means possessing an open heart and mind, being humble, breaking away from prejudice, bias and persistence. The “waiting” is a kind of quiet, active, fervent anticipation. “Waiting to respond to everything” is waiting quietly with a humble heart. Only when we can empty ourselves are we able to enter into other people's lives, understand their words and feel their emotions.

This spirit of “waiting to respond to everything” is actually the most important condition in our encounter with God. Otherwise, what we encounter may only be the “god” of our own imagination and creativity.

In this time of Epiphany, are you ready to accept Christ? Let us call forth the state of “waiting to respond to everything” and wait quietly and fervently for Christ's coming and loving care.

(1) 毋听之以耳,听之以心;毋听之以心,听之以气。气者,虚而待物者也。
(2) 万物静观皆自得。
(3) 气
(4) 气功

 

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2017