常年期第三十二主日 2018年11月11日


年期第三十二主日

全人奉獻,盡心盡力

讀經一:(列上17:10-16):寡婦給厄里亞餅吃
讀經二:(希9:24-28):基督一次而永遠的祭獻
福 音:(谷12:38-44):指摘經師;稱讚窮寡婦
中國文化: 孔子之言滿天下,孔子之道未嘗行。
名為山人而心同商賈,口談道德而志在穿窬。

不少有錢的人捐了很多,有一個窮寡婦來了,捐了兩個小錢。耶穌便叫門徒過來,說:「我老實告訴你們:這個窮寡婦捐入奉獻箱的,比所有人捐的更多,因為他們不過是把剩餘的捐出;但這個寡婦卻把所有的一切,全部的生活費用,都捐出了。
(谷12:41-44)

窮寡婦的捐獻,是我們耳熟能詳的故事。但發生在這故事前的另一個故事,也許我們不太注意,多數也不會把它們串連起來。

假如我們今天用的是長式的福音讀經,我們會看到耶穌在稱讚窮寡婦前,正在指摘經師:「你們要提防經師:他們喜歡穿上長袍招搖過市,在公共場所接受人的敬禮問安,在會堂裡佔上座,在筵席上坐首席;他們吞沒寡婦的財產,卻以冗長的祈禱作掩飾。」(谷12:38-40)

和謙虛的窮寡婦比起來,經師們是自以為是、自我中心,和自我膨脹的;和慷慨的窮寡婦比起來,經師們是吝嗇的、貪婪的。

自我膨脹不過是傷害自己,但吞沒別人的,尤其是無依無靠的寡婦的財產,卻是傷天害理、兼禍及無辜的大惡。

經師們有知識,尤其有豐富的宗教知識,但他們卻公然做相反宗教精神的事。更糟的是,他們用「冗長的祈禱作掩飾」!也許他們要告訴別人、或欺騙別人,同時亦告訴自己和欺騙自己:一個屬於天主的人怎麼會作壞事?一個作壞事的人又怎麼會祈禱?

宗教之能夠被人利用,猶如文化或人間的知識也會被人利用。所以宋朝的李覯曾感嘆的說:「孔子之言滿天下,孔子之道未嘗行」。利瑪竇的朋友、明朝學者李贄,也認為有不少人是「名為山人而心同商賈,口談道德而志在穿窬」。這些人表面清清高高的,心裡卻庸俗得要命;嘴裡談的雖是仁義道德,心裡想的卻是雞鳴狗盜。

和這些醜惡的人比起來,窮寡婦的為人與行為,不啻是出污泥而不染的純淨蓮花;耶穌對她那驚嘆式的讚美詞,也許亦在告訴我們:這種人確確實實是世間的稀有動物﹗

她的心是為天主的,她的一切也是為天主的。這是一種表裡一致的奉獻、全人的奉獻。這是把天主放在第一位的、名副其實的「欽崇一天主在萬有之上」的表達。

錢財本是身外物,我們生不帶來、死不帶走。但如何運用錢財,有時卻能夠顯示出一個人的信仰、信念、價值觀的重點所在。

今日有些天主教徒在教堂中的奉獻,看起來簡直是把教會、甚至把天主當作「乞丐」。他們在奉獻時,只是看看當時在自己的口袋中,還剩下多少個碎錢,然後才勉為其難地抓出一小把,「噹」的一聲投入奉獻籃中。

奉獻原是感恩的一部分。我們承認一切來自天主,也要把一切交還給天主。肋未紀說:「凡土地的出產,或是田地的穀物,或是樹木的果實,十分之一應歸於上主,是獻於上主的聖物。」(肋27:30)這就是古教時著名的「十一捐獻」的來源。這是承認我們所擁有的一切,原屬於主,於是要「有計劃地」交還給主;要拿出我們所有物中的重要一部分來奉獻。不單在金錢上如此,就連我們的時間、才能,和愛心,也要「劃出一部分」,交還給上主。為教會、為人們而奉獻;誠心地奉獻。

如果大家覺得「全人奉獻」或「慷慨奉獻」、「甘心奉獻」等等是有點抽象的話,那麼,請你嘗試在奉獻時,要勇敢地拿出,直至感到有一點「肉痛」為止,那便是慷慨了。

在格林多後書第八、第九兩章中,保祿曾經盛讚馬其頓教會在奉獻時的慷慨。他說:「天主在馬其頓各教會所施與的恩惠,就是他們在患難頻繁的試探中所充滿的喜樂,和他們極度的貧困所湧出的豐厚慷慨。我可以作證:他們是盡了力量,甚至超過了力量,自動的捐輸,再三懇求我們准他們分享供應聖徒的恩惠。」(格後8:1-4)懇求別人來分享我們所擁有的一切,這是多麼敏銳的心靈,多麼高尚的愛德!

在奉獻中、在分享中,我們要盡心,也要盡力;要講精神,也不要忘掉物質!這也許就是香港人所謂「講心」與「講金」的結合吧?

 

年期第三十二主日

全人奉献,尽心尽力

读经一:(列上17:10-16):寡妇给厄里亚饼吃
读经二:(希9:24-28):基督一次而永遠的祭献
福 音:(谷12:38-44):指摘经师;称赞穷寡妇
中国文化: 孔子之言满天下,孔子之道未尝行。
名为山人而心同商贾,口谈道德而志在穿窬。

不少有钱的人捐了很多,有一個穷寡妇来了,捐了两個小钱。耶稣便叫门徒過来,说:「我老实告诉你们:这個穷寡妇捐入奉献箱的,比所有人捐的更多,因为他们不過是把剩余的捐出;但这個寡妇却把所有的一切,全部的生活费用,都捐出了。
(谷12:41-44)

穷寡妇的捐献,是我们耳熟能详的故事。但发生在这故事前的另一個故事,也许我们不太注意,多数也不会把它们串连起来。

假如我们今天用的是长式的福音读经,我们会看到耶稣在称赞穷寡妇前,正在指摘经师:「你们要提防经师:他们喜欢穿上长袍招摇過市,在公共场所接受人的敬礼問安,在会堂里占上座,在筵席上坐首席;他们吞没寡妇的财產,却以冗长的祈祷作掩饰。」(谷12:38-40)

和谦虚的穷寡妇比起来,经师们是自以为是、自我中心,和自我膨胀的;和慷慨的穷寡妇比起来,经师们是吝啬的、贪婪的。

自我膨胀不過是伤害自己,但吞没别人的,尤其是无依无靠的寡妇的财產,却是伤天害理、兼祸及无辜的大恶。

经师们有知识,尤其有丰富的宗教知识,但他们却公然做相反宗教精神的事。更糟的是,他们用「冗长的祈祷作掩饰」!也许他们要告诉别人、或欺骗别人,同時亦告诉自己和欺骗自己:一個属於天主的人怎么会作坏事?一個作坏事的人又怎么会祈祷?

宗教之能够被人利用,犹如文化或人间的知识也会被人利用。所以宋朝的李觏曾感叹的说:「孔子之言满天下,孔子之道未尝行」。利玛窦的朋友、明朝学者李贽,也认为有不少人是「名为山人而心同商贾,口谈道德而志在穿窬」。这些人表面清清高高的,心里却庸俗得要命;嘴里谈的虽是仁义道德,心里想的却是鸡鸣狗盗。

和这些丑恶的人比起来,穷寡妇的为人与行为,不啻是出污泥而不染的纯净莲花;耶稣对她那惊叹式的赞美词,也许亦在告诉我们:这种人确确实实是世间的稀有动物!

她的心是为天主的,她的一切也是为天主的。这是一种表里一致的奉献、全人的奉献。这是把天主放在第一位的、名副其实的「钦崇一天主在万有之上」的表达。

钱财本是身外物,我们生不带来、死不带走。但如何运用钱财,有時却能够显示出一個人的信仰、信念、价值观的重点所在。

今日有些天主教徒在教堂中的奉献,看起来简直是把教会、甚至把天主当作「乞丐」。他们在奉献時,只是看看当時在自己的口袋中,还剩下多少個碎钱,然后才勉为其难地抓出一小把,「当」的一声投入奉献篮中。

奉献原是感恩的一部分。我们承认一切来自天主,也要把一切交还给天主。肋未纪说:「凡土地的出產,或是田地的谷物,或是树木的果实,十分之一应归於上主,是献於上主的圣物。」(肋27:30)这就是古教時著名的「十一捐献」的来源。这是承认我们所拥有的一切,原属於主,於是要「有计劃地」交还给主;要拿出我们所有物中的重要一部分来奉献。不单在金钱上如此,就连我们的時间、才能,和爱心,也要「劃出一部分」,交还给上主。为教会、为人们而奉献;诚心地奉献。

如果大家觉得「全人奉献」或「慷慨奉献」、「甘心奉献」等等是有点抽象的话,那么,请你尝试在奉献時,要勇敢地拿出,直至感到有一点「肉痛」为止,那便是慷慨了。

在格林多后书第八、第九两章中,保禄曾经盛赞马其顿教会在奉献時的慷慨。他说:「天主在马其顿各教会所施与的恩惠,就是他们在患难频繁的试探中所充满的喜乐,和他们极度的贫困所涌出的丰厚慷慨。我可以作证:他们是尽了力量,甚至超過了力量,自动的捐输,再三恳求我们准他们分享供应圣徒的恩惠。」(格后8:1-4)恳求别人来分享我们所拥有的一切,这是多么敏锐的心灵,多么高尚的爱德!

在奉献中、在分享中,我们要尽心,也要尽力;要讲精神,也不要忘掉物质!这也许就是香港人所谓「讲心」与「讲金」的结合吧?

 

THIRTY- SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Offer Oneself Wholeheartedly with Utmost Care and Vigor

First Reading : (1 Kgs 17:10-16): The widow makes bread for Elijah.
Second Reading : (Heb 9:24-28): Christ's sacrifice is eternal and once and for all.
Gospel : (Mk 12:38-44): Jesus criticizes the Scribes and praises the widow
Chinese Classics :
“The words of Confucius were spread throughout the world but Confucius' way of action did not
prevail“ (1)
-“Having the reputation of a hermit but the heart of a business man; speaking of morals and ethics but thinking about illicit behavior.” (2) .

“Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mk 12: 41-44)

We are all familiar with the story of the widow's mite. But we seldom pay much attention to another incident prior to it or link the two together.

If we use the longer version of today's Gospel Reading, we will see that before Jesus praised the widow, he had criticized the Scribes: “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. (Mk 12: 38-40).

Compared with the humble widow, the Scribes were self-righteous, self-centered and arrogant. Compared with the generous widow, they were mean and greedy. Arrogance only hurts oneself, but to devour what belongs to another, especially the property of a widow who has no one on whom to depend, is a grave sin against God as it brings calamity to the innocent.

The Scribes were knowledgeable people. They especially had much knowledge of religion, but they were publicly repudiating the spirit of their religion. Worst of all, they “for the sake of appearance said long prayers!” Perhaps this is what they wished to tell others or deceive them, at the same time deceiving themselves, saying to themselves, ‘Would those who are pledged to God perform evil deeds? Or would those who do evil know how to pray?’

People manipulate religion in the same way that culture or knowledge is manipulated. In the Song Dynasty Li Gou lamented, “the words of Confucius were spread all over the world. But Confucius’ way of behavior did not prevail.”(1) The Ming scholar Li Zhi, a friend of Matteo Ricci, thought that many people had “the reputation of a hermit but the heart of a business man; they spoke of morals and ethics but were thinking about illicit behavior.”(2). Such people externally appear very refined but deep down they are quite vulgar. They speak about the virtues of kindness and righteousness, but in their hearts they are always thinking of illicit acts.

Compared with such despicable people the widow's character and behavior were like a lotus flower which grows from the mud but is not soiled. Jesus' acclamation of praise for her perhaps also tells us that this kind of person is truly a rare creature hard to find.

Her heart and all that she was and had belonged to God. She gave a sincere and whole-hearted offering. She put God first. This was truly carrying out concretely God's first commandment: “to worship God above all things.”

Wealth is external to ourselves: we do not bring it into life at birth, we do not take it with us at death. But how we use wealth can be an indication of one's faith and beliefs and the priorities of one's values.

There are some Catholics today who when they give their Offertory contribution indirectly act as if the church and even God are beggars. Before they contribute, they look to see what money remains in their pockets, then rather grudgingly choose a few coins to put in the collection basket.

To make an offering is really part of gratitude. We acknowledge that everything comes from God and all should be returned to God. The Book of Leviticus says, “All tithes (one-tenth) from the land, whether the seed from the ground or the fruit from the tree, are the Lord's; they are holy to the Lord.” (Lev 27:30) This is the origin of ‘tithing’ in the Old Testament. By it we acknowledge that all our possessions really come from the Lord and we must plan concretely how to return them to God, offering up a significant portion of them. This refers not only to money, but it means also that we ‘set aside for God a portion’ of our time, abilities and love. With the utmost sincerity we contribute these to and for the church and other human beings.

If some of us feel that ‘offering our entire being’ or ‘generously make an offering’ or ‘voluntarily making an offering,’ etc are abstract concepts, the next time we contribute we might try ‘contributing to the point of painfulness.’ That would be true generosity.

In Chapters 8 and 9 of the Second Epistles to the Corinthians, Paul greatly praised the generosity of the church of Macedonia. He said, “We want you to know about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia, for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints.” (2 Cor 8: 1-4). Imploring others to ‘come and share all that we have’ truly shows a spirit of keen insight – what a great indication of love!

We must put forth heartfelt efforts when we contribute and share. It is good to talk about ‘spiritual matters’ but we must not forget material goods. Perhaps this is what Hong Kong people call ‘combining heart and gold.’

(1)孔子之言滿天下,孔子之道未嘗行。
(2)名為山人而心同商賈,口談道德而志在穿窬。

 

 

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