將臨期第四主日 2018年12月23日


將臨期第四主日

承行主旨,結乎天心

讀經一:(米5:1-4):有一位將從猶大出生
讀經二:(希10:5-10):新的祭獻:承行主旨
福 音:(路1:39-45):聖母往見表姐依撒伯爾
中國文化:鄉愿,德之賊也。積至誠、用大德,以結乎天心。
禍常發於所忽之中,而亂常起於不足疑之事。

犧牲和素祭已非你所要,所以你給我預備了一個身體;全燔祭和贖罪祭,又非你所喜悅,於是我說:看,我來了!天主!我來是為承行你的旨意。
(希10:5-7)

「我來,是為承行你的旨意」,是的,承行天主的旨意,是基督一生奮鬥的目標,也是基督徒一生要走的路。

但這條路並不容易找得到,也不好走。當人人都說要找尋天主旨意的時候,有時「天主旨意」已成了一個口號,或者,成了一些人偏見的護身符:明明只是他們個人的私見或偏見,卻說成是天主的意願。

物質和精神,外表和內心,永遠是宗教問題要探討的核心點。究竟怎樣才能找到天主的旨意,怎樣才能把天主的旨意,實踐在我們的生活中,使我們的生活與信仰結合起來呢?這是我們日夕都要關注和追求的答案。

我們十分惋惜那些在宗教上熱心,在生活上卻並不相應積極的信友。我們甚至看過有些外表虔誠的人,內心卻是十分的齷齪。

同樣的,我們也很為那些在生活上過得很好,而卻放棄了宗教生活,甚至不珍惜人神關係的人而惋惜。

在粵語殘片中,經常有描寫一些手執佛珠的婆婆,對媳婦極端刻薄;而有些外表十分慈祥的人,卻一直在做著一些十分殘忍的事。

拿著同一本聖經,天主教和基督教朋友也有爭持不下的趨勢;而那些用聖經去硬要「證明」天主教是「邪教」的基要派分子,就只能更加使我們感到無奈。

有時,連善意、好心也會出問題的。孔子曾說過:「鄉愿,德之賊也。」孔子的這句話是那麼的真實、那麼的發人深省,所以後來孟子也引用了。

兩位先賢感到慨嘆和無奈的是,那些所謂鄉愿,其實都是一些好好先生、一些老好人,或一些在宗教上很熱心的人,他們本來是一個國家的脊樑,一個社會的中堅分子,一個宗教的骨幹。可是,在孔子和孟子的眼中,他們卻可以在不知不覺之間,不幸地成了殘害道德的「賊」。主要是因為他們太好了,如果由他們去支持和保護一個過時的傳統,那麼,一切新生的事物便都會難產。於是這個國家、這個民族或這個宗教要邁向新生,便會分外困難,甚至舉步維艱。

為了找尋天主的旨意,天主教有一些輔導個別人士去「辨別」天主旨意的方法。其實天主教的領導層,也在不斷的學習去分辨,分辨出天主的旨意在哪裡。

天主教在梵二以後,肯定教會是天主的子民,強調神職人員要與平信徒共融在一起,這是一個多元化的天主教會。梵二的《教會憲章》更肯定「在天主子民中有信仰意識及奇恩」,而「辨別奇恩的真確性及其合理的運用,是治理教會者的責任。他們應特別負責不使神恩息滅,卻要考驗一切,擇善固執。」(教會#12)

要注意「不使神恩息滅」,是因為領導者也有把異己者看成是異端者的傾向和危險!父母和教師們,不是有時也把子女、學生的一些善良行為,或至少是中性的行為,看作是背道離經,只因為自己對他們看不順眼嗎?

方孝孺有一篇《深慮論》,指出了做人要有更深的智慧,就是要「積至誠、用大德,以結乎天心」。他認為人的智謀是有限的,所以感到「禍常發於所忽之中,而亂常起於不足疑之事」,即是說,禍患常常是由於自己的疏忽,而混亂卻是源於那些引不起我們懷疑的事。在我們太過安逸的生活中,禍亂就出現了。所以只有用自己善良的行為,配合至誠的用心,在虛懷若谷之中,才能回應上天的安排,取得老天爺的歡心,獲得上天的憐憫。這樣,在國家言,便是長治久安,在個人言,便是深謀遠慮。

也許,這亦是基督徒找尋天主聖意的一個好途徑吧?至誠、大德、天心、不敢疏忽等,都是我們找尋天主聖意的必要條件,那絕不是可以一蹴而就的事。只有一生一世的本於至誠、修養大德行、以天心為心,並在生活中不敢疏忽大小事情的人,才能真的找到天主的聖意。

 

 

将临期第四主日

承行主旨,结乎天心

读经一:(米5:1-4):有一位将从犹大出生
读经二:(希10:5-10):新的祭献:承行主旨
福 音:(路1:39-45):圣母往见表姐依撒伯尔
中国文化:乡愿,德之贼也。积至诚、用大德,以结乎天心。
祸常发於所忽之中,而亂常起於不足疑之事。

牺牲和素祭已非你所要,所以你给我预备了一個身体;全燔祭和赎罪祭,又非你所喜悦,於是我说:看,我来了!天主!我来是为承行你的旨意。
(希10:5-7)

「我来,是为承行你的旨意」,是的,承行天主的旨意,是基督一生奋斗的目标,也是基督徒一生要走的路。

但这条路并不容易找得到,也不好走。当人人都说要找寻天主旨意的時候,有時「天主旨意」已成了一個口号,或者,成了一些人偏见的护身符:明明只是他们個人的私见或偏见,却说成是天主的意願。

物质和精神,外表和内心,永遠是宗教問题要探讨的核心点。究竟怎样才能找到天主的旨意,怎样才能把天主的旨意,实踐在我们的生活中,使我们的生活与信仰结合起来呢?这是我们日夕都要关注和追求的答案。

我们十分惋惜那些在宗教上热心,在生活上却并不相应积极的信友。我们甚至看過有些外表虔诚的人,内心却是十分的龌齪。

同样的,我们也很为那些在生活上過得很好,而却放弃了宗教生活,甚至不珍惜人神关系的人而惋惜。

在粤语残片中,经常有描写一些手执佛珠的婆婆,对媳妇极端刻薄;而有些外表十分慈祥的人,却一直在做著一些十分残忍的事。

拿著同一本圣经,天主教和基督教朋友也有争持不下的趋势;而那些用圣经去硬要「证明」天主教是「邪教」的基要派分子,就只能更加使我们感到无奈。

有時,连善意、好心也会出問题的。孔子曾说過:「乡愿,德之贼也。」孔子的这句话是那么的真实、那么的发人深省,所以后来孟子也引用了。

两位先贤感到慨叹和无奈的是,那些所谓乡愿,其实都是一些好好先生、一些老好人,或一些在宗教上很热心的人,他们本来是一個国家的脊梁,一個社会的中坚分子,一個宗教的骨干。可是,在孔子和孟子的眼中,他们却可以在不知不觉之间,不幸地成了残害道德的「贼」。主要是因为他们太好了,如果由他们去支持和保护一個過時的传统,那么,一切新生的事物便都会难產。於是这個国家、这個民族或这個宗教要迈向新生,便会分外困难,甚至举步维艰。

为了找寻天主的旨意,天主教有一些辅导個别人士去「辨别」天主旨意的方法。其实天主教的领导层,也在不断的学习去分辨,分辨出天主的旨意在哪里。

天主教在梵二以后,肯定教会是天主的子民,强调神职人员要与平信徒共融在一起,这是一個多元化的天主教会。梵二的《教会宪章》 更肯定「在天主子民中有信仰意识及奇恩」,而「辨别奇恩的真确性及其合理的运用,是治理教会者的責任。他们应特别负責不使神恩息灭,却要考验一切,择善固执。」(教会#12)

要注意「不使神恩息灭」,是因为领导者也有把异己者看成是异端者的倾向和危险!父母和教师们,不是有時也把子女、学生的一些善良行为,或至少是中性的行为,看作是背道離经,只因为自己对他们看不顺眼吗?

方孝孺有一篇《深虑论》 ,指出了做人要有更深的智慧,就是要「积至诚、用大德,以结乎天心」。他认为人的智谋是有限的,所以感到「祸常发於所忽之中,而亂常起於不足疑之事」,即是说,祸患常常是由於自己的疏忽,而混亂却是源於那些引不起我们怀疑的事。在我们太過安逸的生活中,祸亂就出现了。所以只有用自己善良的行为,配合至诚的用心,在虚怀若谷之中,才能回应上天的安排,取得老天爷的欢心,获得上天的怜悯。这样,在国家言,便是长治久安,在個人言,便是深谋遠虑。

也许,这亦是基督徒找寻天主圣意的一個好途径吧?至诚、大德、天心、不敢疏忽等,都是我们找寻天主圣意的必要条件,那绝不是可以一蹴而就的事。只有一生一世的本於至诚、修养大德行、以天心为心,并在生活中不敢疏忽大小事情的人,才能真的找到天主的圣意。

 

 

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Follow God's Will – Stay Close to Heaven's Heart

First Reading (Mi 5: 1-4): A Ruler will be born from the tribe of Judah
Second Reading (Heb 10: 5-10) A new sacrifice: doing God's will
Gospel: (Lk 1: 39-45): Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth
Chinese Classics:
“Good and sincere people can also be thieves of virtue.” (1)
-“Store up sincerity, work to perfection to unite with the heart of Heaven” (2)
-“Disasters often happen amidst oversight, and confusion often arises from unsuspecting incidents.” (3)

“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, 'See, God, I have come to do your will, O God'” (Heb 10: 5-7)

“I have come to do your will.” Yes, to do God's will was the goal of Christ's entire life of struggle, and it is the way all Christians must follow throughout life.

But that way is not found nor followed easily. When people say we must seek God's will, sometimes 'God's will' becomes a kind of slogan. Some people use it as a protective shield for their prejudices; it is clear that their personal views or biases have become for them 'God's will.'

The temporal and the spiritual, external experience and internal realities, are always at the core of questions posed by religion. How can we find God's will, how can we carry out God's will in our lives, how can we integrate life and faith? All of us are concerned about answers to these questions and pursue them throughout our entire lives.

We feel very sorry about members of the faithful who are fervent in religious matters but not equally enthused about life. At times we even see people who seem externally sincere but internally are very narrow-minded. Likewise we regret that there are some people who lead good lives but put aside anything related to religion, even to seeing no value to a relationship between God and human beings.

Often in Cantonese dramas, there is a typical mother-in-law character, holding her Buddhist rosary and at the same time treating her daughter-in-law with extreme cruelty. There are some people who have a very kind appearance yet treat others heartlessly.

Although they use the same Bible, some Catholics and Protestants have a tendency to bicker constantly. In addition there are some fundamentalist Christians who use the Bible to 'prove' absolutely that Catholicism is an 'evil cult.' This can only increase our sense of helplessness.

Sometimes even kindness and good intentions can be problematic. Confucius once said, “Good and sincere people can also be thieves of virtue. (1) What he said was so true, so worthy of deep reflection that later on Mencius used the quotation often.

These two sages, Confucius and Mencius, felt helpless about those 'good' people, many of whom were perfect gentlemen and good people, or some fervent religious believers. They were pillars of their country, the main force of society, the backbone of religion. But in the eyes of Confucius and Mencius, they unfortunately and unconsciously were 'thieves' who crippled people's moral character. It was because they were too good. If it were left to them to support and protect an out-dated tradition, then anything new would be stillborn. Therefore it was especially difficult for any country, nation or religion to advance towards a new life or even take a step forward.

At Vatican Council II the Roman Catholic Church confirmed that the Church is the 'people of God'. It emphasized that the hierarchy must also be in union with the laity, and that the church has great diversity. In the 'Constitution on the Church' Vatican II declared that within the People of God there is a 'sense of the faith' (sensus fidei) and special gifts, and that “judgment as to their genuineness and proper use belongs to those who preside over the Church, and to whose special competence it belongs, not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things that hold fast to that which is good. (# 12).

We must always keep in mind 'not to extinguish the Spirit,' because there is a tendency, even a risk, for some leaders to look on ideas different from their own as heretical. Does it not sometimes happen that parents and teachers think that the good deeds of their children or students, or their somewhat harmless actions, are improper, just because they are displeasing to themselves?

Fong Xiao Ru in “The Theories of Deep Thinking” pointed out that as human beings we should have deeper wisdom. We should “store up utmost sincerity, work to perfection to unite with the heart of heaven.”(2) He insisted that there was a limit to how clever human beings could be in managing affairs. Therefore, “disasters often happen amidst oversight, and confusion often arises from unsuspecting incidents.”(3) This means that disasters are often caused by our own negligence, and confusion usually originates from things we never suspected would go wrong. Disasters happen when we are too content with our lives. Therefore we can only rely on our own good behavior and match it with a sincere heart. Then by being open we can respond to the heavenly will, and receive God's love and mercy. If we are speaking of a country, it would mean lasting peace; if an individual, it would mean real planning ahead to avoid future worries.

Might this not be the way for Christians to seek and find God's will? Sincerity, decency, good intentions, attentiveness and the like are all essential conditions for finding God's will. There is no quick way to achieve this. Throughout our entire lives we must strive sincerely to practice virtue, perform good deeds, cultivate right intentions and be attentive to the big and little events of life. Only in that way are we truly able to discover God's will.

(1)鄉愿,德之賊也。
(2)積至誠、用大德,以結乎天心。
(3)禍常發於所忽之中,而亂常起於不足疑之事。

 

 

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 2019