常年期第三主日 2018年01月21日


常年期第三主日

悔改、皈依、追隨

讀經一:(納3:1-5,10):尼尼微人悔改皈依
讀經二:(格前7:29-31):現世將逝
福 音:(谷1:14-20):耶穌開始宣講福音
中國文化: 南轅北轍。

耶穌來到加里肋亞,宣講天主的喜訊說:「時候到了,天主的國已近在眉睫,你們悔改,信從福音吧!」耶穌行經加里肋亞海,看見西滿和西滿的哥哥安德肋在海上撒綱。耶穌對他們說:「來跟隨我吧!我要使你們成為漁人的漁夫。」他們便立刻丟下魚網,跟隨了他。……耶穌看見載伯德的兒子雅各伯和他的弟弟若望,正在船上整理魚網,立即召喚了他們;他們就把父親載伯德和傭工留在船上,隨他去了。
(谷1:14-20)

在基督徒的信仰中,悔改就要信從福音;信從福音就要立刻拋下一切,跟隨耶穌。西滿、安德肋、雅各伯、若望,以及其他的宗徒,在成為耶穌的宗徒時,都經過了這三個步驟:信從、捨棄、跟隨。

這裡我想帶出兩點:一是內容,二是方向。

福音的內容和它的處境很有關係。當時耶穌傳教的地點是在加里肋亞,而加里肋亞則是一個和耶路撒冷相對、甚至是對立的地方。這是耶穌傳教時的處境。

耶路撒冷是南國猶大的首都,是以色列人的宗教生活中心,有以色列人認為最正統、最純潔的宗教信仰。加里肋亞則是北國以色列的一部分,曾經被外邦人佔領過,又是許多外邦人雜居的地方,它後來更受了很深的希臘文化影響。所以這裡的信仰,常常被上述「正統」的猶太人所懷疑和批評。

這種情況一直延續到耶穌的時代,也影響著初期的天主教團體。

但這個加里肋亞卻是耶穌公開生活的主要根據地。他在這裡以言、以行去傳揚福音、傳揚天國的喜訊;他在這裡顯奇蹟、驅魔、治病;他在這裡召選門徒,在這裡宣講天國。許多人甚至稱耶穌為加里肋亞人(參看瑪26:69)。

雖然「救恩是出自猶太人」(若4:22),但這個救恩注定是要進入一個更廣大的世界,一個不受種族、文化、傳統、單一的思想所規範和束縛的世界。

因此,我們所皈依的天主,也一定是一個超越一切局限的天主,一個直接進入每個人的心靈、拯救每一個人的天主。我們信仰的內容,也一定是超時、超空,超越文化、超越傳統,甚至是超越宗教的。

所以皈依也必然是指一種方向,要求我們整個人轉向上主,向著我們的根源和歸宿天主走去。

《戰國策》有一則「南轅北轍」的故事,講的是一個人要去南方的楚國,卻往北行。人家告訴他走錯了路。他三番四次的拒絕人家善意的提醒,不願修正自己的路線。因為他認為自己有好的馬(吾馬良),有充足的路費(吾用足),有本領高強的駕車者(吾御者善)。他完全不明白,他擁有的條件越好,越不能到達目的地。因為,縱使他有最好的條件,如果走錯了方向,便只會越走越遠。

一個人不能只是低頭駕車,還要抬頭認路!

所以英國歷史家羅素認為,完美的生活要被愛心所推動,被知識所指導。我們固然必須要有愛心,但也一定要有正確的人生方向。

正因如此,信仰並不只是要我們做一些好事,或做一個好好先生。信仰是一種方向的選擇,是要選擇走一條新路,要一生一世向著天主走去。這才是信仰;這種信仰就叫做皈依。

皈依最具體的表現是追隨基督,即福音所說:「他們便立刻拋下了網,跟隨了他。他們就把父親載伯德和傭工留在船上,跟隨他去了。

若望福音記載若翰的兩個門徒跟隨耶穌的經過是這樣的:當那兩個門徒聽到若翰說耶穌是天主的羔羊時,他們就跟著耶穌。耶穌見他們在後面跟著,便轉身問他們找什麼。他們反問耶穌住在哪裡。耶穌便邀請他們去看一看。然後聖經這樣說:「他們於是去了,看了他住的地方;並且那一天就在他那裡住下了。」(若1:39)

所以跟隨耶穌並不是單單的學道理、領洗、參與彌撒,然後守一些誡命。跟隨耶穌是和耶穌一起生活、經驗耶穌;是了解耶穌的為人、他的思想、他的精神,學習他、效法他。好像保祿後來說的:「穿上基督,成為新人。」(弗4:24)

這才是真正的基督徒信仰,包含著相信、悔改、皈依和追隨,以及整個生命的昇華和改變。

 

 

常年期第三主日

悔改、皈依、追随

读经一:(纳3:1-5,10):尼尼微人悔改皈依
读经二:(格前7:29-31):现世将逝
福 音:(谷1:14-20):耶稣開始宣讲福音
中国文化: 南辕北辙。

耶稣来到加里肋亚,宣讲天主的喜讯说:「時候到了,天主的国已近在眉睫,你们悔改,信从福音吧!」耶稣行经加里肋亚海,看见西满和西满的哥哥安德肋在海上撒纲。耶稣对他们说:「来跟随我吧!我要使你们成为渔人的渔夫。」他们便立刻丢下魚网,跟随了他。……耶稣看见载伯德的儿子雅各伯和他的弟弟若望,正在船上整理魚网,立即召唤了他们;他们就把父亲载伯德和佣工留在船上,随他去了。
(谷1:14-20)

在基督徒的信仰中,悔改就要信从福音;信从福音就要立刻抛下一切,跟随耶稣。西满、安德肋、雅各伯、若望,以及其他的宗徒,在成为耶稣的宗徒時,都经過了这三個步骤:信从、舍弃、跟随。

这里我想带出两点:一是内容,二是方向。

福音的内容和它的处境很有关系。当時耶稣传教的地点是在加里肋亚,而加里肋亚则是一個和耶路撒冷相对、甚至是对立的地方。这是耶稣传教時的处境。

耶路撒冷是南国犹大的首都,是以色列人的宗教生活中心,有以色列人认为最正统、最纯洁的宗教信仰。加里肋亚则是北国以色列的一部分,曾经被外邦人占领過,又是许多外邦人杂居的地方,它后来更受了很深的希腊文化影响。所以这里的信仰,常常被上述「正统」的犹太人所怀疑和批评。

这种情况一直延续到耶稣的時代,也影响著初期的天主教团体。

但这個加里肋亚却是耶稣公開生活的主要根据地。他在这里以言、以行去传扬福音、传扬天国的喜讯;他在这里显奇迹、驱魔、治病;他在这里召选门徒,在这里宣讲天国。许多人甚至称耶稣为加里肋亚人(参看玛26:69)。

虽然「救恩是出自犹太人」(若4:22),但这個救恩注定是要进入一個更广大的世界,一個不受种族、文化、传统、单一的思想所规范和束缚的世界。

因此,我们所皈依的天主,也一定是一個超越一切局限的天主,一個直接进入每個人的心灵、拯救每一個人的天主。我们信仰的内容,也一定是超時、超空,超越文化、超越传统,甚至是超越宗教的。

所以皈依也必然是指一种方向,要求我们整個人转向上主,向著我们的根源和归宿天主走去。

《战国策》 有一则「南辕北辙」的故事,讲的是一個人要去南方的楚国,却往北行。人家告诉他走错了路。他三番四次的拒绝人家善意的提醒,不願修正自己的路线。因为他认为自己有好的马(吾马良),有充足的路费(吾用足),有本领高强的驾车者(吾御者善)。他完全不明白,他拥有的条件越好,越不能到达目的地。因为,纵使他有最好的条件,如果走错了方向,便只会越走越遠。

一個人不能只是低头驾车,还要抬头认路!

所以英国历史家罗素认为,完美的生活要被爱心所推动,被知识所指导。我们固然必须要有爱心,但也一定要有正确的人生方向。

正因如此,信仰并不只是要我们做一些好事,或做一個好好先生。信仰是一种方向的选择,是要选择走一条新路,要一生一世向著天主走去。这才是信仰;这种信仰就叫做皈依。

皈依最具体的表现是追随基督,即福音所说:「他们便立刻抛下了网,跟随了他。他们就把父亲载伯德和佣工留在船上,跟随他去了。

若望福音记载若翰的两個门徒跟随耶稣的经過是这样的:当那两個门徒听到若翰说耶稣是天主的羔羊時,他们就跟著耶稣。耶稣见他们在后面跟著,便转身問他们找什么。他们反問耶稣住在哪里。耶稣便邀请他们去看一看。然后圣经这样说:「他们於是去了,看了他住的地方;并且那一天就在他那里住下了。」(若1:39)

所以跟随耶稣并不是单单的学道理、领洗、参与弥撒,然后守一些诫命。跟随耶稣是和耶稣一起生活、经验耶稣;是了解耶稣的为人、他的思想、他的精神,学习他、效法他。好像保禄后来说的:「穿上基督,成为新人。」(弗4:24)

这才是真正的基督徒信仰,包含著相信、悔改、皈依和追随,以及整個生命的升华和改变。

 

 

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Repent - Believe - Follow

First Reading ( Jon 3:1-5,10 ) : The people of Nineveh repented and turned to God
Second Reading (1Cor 7:29-31 ) : The present world will pass away
Gospel ( Mk 1:14-20 ) : Jesus began to proclaim the Good News
Chinese Classics : “The carriage heads south but should actually go north”(1)

Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news!” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea. Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. Jesus saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. (Mk 1:14-20 )

One of our Christian beliefs is that if one repents, one must follow the gospel, and if one follows the gospel one must abandon all and immediately follow Jesus. When Simon, Andrew, James and John became Jesus' apostles, they had to go through these three steps to believe, leave all and follow. Let us note here that there are two elements, 1st, content and 2nd, direction. The content of the gospel is closely related to the context. Jesus preached in Galilee, but Galilee and Jerusalem were not allies, in fact they were almost totally opposed to each other. This was the context when Jesus began his public life.

Jerusalem was the capitol of Judea, the southern kingdom. It was the centre of the religious life of Israel. Some Israelites considered it the most traditional and orthodox centre of their faith.. Galilee, on the other hand, was part of the northern kingdom of Israel, which at one time had been conquered by the Gentiles. It was also a place where many Gentiles lived and the people were deeply influenced by Greek culture. As a result, the faith there was often questioned and criticized by more ‘orthodox’ Jews. These circumstances still held true in Jesus' time and also influenced the early Christian community.

On the other hand, it was in Galilee that Jesus based his operations and led most of his public life. There he preached through words and deeds and proclaimed the Good News (Gospel) of God's Kingdom. It was there he performed most of his miracles, exorcisms and healings. There too he chose his apostles and proclaimed the Kingdom of God. Many people even called him “Jesus the Galilean” (see Matthew 26:69).

Though “salvation is from the Jews” (Jn 4:22), this salvation must enter a much wider world, a world not constrained by any single race, culture, tradition or dominant thought. Because of this, the God to whom we are converted must be a God beyond all constraints, a God who can directly enter into each one's heart and save every one of us. The content of our faith is bound to be one that surpasses time, space, cultures, traditions, and even religions.

Therefore conversion points to a direction. It demands that we be converted, turn our entire selves to God and towards God who is our Source and Foundation.

In The Strategies of the Warring Kingdoms”(2) there is a story about “The carriage heads south but should actually go north.”(1)There was a man who should go south to the country Chu but he headed north instead. People told him time and again that he was going in the wrong direction. But he refused to listen to their kind reminders and did nothing to reverse his route. This was because he knew he had a good horse, sufficient fare for the journey and an expert carriage-driver. What he did not understand was that the more advantages he had, the less likely he was to reach his destination. The fact remained that even though all conditions were in his favour, if the direction was wrong, he would only stray further and further away. One cannot pay attention only to how to drive, one must also look where one is going!

The British historian Russell believed that in order to lead a perfect life, one must be motivated by love and guided by knowledge. There is no doubt that we must have a heart full of love, but we must also have the right direction to life. That is why faith does not ask us to perform good deeds only, or be a good person only. Faith is the choice of a direction, the choice of a new path directed towards God throughout one's life. Only this is true faith, and this kind of faith is conversion.

Conversion shows its truest form in following Christ as described in the gospel, “They immediately left their nets and followed him. They left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.” According to John's Gospel, this was how two of John the Baptist's disciples followed Jesus. When the two disciples heard John describing Jesus as the Lamb of God, they followed Jesus. Jesus saw that they were following him, so turned and asked them what they were seeking. Instead of answering Jesus' question they asked Jesus where he was going. So Jesus invited them to go and see. The Bible says, “They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon.” ( Jn 1:39 )

Therefore, following Jesus is not simply about studying doctrine, being baptized, attending Mass, then obeying some of the commandments. Following Jesus means to live with Jesus, experience him, understand him as a person, imbibe his thinking and his spirit. It is to learn about Jesus and imitate him. It is as Paul said later, “Clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” ( Eph 4:24 ).

This is the true faith of Christians. It includes belief, repentance, conversion and discipleship, and an entire life of sublimation and transformation.

(1) 南轅北轍
(2) 《戰國策》

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2017