常年期第廿三主日 2018年09月09日


常年期第廿三主日

天地聾

讀經一:(依35:4-7):上主的救恩使一切更新
讀經二:(雅2:1-5):不要以貌取人
福 音:(谷7:31-37):耶穌治好聾啞人
中國文化: 惻隱之心,人皆有之。 長太息以掩涕兮,哀民生之多艱。
一葉能蔽目,雙荳能塞聰;理身不知道,將為天地聾。

耶穌用手指伸進他的耳朵,用唾沫抹他的舌頭,然後望天長嘆,對他說:「厄法達」,就是說:「開了罷!」他的聽覺立刻恢復了,舌結也解了,能清楚說話……眾人都十分驚訝地說:「他一切都做得好:居然使聾人聽見,啞吧說話。」
(谷7:33-37)

耶穌慣常只說一句話,就已足夠治愈病人。例如,他有一次要治好一個患枯手症的病人,他只說了一句話:「伸出手來!」那個枯手的人把手一伸,就復了原。(參看谷3:1-5)

這次他用了一些外在的行為,例如把手指放進他的耳朵裡;也用了一些物質,例如用唾沫抹他的舌頭。他自己也有一些特別的動作--望天嘆息;並說了一些話--「開了罷!」

這使我們想起我們的「聖事」。在聖事中,耶穌臨於司祭身上,也是用了一連串的動作、言語,及外在的標記,以刺激參與者的信德和渴望,使他們能有更好的心靈準備,去領受上主藉此聖事所給予他的恩寵。

對這個又聾又啞的人來說,因為他聽不到耶穌要說的話,所以耶穌「望天」的動作,能更有效地使他看到、感受到耶穌在為他祈禱,和對他的關懷。

望天「長嘆」,顯出耶穌在接觸到世人苦難時的那種悲天憫人的情懷。所謂「惻隱之心,人皆有之」;屈原不是也有「長太息以掩涕兮,哀民生之多艱」的感慨嗎?何況是大慈大悲的耶穌?

耶穌這次治好聾啞人的步驟,也和心理學很吻合。不少人說話有困難,是因為他們的聽覺出了問題:聽不到,自然也就說不出。

把這原則用在我們的「教友傳教」問題上,我們又能否說,如果教友不去傳教,是因為他們先是對福音「聾」了,所以才在福傳上變得「啞」了呢?試想想,未聽過福音,又怎麼會傳福音呢?聽得不清楚、不全面、不徹底,又能傳什麼呢?聽得不夠多、累積的經驗又不夠,又怎麼會培養得到,或刺激得起傳教的熱忱呢?

但要傳福音或「福傳」,還有另一點該注意的,就是福傳的內容。

唐朝聶夷中有一首很好的小詩:「一葉能蔽目,雙荳能塞聰;理身不知道,將為天地聾。

一片葉子就足夠遮蔽我們的眼目,兩粒小豆,就足夠使我們什麼都聽不見。但真正聾的原因,是理身不知「道」,即不懂得做人的「道理」。換句話說,有些人是只懂得調理自己的身體生命,卻不懂得調理自己的靈性生命、道德生命、學問生命、民族感的生命。
除去了葉子,除去了小豆,未必就能聽、能看,因為如果不知「道」,仍可能是天地間的大聾子。

「道」就是信仰的內容。信仰的重點不單單在於除去什麼,更在於培養什麼、獲得什麼、活出什麼。正如種田的重點不單單在於除草,更在於栽種。而且,假如我們真的是害怕雜草叢生的話,我們就更應多多栽種。例如,如果我們能在園中多種蔬菜,不是就可以減少雜草嗎?

天主教認為犯罪不單因為在思、言、行為上「犯」了什麼,也可以是因為在生活上、行為上「缺」了什麼。

母親的罪也可以是因為「不」管教子女;醫生的罪也可以是因為「不」進修、「不」小心。這就是「缺」的罪。

教會缺了本地化,或缺了梵二的精神;我們在「香港人、中國人、基督徒」三重身份中缺了其中的一重身份;我們在教道理前缺了好好的備課;我們因為太自我中心而忘記了、或意識不到要去接觸一個失望的、孤獨的人……。這一切都可能是罪。因為這些都是一個美好的世界不能缺少的東西,是世界賴以充滿愛的「道」。

求耶穌開啟我們的耳朵,讓我們聽得到他的聲音,聽得到他的道,他的生命之道;藉此也解開我們的舌結,讓我們好好地去傳揚這個道。

 

 

常年期第廿三主日

天地聋

读经一:(依35:4-7):上主的救恩使一切更新
读经二:(雅2:1-5):不要以貌取人
福 音:(谷7:31-37):耶稣治好聋哑人
中国文化: 恻隐之心,人皆有之。长太息以掩涕兮,哀民生之多艰。
一叶能蔽目,双荳能塞聪;理身不知道,将为天地聋。

耶稣用手指伸进他的耳朵,用唾沫抹他的舌头,然后望天长叹,对他说:「厄法达」,就是说:「開了罢!」他的听觉立刻恢复了,舌结也解了,能清楚说话……众人都十分惊讶地说:「他一切都做得好:居然使聋人听见,哑吧说话。」
(谷7:33-37)

耶稣惯常只说一句话,就已足够治愈病人。例如,他有一次要治好一個患枯手症的病人,他只说了一句话:「伸出手来!」那個枯手的人把手一伸,就复了原。(参看谷3:1-5)

这次他用了一些外在的行为,例如把手指放进他的耳朵里;也用了一些物质,例如用唾沫抹他的舌头。他自己也有一些特别的动作--望天叹息;并说了一些话--「開了罢!」

这使我们想起我们的「圣事」。在圣事中,耶稣临於司祭身上,也是用了一连串的动作、言语,及外在的标记,以刺激参与者的信德和渴望,使他们能有更好的心灵准备,去领受上主藉此圣事所给予他的恩宠。

对这個又聋又哑的人来说,因为他听不到耶稣要说的话,所以耶稣「望天」的动作,能更有效地使他看到、感受到耶稣在为他祈祷,和对他的关怀。

望天「长叹」,显出耶稣在接触到世人苦难時的那种悲天悯人的情怀。所谓「恻隐之心,人皆有之」;屈原不是也有「长太息以掩涕兮,哀民生之多艰」的感慨吗?何况是大慈大悲的耶稣?

耶稣这次治好聋哑人的步骤,也和心理学很吻合。不少人说话有困难,是因为他们的听觉出了問题:听不到,自然也就说不出。

把这原则用在我们的「教友传教」問题上,我们又能否说,如果教友不去传教,是因为他们先是对福音「聋」了,所以才在福传上变得「哑」了呢?试想想,未听過福音,又怎么会传福音呢?听得不清楚、不全面、不彻底,又能传什么呢?听得不够多、累积的经验又不够,又怎么会培养得到,或刺激得起传教的热忱呢?

但要传福音或「福传」,还有另一点該注意的,就是福传的内容。

唐朝聂夷中有一首很好的小诗:「一叶能蔽目,双荳能塞聪;理身不知道,将为天地聋。

一片叶子就足够遮蔽我们的眼目,两粒小豆,就足够使我们什么都听不见。但真正聋的原因,是理身不知「道」,即不懂得做人的「道理」。换句话说,有些人是只懂得调理自己的身体生命,却不懂得调理自己的灵性生命、道德生命、学問生命、民族感的生命。
除去了叶子,除去了小豆,未必就能听、能看,因为如果不知「道」,仍可能是天地间的大聋子。

「道」就是信仰的内容。信仰的重点不单单在於除去什么,更在於培养什么、获得什么、活出什么。正如种田的重点不单单在於除草,更在於栽种。而且,假如我们真的是害怕杂草丛生的话,我们就更应多多栽种。例如,如果我们能在园中多种蔬菜,不是就可以减少杂草吗?

天主教认为犯罪不单因为在思、言、行为上「犯」了什么,也可以是因为在生活上、行为上「缺」了什么。

母亲的罪也可以是因为「不」管教子女;醫生的罪也可以是因为「不」进修、「不」小心。这就是「缺」的罪。

教会缺了本地化,或缺了梵二的精神;我们在「香港人、中国人、基督徒」三重身份中缺了其中的一重身份;我们在教道理前缺了好好的备课;我们因为太自我中心而忘记了、或意识不到要去接触一個失望的、孤独的人……。这一切都可能是罪。因为这些都是一個美好的世界不能缺少的东西,是世界赖以充满爱的「道」。

求耶稣開启我们的耳朵,让我们听得到他的声音,听得到他的道,他的生命之道;藉此也解開我们的舌结,让我们好好地去传扬这個道。

 

 

TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Deaf to Heaven and Earth

First Reading ( Is 35:4-7 ): God's saving grace renews all things
Second Reading : ( James 2:1-5 ) : Do not show favoritism
Gospel : ( Mk 7:31-37 ) : Jesus cures a deaf -mute
Chinese classics:
-“The heart of mercy: everyone has one.”(1)
-“Long did I sigh and wipe away my tears, to see my people bowed by grief and fears.”(2)
-“One leaf can obstruct sight, two beans can block hearing; managing the body but not knowing the way, bound to be deaf to the heavens and earth.”(3)

“Jesus put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened.’ And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” (Mk 7: 33 – 37)

Usually Jesus spoke a word only and it was enough to cure a sick person. For example once when he cured a man with a withered hand, he just said, “Stretch out your hand!” and the man stretched it out and his hand was restored. ( See Mk 3:1-5)

This time Jesus used an external action, as putting his fingers into the man's ears. And he used material things, as saliva to touch the man's tongue. He also performed a special action –he looked up to heaven and sighed, then said the words, ‘ Be opened!’

This makes us think of the Sacraments. In the sacraments, Jesus is present in the priest who also uses a series of actions, words and external signs to arouse faith and hope in the participants. Then they can be better prepared to receive the graces our Lord bestows through the sacrament.

As the deaf-mute could not hear what Jesus said, the action of Jesus ‘looking up to heaven’ enabled him to see and feel more clearly that Jesus was praying for him and cared for him.

Looking up to heaven and ‘sighing’ showed Jesus' all-embracing compassion when he came in touch with human suffering. This is what is meant by “the heart of mercy: everyone has one;”(1) (The works of Mencius, Book II Gong-Sun Chou, Part I, Chap 8). The great poet QuYuan felt the same pity and compassion. “Long did I sigh and wipe away my tears, to see my people bowed by grief and fears.” (Li Sao)(2) How much more so the merciful and compassionate Jesus.

The steps Jesus took to cure the deaf-mute were consistent with psychological principles. Many people have speech difficulties because they have hearing problems: they cannot hear so naturally they cannot speak.

If we apply this principle to the problem of the ‘lay apostolate’, can we not say that if the faithful do not spread the gospel it is because they have been ‘deaf’ to it and so are ‘mute’ in preaching it? Think about it: if people have not heard the gospel how can they preach about it ? If what they have heard is unclear, incomplete or too vague, what can they preach? If they have not heard enough of the gospel or have too little experience, how are they able to cultivate sufficient zeal and motivation to preach it?

In preaching the gospel, that is, in evangelization, there is another point to heed and that is the content of our preaching. In the Tang dynasty Nie Yi Zhong wrote a little poem that is very apt: “One leaf can obstruct sight, two beans can block hearing. Managing the body but not knowing the way, we are bound to be deaf to the sky and earth.”(3) One leaf covering our eyes is enough to obstruct one's sight. Two small beans in the ears are enough to prevent one from hearing anything. But the real cause of deafness is not knowing ‘the ‘Way,’ that is, not understanding how to be persons of integrity. In other words, there are people who only know how to take care of physical life, but do not know how to care for their spiritual and moral life, or nurture a sense of cultural identity. Taking away the leaf or the beans will not necessarily provide an ability to see or hear, because if we do not know the ‘Way’, we will still be deaf persons.

The ‘Way’ is the content of our faith. The main point of faith is not what is taken away, but rather what is cultivated, what we receive and carry out in our lives. It is similar to planting. The main step is not pulling up the weeds, but rather what and how we plant the seed. Moreover, if we fear there are too many weeds, we must plant more seeds. For example, if we can plant a great variety of vegetables in the garden, will we not be able to lessen the weeds?

In the Catholic church we consider not only the sins we commit in thought, word or deed, but also the good deeds we should perform and do not.

A mother may sin if she does not direct and teach her children, a doctor may sin by being careless or failing to pursue further knowledge. These are sins of omission.

The Church fails to become localized or adopt the spirit of Vatican II; we fail to identify with one or other aspect of our three-fold identity as ‘Hong Kong person, Chinese person, Christian.’ Or we neglect to prepare well before teaching a class in doctrine, or we are so self-centered we forget or lack awareness to reach out to a despairing or lonely person. All these can be sinful. These are all elements an ideal world should have, the ‘Way’ in which the world can be filled with love.

Let us ask Jesus to open our ears so that we can hear his voice and his way of life. Thus our tongues will be loosened and we will be able to spread his Way.

(1)惻隱之心,人皆有之。
(2)長太息以掩涕兮,哀民生之多艱。
(3)一葉能蔽目,雙荳能塞聰;理身不知道,將為天地聾。

 

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2017