常年期第二主日 2018年01月14日


常年期第二主日

為天主,為耶穌

讀經一:(撒上3:3-10,19):撒慕爾被召
讀經二:(格前6:13-20):信友的身體是基督的妙身、聖神的宮殿
福 音:(若1:35-42):若翰無私的見證
中國文化: 摩頂放踵,利天下而為之。


熱心的基督徒相信自己所做的一切都是「為天主、為耶穌」。他們為天主、為耶穌而工作,為天主、為耶穌而奉獻自己和自己的一切,包括自己的時間、才能、金錢和愛心。

我在修院受訓期間,一切作息之前,尤其是每天的大清早,都要首先祈禱,將一切奉獻給天主、給耶穌。神父、修女們更是奉獻了自己的一生,為天主、為耶穌而生活、而工作。

但一個奉獻給天主的人該有什麼心態呢?

今天的撒慕爾紀給我們講了一個很溫馨的故事。當小撒慕爾在聖殿內睡覺時,上主三番四次的顯現和召喚他,他不知道這是天主的召喚,還以為是司祭厄里在叫他。最後,厄里知道是天主發言召叫這孩子,就教撒慕爾說:「你去睡罷!如果有人再叫你,你就回答說:『上主,請發言,你的僕人在此聆聽。』」撒慕爾就回去睡在原處。上主來了,站在那裡像前幾次一樣呼喚說:「撒慕爾,撒慕爾!」撒慕爾便回答說:「上主,請發言,你的僕人在此聆聽。」(撒上3:9-10 )

為天主而奉獻的人,就是這樣的。他回應上主的召喚,完全聽從上主的意願,忠心實行上主的旨意。他會好像亞拉丁神燈裡的那位巨人,這巨人經常對「神燈主人」說的一句話就是:「主人,你的意願,就是我的命令!(Master, your will is my command!)」為天主而奉獻的人,又怎麼可以不為他的主人天主而憚精竭慮、盡忠職守呢?

但我們真的是為天主、為耶穌嗎?我們真的是全部都拿了出來,無私的為天主奉獻嗎?我們有沒有想到要保留一點點為我們自己呢?
今天的若翰洗者,的確是為天主、為耶穌而奉獻了,而且那是無私的、全部的奉獻。若望福音描寫若翰在他的門徒前為耶穌作見證的故事,結果是他的門徒跟隨了耶穌,成為耶穌手下的大宗徒。

若翰為基督作證的故事很簡單:「若翰和他的兩個門徒一起,看見耶穌經過,若翰便注視著他說:『看,天主的羔羊!』那兩個門徒聽到這話,便跟隨了耶穌。」(若1:35-37)

若翰本來是一派宗師,有自己的名譽、地位、擁護者和追隨者。他應該清楚知道,為耶穌作證的結果,必然是如他自己所說的:「他應該興盛,我卻應該衰微。」(若3:30)但他還是作了這個見證。而結果亦正如任何人都可以預期到的:他最好的門徒都跟隨別人去了。

若翰的表樣很值得我們反省:我們在「為天主、為耶穌」的口號下,實際上有多少是為自己的呢?

當一個堂區說自己的主保很「靈」的時候,他是不是在和另一個聖堂競爭?當長上要求屬下聽命的時候,他是在說出天主的聖意,還是在固執著他自己的偏見呢?在一位傳道員、佈道家、牧者的背後,隱藏著多少個人名譽、地位、權力的爭奪,或者是利益和金錢的有意識或潛意識的追求?

又或者,教師是為了學生本身的利益而懲罰他呢?或者也是為了洩憤?父母罵子女時,有多少成分是為了子女本身的好處?有多少成分是為了自己的面子?在聖誕節期間去醫院為病人報佳音的人,是為了病人的快樂?還是為了滿足自己要「服務」他人的「需要」?「為人民服務」的世俗官吏,和那些以「非以役人,乃役於人」為理想的教會領袖,又有多少是真正像耶穌般去「服侍」人的?

聖誕節剛剛過去,它給我們重要的啟示是「聖言成了血肉」或者「道成肉身」。這是指:信仰要落實變成生活,精神要蛻變為行動,理想要轉化為事實。

「為天主、為耶穌」這句話如果要變成血肉,就要求我們空虛自己,順服天主,以天主的旨意為依歸,並以基督的眼睛去看世界,以基督的心去愛、去服侍、去奉獻;為天主、為耶穌,也為別人、為世界。

墨子「摩頂放踵,利天下而為之」,是一種完全犧牲和奉獻的榜樣。如果他是生活在耶穌的時代,他和若翰洗者將會是志同道合的一對。

 

常年期第二主日

为天主,为耶稣

读经一:(撒上3:3-10,19):撒慕尔被召
读经二:(格前6:13-20):信友的身体是基督的妙身、圣神的宫殿
福 音:(若1:35-42):若翰无私的见证
中国文化: 摩顶放踵,利天下而为之。


热心的基督徒相信自己所做的一切都是「为天主、为耶稣」。他们为天主、为耶稣而工作,为天主、为耶稣而奉献自己和自己的一切,包括自己的時间、才能、金钱和爱心。

我在修院受训期间,一切作息之前,尤其是每天的大清早,都要首先祈祷,将一切奉献给天主、给耶稣。神父、修女们更是奉献了自己的一生,为天主、为耶稣而生活、而工作。

但一個奉献给天主的人該有什么心态呢?

今天的撒慕尔纪给我们讲了一個很温馨的故事。当小撒慕尔在圣殿内睡觉時,上主三番四次的显现和召唤他,他不知道这是天主的召唤,还以为是司祭厄里在叫他。最后,厄里知道是天主发言召叫这孩子,就教撒慕尔说:「你去睡罢!如果有人再叫你,你就回答说:『上主,请发言,你的仆人在此聆听。』」撒慕尔就回去睡在原处。上主来了,站在那里像前幾次一样呼唤说:「撒慕尔,撒慕尔!」撒慕尔便回答说:「上主,请发言,你的仆人在此聆听。」(撒上3:9-10 )

为天主而奉献的人,就是这样的。他回应上主的召唤,完全听从上主的意願,忠心实行上主的旨意。他会好像亚拉丁神灯里的那位巨人,这巨人经常对「神灯主人」说的一句话就是:「主人,你的意願,就是我的命令!(Master, your will is my command!)」为天主而奉献的人,又怎么可以不为他的主人天主而惮精竭虑、尽忠职守呢?

但我们真的是为天主、为耶稣吗?我们真的是全部都拿了出来,无私的为天主奉献吗?我们有没有想到要保留一点点为我们自己呢?
今天的若翰洗者,的确是为天主、为耶稣而奉献了,而且那是无私的、全部的奉献。若望福音描写若翰在他的门徒前为耶稣作见证的故事,结果是他的门徒跟随了耶稣,成为耶稣手下的大宗徒。

若翰为基督作证的故事很简单:「若翰和他的两個门徒一起,看见耶稣经過,若翰便注视著他说:『看,天主的羔羊!』那两個门徒听到这话,便跟随了耶稣。」(若1:35-37)

若翰本来是一派宗师,有自己的名誉、地位、拥护者和追随者。他应該清楚知道,为耶稣作证的结果,必然是如他自己所说的:「他应該兴盛,我却应該衰微。」(若3:30)但他还是作了这個见证。而结果亦正如任何人都可以预期到的:他最好的门徒都跟随别人去了。

若翰的表样很值得我们反省:我们在「为天主、为耶稣」的口号下,实际上有多少是为自己的呢?

当一個堂区说自己的主保很「灵」的時候,他是不是在和另一個圣堂竞争?当长上要求属下听命的時候,他是在说出天主的圣意,还是在固执著他自己的偏见呢?在一位传道员、布道家、牧者的背后,隐藏著多少個人名誉、地位、权力的争夺,或者是利益和金钱的有意识或潜意识的追求?

又或者,教师是为了学生本身的利益而惩罚他呢?或者也是为了泄愤?父母骂子女時,有多少成分是为了子女本身的好处?有多少成分是为了自己的面子?在圣诞节期间去醫院为病人报佳音的人,是为了病人的快乐?还是为了满足自己要「服务」他人的「需要」?「为人民服务」的世俗官吏,和那些以「非以役人,乃役於人」为理想的教会领袖,又有多少是真正像耶稣般去「服侍」人的?

圣诞节刚刚過去,它给我们重要的启示是「圣言成了血肉」或者「道成肉身」。这是指:信仰要落实变成生活,精神要蜕变为行动,理想要转化为事实。

「为天主、为耶稣」这句话如果要变成血肉,就要求我们空虚自己,顺服天主,以天主的旨意为依归,并以基督的眼睛去看世界,以基督的心去爱、去服侍、去奉献;为天主、为耶稣,也为别人、为世界。

墨子「摩顶放踵,利天下而为之」,是一种完全牺牲和奉献的榜样。如果他是生活在耶稣的時代,他和若翰洗者将会是志同道合的一对。

 

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

For God and for Jesus

First Reading (1 Sam 3: 10,19 ) : The calling of Samuel
Second Reading (1 Cor 6:13-20 ) : The faithful's body is Christ's Mystical Body
and the temple of the Holy Spirit
Gospel ( Jn 1:35-42 ) : John's unselfish witness

Chinese Classics: “If by rubbing smooth his whole body from the crown to the heel he could have benefited the world, he would have done so.”(1)

Devout Christians believe that all that they do is ‘for God and for Jesus’. They work for God and Jesus, and offer to God and Jesus all that they are and possess – themselves, their time, talents, money, and love.

While I was in seminary training, before going to bed and especially early in the morning, we prayed first, offering everything to God and Jesus. Priests and nuns today offer their entire lives to God, to live and work for Jesus. What attitude should those who offer themselves entirely to God adopt?

Scripture today relates the heart-warming story of Samuel. When the boy Samuel was sleeping in the temple, God appeared to him and called him several times. At first, he did not realize it was God himself, and thought that it was Eli, the priest. Eventually Eli realized it was really God calling Samuel and told Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.' So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” ( 1 Sam 3:9-10 )

Those who devote themselves to God are exactly like this. They respond to God's call, listen to God whole-heartedly, and loyally carry out God's will. They are like the giant Genie who lived inside the lamp in the story of Aladdin. The Genie always said to his master, “Master, your will is my command!” How can those who dedicate themselves entirely to God not try to spend all their energy for God and be totally loyal and responsible to their Lord? And yet, are we sure that we are truly ‘for God, and for Jesus’? Are we really so generously offering all that we are and possess to God? Do we sometimes try to save a tiny little bit for ourselves?

In today's gospel, John the Baptist truly offers himself to God and Jesus, and it is a whole-hearted, selfless gift. John's Gospel describes how John the Baptist testified to Jesus in the presence of his disciples. The result was that his disciples left him to follow Jesus, becoming Jesus' first apostles. The story of John's witness to Jesus is simple: “John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus” ( Jn 1:35-37 )

John the Baptist was a great teacher himself. He had his own prestige, status, admirers and followers. He knew well what would result from his testimony to Jesus. He knew it would be as he himself had predicted, “He must increase, and I must decrease.” (Jn 3:30) But he still announced his testimony. The inevitable result was as anyone could have predicted: his best disciples left him and followed another. It is worthwhile for us to reflect ourselves: when we say we are ‘for God and for Jesus,’ how much , in fact, is for ourselves?

When a parish claims that its patron is particularly ‘efficacious’, could it be that it is in fact competing with other parishes? When superiors ask subordinates to obey instructions, are they speaking of God's will, or stubbornly holding on to their own biases? How much competition for prestige, status or power is there behind a minister, preacher or pastor, or to what extend might they be pursuing, consciously or unconsciously, some personal advantage or material profit?

Do teachers punish their students for the good of students or to vent their own anger? When parents scold their children, how much is for the good of their children, and how much is to save their own face? Do those who sing Christmas carols for hospital patients do it to make the patients happy, or rather, to fulfil their own ‘need’ to serve others? How many government officials, world leaders, even church officials who claim to be motivated by the ideals set by both Jesus and Confucius, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do to you,’ truly ‘serve’ others as Jesus did?

Christmas has just passed with its clear message that ‘the Word was made flesh.’ This means that our faith must be activated in our lives, spirit must be transformed into action, ideals must be changed into reality. For the saying ‘for God, and for Jesus' to ‘be made flesh’ demands that we empty ourselves, follow God, adopt God's will as our foundation. We need to look upon the world with Christ's eyes, and with Christ's heart love, serve and dedicate ourselves to God, to Jesus, to other people and to the world.

In the works of Mencius, there is a quotation from the philosopher Mocius. “If by rubbing smooth his whole body from the crown to the heel, he could have benefited the world, he would have done so.” ( Mencius, Book VII, Tsin Sin Part I, Chapter XXVI) (1) . With these words, Mocius, who loved all equally, set a model of total sacrifice and unconditional self-offering. If he had lived in Jesus' time, he and John the Baptist would have been close comrades following a similar path.

(1) 摩頂放踵,利天下而為之。

 

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2017