常年期第二十主日 2018年08月19日


常年期第二十主日

分辨

讀經一:(箴9:1-6):天主邀請人追隨智慧
讀經二:(弗5:15-20):要明白什麼是天主的旨意
福 音:(若6:51-58):人子的血肉是信友的飲食
中國文化: 非名山不留筆蹟,是真佛但說家常。 使人大迷惑者,必物之相似也。玉人之所患,患石之似玉者。亡國之主似智,亡國之臣似忠。

你們應細心觀察自己怎樣生活;不要像愚昧的人,卻要像有智慧的人。應把握時機,因為時代險惡;因此不要做糊塗人,卻要明白什麼是主的旨意。
(弗5:15-17)

「主的旨意」是基督徒生活的核心,我們都應該按照主的旨意去生活。因此,找尋主的旨意,是我們靈修生活的重要部分,甚至可以說是靈修生活的「組成部分」。

聖母瑪利亞最重要的德行之一,就是願意按照主的旨意生活:「看!上主的婢女,願照你的話成就於我吧!」(路1:38)

連基督自己,也是以主的旨意為生活和行動的依歸:「父啊!不要照我所願意的,而要照你所願意的。」(谷14:36)

因此,我們會毫不奇怪,為何「主的旨意」會常掛在熱心的基督信徒口邊,尤其是那些從事宗教活動、獻身事主的人,例如天主教的神父、修女,或者是基督教的宣教師、佈道家等等。他們每天唸的天主經,也在不斷的重複:「願你的旨意奉行在人間,如同在天上

他們哪一個會承認,自己的行為是不合乎主的旨意的?

為了找尋主的旨意,有些人祈禱、默想、作避靜,有些人一生苦修,有些人找神師去幫忙「分辨」。

天主教的傳統更發展出一套「辨別神類」的方法,幫助人找尋上主的旨意。

但歷史和今日的事實都告訴我們,「天主的旨意」有時也可以淪為一個空洞的口號,甚至可以被人隨意濫用。

在耶穌的時代,他的死便是當時的宗教領袖們要替天行道,而將耶穌判刑的!而耶穌預言門徒將受迫害的原因也是:「凡殺害你們的,還以為是盡恭敬天主的義務。」(若16:2)

二千年的教會歷史,讓梵二的神長們謙虛地承認自己是「罪人的教會」,這個教會仍是在「旅途中」,還需要不斷的「淨化」。

所以整個教會仍在不斷的找尋天主的旨意,上述天主經中所說的「爾旨承行」,就是整個教會永恆奮鬥的目標。

但天主的旨意如何去找呢?我們怎麼可以肯定什麼是天主的旨意?當不同的宗教人士說出不同的話,又宣稱那是天主的旨意時,我們又如何可以「分辨」孰是孰非呢?

保祿今天提醒我們「應細心觀察自己怎樣生活」,還要「把握時機」。意思是,要在整個生活和全部生活中去找尋主的旨意;還要不斷的作抉擇、實踐,在不斷的實踐中,悟到主的旨意。

「整個生活」當然包括了宗教生活、靈修生活和俗世生活。

找尋天主的聖意要在聖經中、在聖事中、在生活中、在文化中、在真善美中、在大自然中、在神學著作中、在人生的生老病死和成敗得失中、在教會的訓導中、在平凡人的經驗中……。我們要在這一切中去找尋,並且要「細心觀察」、見微知著,觀察自己的整個生活是否符合天主的旨意。

我們尤其要學習在平凡的生活中去發現天主的聖意,這就是所謂的「平常生活是道」。有一副對聯這樣說:「非名山不留筆蹟,是真佛但說家常。」在「家常」中就有道,在那裡就有天主的聖意。

我們還要把握時機去實踐,就是要把所認識的、所相信的去實行出來;再在實踐中檢驗所信的真理。

換句話說,我們要在自己個人的經驗,甚至要在整個教會、整個人類的歷史回顧中,去追尋上主的足跡。要在心裡相信和外在實踐的交替中,使信仰變得更豐富和更有深度。

但分辨並不容易,我們很易受蒙騙。《呂氏春秋》在「疑似」中這樣說:「使人大迷惑者,必物之相似也。玉人之所患,患石之似玉者。……亡國之主似智,亡國之臣似忠。」玉匠認為最麻煩的,是極象玉的石頭。國家亡掉之前,又怎知這些國君和臣子都是昏庸無能之輩?許多假的道理,不是也象極了真理嗎?

所以保祿在教人分辨時,還要在消極上「不要醉酒」,在積極方面更要「充滿聖神」。(參看弗5:18)能夠做到這樣,我們才可以較易達到真正的「分辨」。

 

常年期第二十主日

分辨

读经一:(箴9:1-6):天主邀请人追随智慧
读经二:(弗5:15-20):要明白什么是天主的旨意
福 音:(若6:51-58):人子的血肉是信友的饮食
中国文化: 非名山不留笔迹,是真佛但说家常。使人大迷惑者,必物之相似也。玉人之所患,患石之似玉者。亡国之主似智,亡国之臣似忠。

你们应细心观察自己怎样生活;不要像愚昧的人,却要像有智慧的人。应把握時机,因为時代险恶;因此不要做糊涂人,却要明白什么是主的旨意。
(弗5:15-17)

「主的旨意」是基督徒生活的核心,我们都应該按照主的旨意去生活。因此,找寻主的旨意,是我们灵修生活的重要部分,甚至可以说是灵修生活的「组成部分」。

圣母玛利亚最重要的德行之一,就是願意按照主的旨意生活:「看!上主的婢女,願照你的话成就於我吧!」(路1:38)

连基督自己,也是以主的旨意为生活和行动的依归:「父啊!不要照我所願意的,而要照你所願意的。」(谷14:36)

因此,我们会毫不奇怪,为何「主的旨意」会常掛在热心的基督信徒口边,尤其是那些从事宗教活动、献身事主的人,例如天主教的神父、修女,或者是基督教的宣教师、布道家等等。他们每天念的天主经,也在不断的重复:「願你的旨意奉行在人间,如同在天上

他们哪一個会承认,自己的行为是不合乎主的旨意的?

为了找寻主的旨意,有些人祈祷、默想、作避静,有些人一生苦修,有些人找神师去帮忙「分辨」。

天主教的传统更发展出一套「辨别神类」的方法,帮助人找寻上主的旨意。

但历史和今日的事实都告诉我们,「天主的旨意」有時也可以沦为一個空洞的口号,甚至可以被人随意滥用。

在耶稣的時代,他的死便是当時的宗教领袖们要替天行道,而将耶稣判刑的!而耶稣预言门徒将受迫害的原因也是:「凡杀害你们的,还以为是尽恭敬天主的义务。」(若16:2)

二千年的教会历史,让梵二的神长们谦虚地承认自己是「罪人的教会」,这個教会仍是在「旅途中」,还需要不断的「净化」。

所以整個教会仍在不断的找寻天主的旨意,上述天主经中所说的「尔旨承行」,就是整個教会永恒奋斗的目标。

但天主的旨意如何去找呢?我们怎么可以肯定什么是天主的旨意?当不同的宗教人士说出不同的话,又宣称那是天主的旨意時,我们又如何可以「分辨」孰是孰非呢?

保禄今天提醒我们「应细心观察自己怎样生活」,还要「把握時机」。意思是,要在整個生活和全部生活中去找寻主的旨意;还要不断的作抉择、实踐,在不断的实踐中,悟到主的旨意。

「整個生活」当然包括了宗教生活、灵修生活和俗世生活。

找寻天主的圣意要在圣经中、在圣事中、在生活中、在文化中、在真善美中、在大自然中、在神学著作中、在人生的生老病死和成败得失中、在教会的训导中、在平凡人的经验中……。我们要在这一切中去找寻,并且要「细心观察」、见微知著,观察自己的整個生活是否符合天主的旨意。

我们尤其要学习在平凡的生活中去发现天主的圣意,这就是所谓的「平常生活是道」。有一副对联这样说:「非名山不留笔迹,是真佛但说家常。」在「家常」中就有道,在那里就有天主的圣意。

我们还要把握時机去实踐,就是要把所认识的、所相信的去实行出来;再在实踐中检验所信的真理。

换句话说,我们要在自己個人的经验,甚至要在整個教会、整個人类的历史回顾中,去追寻上主的足迹。要在心里相信和外在实踐的交替中,使信仰变得更丰富和更有深度。

但分辨并不容易,我们很易受蒙骗。《吕氏春秋》 在「疑似」中这样说:「使人大迷惑者,必物之相似也。玉人之所患,患石之似玉者。……亡国之主似智,亡国之臣似忠。」玉匠认为最麻烦的,是极象玉的石头。国家亡掉之前,又怎知这些国君和臣子都是昏庸无能之辈?许多假的道理,不是也象极了真理吗?

所以保禄在教人分辨時,还要在消极上「不要醉酒」,在积极方面更要「充满圣神」。(参看弗5:18)能够做到这样,我们才可以较易达到真正的「分辨」。

 

Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Discernment

1st reading Pr 9:1-6: God invites us to pursue wisdom
2nd reading Eph 5:15-20:We must try to understand the will of God
Gospel Jn 6:51-58: The flesh and blood of the Son of Man is the food of the faithful
Chinese culture:
-“If it were not a famous mountain no signatures would be left there. The true Buddha engages in talks of everyday affairs.”(1)
-“What makes people most confused is the similarity of things. The worry of a jade specialist is finding a fake stone which looks like a piece of jade. The ruler of a dying country appears to be wise, the ministers appear to be loyal.”(2)

“Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Eph 5: 15-17)

‘The will of God' is at the center of Christian life. We must live according to God's will, hence, seeking God's will is an important part of our spiritual life. We can even say it is what makes up our spiritual life.

One of the most important elements of our Blessed Mother's virtue was her desire to live according to God's will: “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38) For Christ himself to follow God's will was what guided all his life and actions: “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.’ (Mk 14:36)

It is not surprising then that “God's will” is ever on the lips of fervent Christians, especially those who are involved mainly in religious affairs, as consecrated persons such as Catholic priests and sisters and Christian ministers and preachers, etc. They pray the Lord's Prayer daily, constantly repeating, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Who among them would acknowledge that their behaviour is not in accordance with God's will?

In order to seek God's will, some people will pray, meditate or take part in retreats; others will offer their whole lives as contemplatives; still others seek spiritual directors to help them pursue ‘discernment’. The Catholic Church has a tradition of ‘rules for the discernment of spirits’ to help the faithful discover God's will.

Even with all that, history and the reality of today tell us that “God's will” can be an empty phrase and even be misused by us human beings.

During Jesus' time, the religious leaders said they were following God's will when they sentenced Jesus to death! Jesus foretold that it was this same reasoning that would bring about the persecution of his disciples: “Those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God.”(Jn 16:2)

Two thousand years of church history led the church leaders at Vatican Council II to humbly acknowledge that the church is a ‘church of sinners,’ a ‘Pilgrim Church’ constantly needing to be ‘purified.’ So the entire church must continuously seek the will of God. The phrase ‘Your will be done’ in the Lord's Prayer mentioned above, is the goal towards which the whole church strives unceasingly.

But how do we discover God's will and how do we know with certainty what God's will is? When persons of different religious persuasions make contrary statements and assert that such and such is God's will, how can we distinguish between what is true and what is false?

In today's second reading St. Paul reminds us to “be careful how you live” and “make the most of the time.” This means that throughout one's entire life, at every instance we should be seeking God's will; we must make choices continuously and put them into practice, and in carrying out the action come to understand God's will. And one's ‘entire life’ includes one's religious, spiritual and secular life.

We seek God's will in various ways: through Scripture, the sacraments, everyday living, culture; in all that is true, good and beautiful; in nature, in theological treatises and church teachings; and in ordinary life's experiences, birth and aging, illness and death, success and failure, gains and losses . In all this we must seek God's will, ‘be careful how we live,’ be perceptive and alert, observing closely whether our entire lives are in accordance with the will of God.

We must learn also to discover God's will in everyday life. This is what is meant by “The Way is our everyday life.” There is a couplet which says, “If it were not a famous mountain, no signatures would be left there. The true Buddha engages in talks of everyday affairs.” The Way is found in ‘everyday life.’ That is also where God's will is found.

Moreover, we must use every opportunity to put into practice what we know and believe; and in practice test the truth of what we believe. In other words, we must search for the Lord's footprints in our own experience, and also in the history of the whole church and that of all humankind. Alternating between the faith in our hearts and external practice, our faith life will become deeper and richer.

It is not easy to distinguish in every situation and we can easily be deceived. In ‘Seemingly’ in the “Annals of Lu” it is said, “What makes people most confused is the similarity of things. The worry of a jade specialist is finding a fake stone which looks like a piece of jade. The ruler of a dying country appears to be wise, and the ministers appear to be loyal.” (2) What an engraver of jade finds most worrying is when a piece of stone looks like jade. Before a country is defeated, how does one know the ruler and ministers are slow-witted and incompetent? Do not many false theories or even heresies sound very similar to the Truth?,

So when St Paul encouraged the faithful to be discerning persons, on the one hand he spoke negatively, “do not get drunk with wine” and on the other hand, he was positive, “be filled with the Spirit.” (cf. Eph 5:18) If we can do this, it will be easier for us to truly become persons of ‘discernment.’

(1)非名山不留筆蹟,是真佛但說家常。
(2)使人大迷惑者,必物之相似也。
(3)玉人之所患,患石之似玉者。
(4)亡國之主似智,亡國之臣似忠。

 

現場講道(粵語)

教友證道


神父講道


現場講道文稿

主日八分半(彌撒講道)

粵語講道


普通話講道



 

徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2017