常年期第廿九主日 2018年10月21日


常年期第廿九主日

甘為人役,忘我事人

讀經一:(依53:10-11):痛苦過後會看見光明
讀經二:(希4:14-16):應依持基督走近天主
福 音:(谷10:35-45):載伯德二子要求坐於耶穌的左右
中國文化: 鞠躬盡瘁,死而後已。 達人無不可,忘己愛蒼生。
身為野老已無責,路有流民終動心。

耶穌把門徒召集過來,對他們說:「你們知道:各國都有元首統治,也有官長管轄;但是你們卻不要這樣。在你們中,誰若願意在他人之上,就該做眾人的僕人;誰若願意居首位,就該做大眾的奴僕。因為人子不是來受人服事,而是來服事人,並且犧牲自己的性命,為大眾作贖價。」
(谷10:42-45)

耶穌是世上最好的老師,可是他的門徒卻是一群領悟力奇差的學生!他們已有過彼此爭論誰最大的前科(谷9:33-37),那時,耶穌已清楚的訓示過他們:「誰若想做第一個,就得做眾人中最末的一個,並要做眾人的僕役。」(谷9:35)

怎知言猶在耳,便發生了有兩位門徒爭高位的事件,主角就是載伯德的兒子雅各伯和若望。

這兩位門徒是耶穌所召選的首批四位門徒中的兩位,他們原來很慷慨,在耶穌召叫他們時,「他們就把自己的父親載伯德和傭工們留在船上,跟隨耶穌去了。」(谷1:20)那時,他們確有一分「君命召,不待駕而行」的服從、敏捷和瀟灑,他們是多麼迅速、多麼甘心情願地跟隨耶穌!

也許他們因此便自視為老大哥吧?所以在耶穌三次預言受難後,兄弟倆便雙雙來到耶穌面前對耶穌說:師傅!我們願你允許我們的要求!」耶穌對他們說:「你們願意我給你們做什麼?」他們回答說:「賜我們在你的光榮中,一個坐在你右邊,一個坐在你左邊。」(谷10:35-37)

這明明就是爭權奪利了,他們儘管只是一個小小的團體,但終究還是要排坐次的。誰能坐在耶穌旁邊呢?

人間的問題便這樣悄悄地溜到神聖的教會中來了。

於是耶穌就對他們說:「你們不知道你們所求的是什麼!我所喝的杯,你們能夠喝嗎……」他們答說:「能夠。」耶穌就對他們說:「我喝的杯,你們固然要喝……但是坐在我的右邊或左邊,不屬我的權限,而是天主預備了給誰就賜給誰。」其他十位門徒聽了,就開始對雅各伯和若望起了反感。(谷10:38-41)

爭坐次的人已經夠糊塗,對爭坐次的人起反感,就更加糊塗了。面對著這一群糊塗的徒弟,耶穌於是說出了「非以役人,乃役於人」的千古名句,教導人怎樣去善用權力。

他告訴他們:連他這位位極人臣的「至人」,身為天主聖子的真神,他來,也無非是為了服事人,而不是為了受人服事,並且還要犧牲自己的性命,為大眾作贖價!

耶穌是一個為人而存在的人,他的教會也應是一個為世界而存在的教會。在基督的教會內,權力只有一個用途,就是為了服務。教會中的最高牧人教宗,便常自稱為「眾僕之僕」。

人的最大缺點也許是自我中心和自私自利。自私的人最多犯的毛病是損人利己,但也有時會作出損人而不利己的事。個人可以自私,團體可以自私,甚至國家、民族、宗教、整個人類也可以自私--集體的自私,只看到自己,看不到別人。

為他人而活的人,會好像耶穌一樣,他甚至為了給人帶來救恩而廢寢忘餐。他的親友們便因此說他「瘋了」。(谷3:21)

明末的遼東經略袁崇煥,為了保家衛國,也好像「瘋了」,因為他也忘了自己、忘了自己的親人;他感嘆地說自己已經變成了「大明境內的亡命之徒」。大禹治水,三過家門而不入;諸葛亮為了國家也曾說出「鞠躬盡瘁,死而後已」的豪語。這些人都好像是為理想而「瘋了」一樣。

其實,為他人而活的人,遠不止於這些英雄豪傑。好的父母為子女而活,好的老師為學生奔波,好的官吏為百姓任勞任怨。這些都是為他人而活的典範。

為福音而亡命,為國家、為別人而亡命,這就是耶穌所說的「非以役人,乃役於人」的精神。

這種精神的最基本出發點,是肯定和重視對方、對方的需要和感受。為他人而活的人會與他人同行,和他人一起肩負重擔。同行,就是對方行得快,自己也行快;對方行得慢,自己也行慢;對方跌倒了,就蹲下身子,和他在一起。

乃役於人的人,他的胸襟也是大的。王維想到的是「達人無不可,忘己愛蒼生」;陸游雖然丟了官,卻仍然有「身為野老已無責,路有流民終動心」的深刻感受。而耶穌想到的,是蒼生的救贖,以及你和我的救恩。

 

 

常年期第廿九主日

甘为人役,忘我事人

读经一:(依53:10-11):痛苦過后会看见光明
读经二:(希4:14-16):应依持基督走近天主
福 音:(谷10:35-45):载伯德二子要求坐於耶稣的左右
中国文化: 鞠躬尽瘁,死而后已。达人无不可,忘己爱苍生。
身为野老已无責,路有流民终动心。

耶稣把门徒召集過来,对他们说:「你们知道:各国都有元首统治,也有官长管辖;但是你们却不要这样。在你们中,谁若願意在他人之上,就該做众人的仆人;谁若願意居首位,就該做大众的奴仆。因为人子不是来受人服事,而是来服事人,并且牺牲自己的性命,为大众作赎价。」
(谷10:42-45)

耶稣是世上最好的老师,可是他的门徒却是一群领悟力奇差的学生!他们已有過彼此争论谁最大的前科(谷9:33-37),那時,耶稣已清楚的训示過他们:「谁若想做第一個,就得做众人中最末的一個,并要做众人的仆役。」(谷9:35)

怎知言犹在耳,便发生了有两位门徒争高位的事件,主角就是载伯德的儿子雅各伯和若望。

这两位门徒是耶稣所召选的首批四位门徒中的两位,他们原来很慷慨,在耶稣召叫他们時,「他们就把自己的父亲载伯德和佣工们留在船上,跟随耶稣去了。」(谷1:20)那時,他们确有一分「君命召,不待驾而行」的服从、敏捷和潇洒,他们是多么迅速、多么甘心情願地跟随耶稣!

也许他们因此便自视为老大哥吧?所以在耶稣三次预言受难后,兄弟俩便双双来到耶稣面前对耶稣说:师傅!我们願你允许我们的要求!」耶稣对他们说:「你们願意我给你们做什么?」他们回答说:「赐我们在你的光荣中,一個坐在你右边,一個坐在你左边。」(谷10:35-37)

这明明就是争权夺利了,他们尽管只是一個小小的团体,但终究还是要排坐次的。谁能坐在耶稣旁边呢?

人间的問题便这样悄悄地溜到神圣的教会中来了。

於是耶稣就对他们说:「你们不知道你们所求的是什么!我所喝的杯,你们能够喝吗……」他们答说:「能够。」耶稣就对他们说:「我喝的杯,你们固然要喝……但是坐在我的右边或左边,不属我的权限,而是天主预备了给谁就赐给谁。」其他十位门徒听了,就開始对雅各伯和若望起了反感。(谷10:38-41)

争坐次的人已经够糊涂,对争坐次的人起反感,就更加糊涂了。面对著这一群糊涂的徒弟,耶稣於是说出了「非以役人,乃役於人」的千古名句,教导人怎样去善用权力。

他告诉他们:连他这位位极人臣的「至人」,身为天主圣子的真神,他来,也无非是为了服事人,而不是为了受人服事,并且还要牺牲自己的性命,为大众作赎价!

耶稣是一個为人而存在的人,他的教会也应是一個为世界而存在的教会。在基督的教会内,权力只有一個用途,就是为了服务。教会中的最高牧人教宗,便常自称为「众仆之仆」。

人的最大缺点也许是自我中心和自私自利。自私的人最多犯的毛病是损人利己,但也有時会作出损人而不利己的事。個人可以自私,团体可以自私,甚至国家、民族、宗教、整個人类也可以自私--集体的自私,只看到自己,看不到别人。

为他人而活的人,会好像耶稣一样,他甚至为了给人带来救恩而废寝忘餐。他的亲友们便因此说他「疯了」。(谷3:21)

明末的辽东经略袁崇焕,为了保家卫国,也好像「疯了」,因为他也忘了自己、忘了自己的亲人;他感叹地说自己已经变成了「大明境内的亡命之徒」。大禹治水,三過家门而不入;诸葛亮为了国家也曾说出「鞠躬尽瘁,死而后已」的豪语。这些人都好像是为理想而「疯了」一样。

其实,为他人而活的人,遠不止於这些英雄豪杰。好的父母为子女而活,好的老师为学生奔波,好的官吏为百姓任劳任怨。这些都是为他人而活的典范。

为福音而亡命,为国家、为别人而亡命,这就是耶稣所说的「非以役人,乃役於人」的精神。

这种精神的最基本出发点,是肯定和重视对方、对方的需要和感受。为他人而活的人会与他人同行,和他人一起肩负重担。同行,就是对方行得快,自己也行快;对方行得慢,自己也行慢;对方跌倒了,就蹲下身子,和他在一起。

乃役於人的人,他的胸襟也是大的。王维想到的是「达人无不可,忘己爱苍生」;陆游虽然丢了官,却仍然有「身为野老已无責,路有流民终动心」的深刻感受。而耶稣想到的,是苍生的救赎,以及你和我的救恩。

 

 

TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Willing to Serve Others, Forgetting Self in Service

First Reading (Is 53: 10-11): After affliction will come light
Second Reading (Heb 4: 14-16) Jesus, Compassionate High Priest
Gospel (Mk 10: 35-45) Ambition of James and John
Chinese Classics:
-“ Spare no efforts for the good of the country. No release until death.” (1)
-“Nothing is impossible for a very wise man Forget oneself to love mankind.”(2)
-“As a common old man I have no more obligations. But the refugees on the road finally touch my heart.”(3)

Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’ (Mk 10: 42-45)

Jesus Christ is the best teacher in the world. But his disciples seemed to be a group of students with very poor perception Earlier they had had a dispute among themselves over who of them was the greatest. On that occasion Jesus had given them a clear message: “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”. (Mk 9:35).

While Jesus' words were still reverberating in their ears, a quarrel broke out between two of his disciples over the highest-ranking seat next to Jesus. They were James and John, the two sons of Zebedee. These two disciples were among the first four whom Jesus had called to follow him. At the time Jesus had called them they had been very generous and “left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. "(Mk 1:20)

They had been obedient, acute and light-hearted in responding in a way a Chinese proverb says, “as soon as the Emperor calls, one responds to his orders without waiting for his presence.” How prompt and willing they had been to follow Jesus!

Perhaps this was the cause for their pride in claiming to be head of the apostles. Therefore after Jesus had foretold his sufferings three times they came up to him together and said, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’ (Mk 10: 35-37)

This was an obvious example of a struggle to attain power and benefits among the others. Though they belonged to a very small group, there still was a need to resolve the issue of the seating order of whom could sit next to Jesus! In so quiet a way such human concerns can creep into the holy Church!

Jesus then said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink? They replied, ‘We are able.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you will drink, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’…When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John.” (Mk 10: 38-41)

Those who contend for a special seat are foolish enough already, but those who react strongly against such contentions are even more foolish. Facing such a group of ‘foolish’ disciples Jesus uttered these immortal words, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” He wanted to teach us how to use power wisely.

Jesus lived for the well-being of humankind. Therefore his church also should exist for the good of the whole world. Within his church, power has one single purpose only, to serve others. The Pope himself, the highest pastor of the church on earth, always calls himself, “Servant of the servants of the Lord.”

Self-centredness and selfishness may be the biggest flaws in human beings. The most common fault committed by a self-centred or selfish person is to seek benefit for oneself by harming others. Sometimes such a person even harms others without any gain to self. Individuals can be selfish, so can a group of people. Even a country or nation, or a religion, even all of humankind, can have a collective selfishness, causing one to look after oneself only, but be blind to others.

Those persons who live for the good of others act like Jesus. He was so deeply absorbed in his mission of the redemption of all humankind that he was oblivious even to his need to eat and sleep. His relatives and friends once even said of him, “He has gone out of his mind.” (Mk 3:21)

Yuen Song Woon was a high commissioner stationed in Liu Tung at the end of the Ming Dynasty. To protect the country he seemed to have ‘gone mad.’ He had forgotten himself, he had forgotten his family. He once exclaimed that he had changed into “a desperado within the boundaries of the Ming Dynasty.” The Great Yu who regulated the courses of the rivers walked past his own house three times without going in. Zhu Ge Liang heroically said that he would “Spare no efforts for the good of the country. No release until death.”(1) All these people seemed to have ‘gone mad’ fighting for their ideals.

Actually living for others is not limited to the deeds of such heroes. Good parents spend their lives to raise their children; dedicated teachers labour to exhaustion for their students; upright government officials bear responsibility and blame for the people. These people are good examples of living for others.

To sacrifice one's life for the sake of the gospel, or for one's country, or for others, is to live by the spirit of Jesus' words: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

The fundamental element of such a spirit is to acknowledge and respect others' needs and feelings. Those who live for others stand by them and together shoulder the burdens of their lives. Standing by them means to accompany the other, going fast or slow as the other does, and if the other person falls, then rise up together and go on.

People who serve others are generous and open-minded. Wang Wei said, “Nothing is impossible for a very wise man. Forget oneself to love mankind.” (2) Lu You had resigned from his duties at court but the fate of the ordinary people still moved him. “As a common old man I have no more obligations. But the refugees on the road finally touch my heart.”(3)

And in the forefront of Jesus' mind was always the thought that he had come for the salvation of all human beings and for the deliverance of you and me.

(1)鞠躬盡瘁,死而後已。
(2)達人無不可,忘己愛蒼生。
(3)身為野老已無責,路有流民終動心。

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2017