常年期第廿五主日 2018年09月23日


常年期第廿五主日

永恆的故事,你我的故事

讀經一:(智2:12,17-21):邪惡使人失去理智
讀經二:(雅3:16-4:3):爭端來自人的私慾
福 音:(谷9:30-37):二次預言受難和復活;天國中誰最大
中國文化: 昊天罔極。 是故一晝一夜,花開者謝;一春一秋,物故者新。激湍之下,必有深潭;高邱之下,必有浚谷。君侯亦知之矣,何以卜為?

耶穌和門徒經過加里肋亞,卻不願意讓人知道。他教訓他們說:「人子快要被交付在人的手裡,他們要殺害他,他死後,第三天要復活。」可是門徒不明白這些話,又不敢問他。他們來到葛法翁,進了屋裡,耶穌問他們說:「你們在路上爭論些什麼呢?」他們都默不作聲,因為他們在路上彼此爭論誰最大。
(谷9:30-34)

今次要談的,不是聖經的內容,而是在聖經字裡行間的,一些有關耶穌和門徒的態度。

耶穌「不願讓人知道」他和門徒去什麼地方。那是因為耶穌希望能單獨和門徒在一起,擺脫群眾的騷擾,讓他可以深入地、嚴肅地、暢所欲言地告訴門徒,那即將臨到他身上的大事,就是他即將被排斥、出賣、受苦受難的事。

門徒不明白這些話,「又不敢問他」。這是多麼真實的、人性化的故事!

世上有些東西是我們不能明白的,但也有些是我們可以明白卻不願明白,或不敢去明白的。

例如,當我們和父母鬧翻以後,我們願意去明白父母的心情嗎?我們敢不敢去問一問他們的感受呢?我們不想知道,世上最愛我們的兩個人,為什麼會這樣對待我們呢?

當兩個分屬敵對黨派的朋友相聚時,他們有興趣知道對方的立場,和這立場背後的理由嗎?我相信我自己是誠實、正直的人,我知道他們也可能和我一樣,也是誠實、正直的人嗎?

世上不是也有「越辯越不明」這回事嗎?為什麼會發生這種事情呢?為什麼兩個朋友,會反目成仇呢?是我們一方對、一方錯,或者是我們雙方都錯,或雙方都「對」呢?

耶穌喜歡運用比喻,那是為了使群眾更易於明白。但他卻說,他講比喻,是「使他們看是看,卻看不見;聽是聽,卻聽不明白。」(谷4:12)

使人不明白,絕不是耶穌講比喻的本意。他講比喻,就是為了使人更易明白。人們不明白,是因為耶穌講得太明白;不明白,是因為人們抗拒去明白耶穌所講的道理。因為明白了,就要實踐、就要改變;不想實踐、不想改變的最好辦法,就是不要去明白。歸根到底,因為人是「罪人」,而罪便是明白真理的障礙。

真的了解父母的辛勞、苦心,和他們那「昊天罔極」的大愛,我們能夠不孝順父母嗎?若我們不要孝順他們,便唯有不明白他們,不明白他們為我們所付出的一切,最好還把他們加以醜化,例如說,他們是老糊塗啦、思想落伍啦等等,以合理化我們那些忤逆的思想和行為。

今天福音的另一個故事也值得我們回味:門徒在路上爭論誰最大。但當耶穌問他們爭論什麼時,「他們都默不作聲」。

是的,為什麼要告訴耶穌呢?為什麼要自暴其短呢?這不也是很真實、很人性化,和你和我都有關的故事嗎?

梵蒂岡公教教育部在一九八八年頒佈的《天主教學校教育的宗教幅度》,關於「歷史課」有這樣的一段話:「歷史的主角是人類自己。歷史就是將個人內在的善惡,以較大的比例,在世上表達出來。」(第58節)簡單點來說,「人類歷史」就是「個人歷史」的放大。即是說,如果個人歷史是小三角形,人類歷史就是大三角形。

因此,我們越認識自己的歷史,也就越易於認識人類的歷史;越認識人類的歷史,也就越易於認識自己的歷史。

明朝劉基在《司馬季主論卜》中,有一段很精彩的話:「是故一晝一夜,花開者謝;一春一秋,物故者新。激湍之下,必有深潭;高邱之下,必有浚谷。君侯亦知之矣,何以卜為?」掌握了生命的原理,就可以知道生命;知道生命,就可以知道過去、知道現在、知道未來。何必去占卜呢?

把這個原則擴大一些,我們可以說,聖經也是在述說人類的歷史,述說你和我的歷史,和歷史及生命的規律。

聖經說的是永恆的故事,也是你、我的故事。我們願意用聖經去認出自己的面容、燭照自己的前路嗎?

 

常年期第廿五主日

永恒的故事,你我的故事

读经一:(智2:12,17-21):邪恶使人失去理智
读经二:(雅3:16-4:3):争端来自人的私欲
福 音:(谷9:30-37):二次预言受难和复活;天国中谁最大
中国文化: 昊天罔极。是故一昼一夜,花開者谢;一春一秋,物故者新。激湍之下,必有深潭;高邱之下,必有浚谷。君侯亦知之矣,何以卜为?

耶稣和门徒经過加里肋亚,却不願意让人知道。他教训他们说:「人子快要被交付在人的手里,他们要杀害他,他死后,第三天要复活。」可是门徒不明白这些话,又不敢問他。他们来到葛法翁,进了屋里,耶稣問他们说:「你们在路上争论些什么呢?」他们都默不作声,因为他们在路上彼此争论谁最大。
(谷9:30-34)

今次要谈的,不是圣经的内容,而是在圣经字里行间的,一些有关耶稣和门徒的态度。

耶稣「不願让人知道」他和门徒去什么地方。那是因为耶稣希望能单独和门徒在一起,摆脱群众的骚扰,让他可以深入地、严肃地、畅所欲言地告诉门徒,那即将临到他身上的大事,就是他即将被排斥、出卖、受苦受难的事。

门徒不明白这些话,「又不敢問他」。这是多么真实的、人性化的故事!

世上有些东西是我们不能明白的,但也有些是我们可以明白却不願明白,或不敢去明白的。

例如,当我们和父母闹翻以后,我们願意去明白父母的心情吗?我们敢不敢去問一問他们的感受呢?我们不想知道,世上最爱我们的两個人,为什么会这样对待我们呢?

当两個分属敌对党派的朋友相聚時,他们有兴趣知道对方的立场,和这立场背后的理由吗?我相信我自己是诚实、正直的人,我知道他们也可能和我一样,也是诚实、正直的人吗?

世上不是也有「越辩越不明」这回事吗?为什么会发生这种事情呢?为什么两個朋友,会反目成仇呢?是我们一方对、一方错,或者是我们双方都错,或双方都「对」呢?

耶稣喜欢运用比喻,那是为了使群众更易於明白。但他却说,他讲比喻,是「使他们看是看,却看不见;听是听,却听不明白。」(谷4:12)

使人不明白,绝不是耶稣讲比喻的本意。他讲比喻,就是为了使人更易明白。人们不明白,是因为耶稣讲得太明白;不明白,是因为人们抗拒去明白耶稣所讲的道理。因为明白了,就要实踐、就要改变;不想实踐、不想改变的最好办法,就是不要去明白。归根到底,因为人是「罪人」,而罪便是明白真理的障碍。

真的了解父母的辛劳、苦心,和他们那「昊天罔极」的大爱,我们能够不孝顺父母吗?若我们不要孝顺他们,便唯有不明白他们,不明白他们为我们所付出的一切,最好还把他们加以丑化,例如说,他们是老糊涂啦、思想落伍啦等等,以合理化我们那些忤逆的思想和行为。

今天福音的另一個故事也值得我们回味:门徒在路上争论谁最大。但当耶稣問他们争论什么時,「他们都默不作声」。

是的,为什么要告诉耶稣呢?为什么要自暴其短呢?这不也是很真实、很人性化,和你和我都有关的故事吗?

梵蒂冈公教教育部在一九八八年颁布的《天主教学校教育的宗教幅度》 ,关於「历史课」有这样的一段话:「历史的主角是人类自己。历史就是将個人内在的善恶,以较大的比例,在世上表达出来。」(第58节)简单点来说,「人类历史」就是「個人历史」的放大。即是说,如果個人历史是小三角形,人类历史就是大三角形。

因此,我们越认识自己的历史,也就越易於认识人类的历史;越认识人类的历史,也就越易於认识自己的历史。

明朝刘基在《司马季主论卜》 中,有一段很精彩的话:「是故一昼一夜,花開者谢;一春一秋,物故者新。激湍之下,必有深潭;高邱之下,必有浚谷。君侯亦知之矣,何以卜为?」掌握了生命的原理,就可以知道生命;知道生命,就可以知道過去、知道现在、知道未来。何必去占卜呢?

把这個原则扩大一些,我们可以说,圣经也是在述说人类的历史,述说你和我的历史,和历史及生命的规律。

圣经说的是永恒的故事,也是你、我的故事。我们願意用圣经去认出自己的面容、烛照自己的前路吗?

 

TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Everlasting Story: Your Story and Mine

First Reading (Wis 2: 12, 17-21): Evil causes us to lose our reason
Second Reading (Jas 3: 16-4:3): Quarrels come from our selfish desires
.Gospel (Mk 9: 30-37): Second prediction of Passion and Rising; Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
Chinese classics:
-In the space of a day and night, flowers bloom and die. Between spring and winter, things perish and are renewed. Beneath the roaring cascade a deep pool is found: dark valley at the foot of high hills. These things you know: what more can divination teach you?”(1)

“They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. (Mk 9: 30-34)

This time we are not talking about the content of Scripture but rather what is ‘between the lines,’ that is, the attitudes of Jesus and his disciples. Jesus ‘did not want anyone to know’ where he and the disciples were going. He wanted to be alone with the disciples, away from the noise of the crowds, so that he could speak to them more deeply and seriously about the great events which were to take place soon: he would be rejected, betrayed and undergo his passion. The disciples did not understand and “were afraid to ask him.

Isn't this often the reality of our lives? There are some things in this world we cannot understand, and also things we could understand but do not want or don't dare to understand. For example, after we have quarreled with our parents, do we want to understand their feelings? Do we dare to ask them? Is it that we don't want to know why the two people in the world who love us the most treat us this way?

When two friends who belong to opposing parties meet, are they interested to know each other's stance and the reasons behind it? I believe I myself am honest and sincere, do I admit they can be just as honest and sincere?

Are there not many things in this world that ‘the more we argue the less we understand’? Why do these things happen? Why is it that two friends sometimes turn and become enemies? Is one correct and the other wrong, or are both correct in some areas and mistaken in others?

Jesus liked to use parables to help the people understand more easily. But he also said that he spoke in parables, “in order that they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand.” (Mk 4:12) Certainly Jesus did not use parables to confuse his listeners; he used them to help them understand more easily. People did not understand because Jesus spoke too plainly; they didn't understand because they didn't want to accept his teachings. If they admitted they understood they would need to put his words into action and change their lives. For those who did not wish to do this, it was easier not to understand. In the end we must admit we are ‘sinners’ and sin is an obstacle to understanding Truth.

If we really understood the difficulties and patience our parents have endured, and most of all , their “kindness beyond all bounds,” how could we not love and obey them? If we do not love and obey them, it can only be that we do not understand them, or how much they have sacrificed for us. Some people then justify their thoughts and deeds by deriding them as ‘old-fashioned,’ senile, etc.

Today's Gospel includes another incident worth noting. Along the road the disciples had been arguing about who was the greatest. But when Jesus asked them about the topic of the argument, “they were silent.” Right, why tell Jesus about their weaknesses? Isn't this also true to life, something that easily occurs in all of our lives?

In a 1988 Vatican document on “Aspects of Religious Education in Catholic Schools”, in the section on ‘history curriculum’ the text says , ‘The protagonists in history are human persons themselves. History takes individual inner struggles between good and evil and enlarges them to portray the entire world.” (# 58). That is, the ‘History of Humankind’ is only the magnifying of ‘individual history;’ if an individual's history is a small triangle, the history of humankind is a large triangle. So the more we learn about our own history, the more we learn about the history of all humankind and vice versa.

In the Ming Dynasty, Liu Ji wrote these interesting lines in the treatise ‘Divination,’ “In the space of a day and night flowers bloom and die. Between spring and winter, things perish and are renewed. Beneath the roaring cascade a deep pool is found: dark valley at the foot of high hills. These things you know: what more can divination teach you?”(1) (‘Divination’) Grasp the principles of life and you will understand life; know life better and you will understand the past and the future. Why does one need divination?

Broaden that out a bit and we can say that Scripture tells us about the history of the human race, which is your and my history and the rules for history and life.

Scripture tells about an everlasting story, which is the story of you and me. Are we willing to use Scripture as a reflection of ourselves, providing light for our journey into the future?

(1)昊天罔極。
(2)是故一晝一夜,花開者謝;一春一秋,物故者新。
(3)激湍之下,必有深潭;高邱之下,必有浚谷。
(4)君侯亦知之矣,何以卜為?

 

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2017