聖家節 2018年12月30日


聖家節

 

盡世間義務,作天地完人

讀經一:(撒上1:20-22,24-28):亞納獻撒慕爾
讀經二:(若一3:1-2,21-24):我們都是天主的子女
福 音:(路2:41-52):耶穌初次顯示天主性
中國文化:提得起,放得下;算得到,做得完;看得破,撇得開。
安時處順,哀樂不能入也。

耶穌就同他們下去,回到納匝肋,接受他們的管教。他的母親把這一切都牢記在心中。耶穌在智慧和體格上,漸漸增長,深得天主和人的喜愛。
(路2:51-52)

耶穌在他的塵世生命中,究竟有沒有成長這回事呢?如果有,他又是怎樣成長的呢?他不是一生下來,就完全知道自己是天主的嗎?他對自己「神性」的意識,是否一生都是處在同一的水平--至高的水平呢?

許多神學家認為,耶穌是有「成長」這回事的,他並不是一生下來,就已經知道了自己使命的全部內容,或已到了做人的最高峰。
耶穌固然是真天主,但也確確實實是真人,一個百分之一百的人,有成長這回事,和可以成長的人;他居住的是人間,走的是人的路。亦正因為他盡了世間的義務,所以他才作了天地間的完人。

他正如保祿所說,是一個和我們完全相似的「人」,只不過沒有罪。意思是,我們所經歷的一切,他都曾經親身經歷過。他和我們不同的地方,是他在所有的經歷中,都表現得恰如其分,他做的常常是最符合天父旨意的事。

今天是聖家節,我們都希望我們的家是「聖家」:家中父慈子孝、兄友弟恭,大家和睦相處,其樂融融。

我們也會熱切地祈求天主,使我們的家成為聖家。我們記得耶穌講過的說話:「你們求,就必給你們。」(瑪7:7)我們真的好想得到天主給我們恩寵,使我們的家自動成為聖家。

但也許我們忘記了一個事實,即耶穌也有求而不得的時候。耶穌的一切,其實都是經由努力和奮鬥而獲得的。

在山園祈禱中,他實在不願喝那個苦杯,但天父偏要他喝。他在十字架上,甚至發出了悲絕的哀鳴:「我的天主,我的天主,你為什麼捨棄了我?」(谷15:34)

事實上,耶穌一生都在學習,學習對天父的服從。而他服從天父的最高峰,是發生在他生命的最末一刻,那是他在十字架上說「完成了」的時候。(若19:30)

他學習了,也成功了、完成了。他完全承行了天父的旨意,成長為天地間的完人。

耶穌在成長,「聖家」也不是一天便建成的,那是耶穌、瑪利亞和若瑟三聖同心協力,一起長期建設的成果!

今天福音所說耶穌十二齡講道的事件,給我們透露了一點點聖家是如何建設起來的秘密:即他們是如何面對了所有家庭都會有、都會發生的誤會。因為誤會也曾經發生在耶穌、瑪利亞和若瑟的聖家中。

在聖母和若瑟發現不見了耶穌的時候,兩人的焦急和憂心是絕非筆墨所能形容的。最後,雖然他們終於見面了,聖母坦白地說出了自己的憂心,也許還帶點抱怨和責備的口氣。耶穌也真誠地說出了自己為什麼「走失了」三天的理由。但誤會並沒有因為真誠的分享而解決:「他們卻不明白耶穌所說的話。」誤會還在持續。

生活不會完全沒有誤會,也不必完全沒有誤會;沒有誤會的家庭生活,也未必是家庭生活的最高境界。

聖家三口面對誤會的辦法,就是繼續一起生活:瑪利亞、若瑟這兩位做父母的,繼續盡父母的責任,耶穌這位做兒子的,繼續盡兒子的責任。所以路加福音說:「耶穌就同他們下去,回到納匝肋,接受他們的管教」。

這事件還有另一個關鍵,就是瑪利亞的態度:「他的母親把這一切都牢記在心中。

人生不是為了解決問題,而是要學會面對問題,尤其要學會如何面對解決不了的問題。在有些環境中,我們只能以無限的敬意,把一切默存心中,靜待天主的眷顧。

清朝金纓在他的《格言聯璧》中這樣說:「提得起,放得下;算得到,做得完;看得破,撇得開。」也是這個意思。

以活得瀟灑見稱的莊子,更進一步要做到「安時處順」,並認為這樣才可以達到「哀樂不能入」的無憂無慮的境界,進而能夠完全的順服生命,接受生命中的一切,就好像四時的自然運轉,就好像園中的花開花落、天上的雲捲雲舒。

在這點上,瑪利亞和聖家都給了我們一個絕佳的榜樣。

 

 

 

圣家节

 

尽世间义务,作天地完人

读经一:(撒上1:20-22,24-28):亚纳献撒慕尔
读经二:(若一3:1-2,21-24):我们都是天主的子女
福 音:(路2:41-52):耶稣初次显示天主性
中国文化:提得起,放得下;算得到,做得完;看得破,撇得開。
安時处顺,哀乐不能入也。

耶稣就同他们下去,回到纳匝肋,接受他们的管教。他的母亲把这一切都牢记在心中。耶稣在智慧和体格上,渐渐增长,深得天主和人的喜爱。
(路2:51-52)

耶稣在他的尘世生命中,究竟有没有成长这回事呢?如果有,他又是怎样成长的呢?他不是一生下来,就完全知道自己是天主的吗?他对自己「神性」的意识,是否一生都是处在同一的水平--至高的水平呢?

许多神学家认为,耶稣是有「成长」这回事的,他并不是一生下来,就已经知道了自己使命的全部内容,或已到了做人的最高峰。
耶稣固然是真天主,但也确确实实是真人,一個百分之一百的人,有成长这回事,和可以成长的人;他居住的是人间,走的是人的路。亦正因为他尽了世间的义务,所以他才作了天地间的完人。

他正如保禄所说,是一個和我们完全相似的「人」,只不過没有罪。意思是,我们所经历的一切,他都曾经亲身经历過。他和我们不同的地方,是他在所有的经历中,都表现得恰如其分,他做的常常是最符合天父旨意的事。

今天是圣家节,我们都希望我们的家是「圣家」:家中父慈子孝、兄友弟恭,大家和睦相处,其乐融融。

我们也会热切地祈求天主,使我们的家成为圣家。我们记得耶稣讲過的说话:「你们求,就必给你们。」(玛7:7)我们真的好想得到天主给我们恩宠,使我们的家自动成为圣家。

但也许我们忘记了一個事实,即耶稣也有求而不得的時候。耶稣的一切,其实都是经由努力和奋斗而获得的。

在山园祈祷中,他实在不願喝那個苦杯,但天父偏要他喝。他在十字架上,甚至发出了悲绝的哀鸣:「我的天主,我的天主,你为什么舍弃了我?」(谷15:34)

事实上,耶稣一生都在学习,学习对天父的服从。而他服从天父的最高峰,是发生在他生命的最末一刻,那是他在十字架上说「完成了」的時候。(若19:30)

他学习了,也成功了、完成了。他完全承行了天父的旨意,成长为天地间的完人。

耶稣在成长,「圣家」也不是一天便建成的,那是耶稣、玛利亚和若瑟三圣同心协力,一起长期建设的成果!

今天福音所说耶稣十二龄讲道的事件,给我们透露了一点点圣家是如何建设起来的秘密:即他们是如何面对了所有家庭都会有、都会发生的误会。因为误会也曾经发生在耶稣、玛利亚和若瑟的圣家中。

在圣母和若瑟发现不见了耶稣的時候,两人的焦急和忧心是绝非笔墨所能形容的。最后,虽然他们终於见面了,圣母坦白地说出了自己的忧心,也许还带点抱怨和責备的口气。耶稣也真诚地说出了自己为什么「走失了」三天的理由。但误会并没有因为真诚的分享而解决:「他们却不明白耶稣所说的话。」误会还在持续。

生活不会完全没有误会,也不必完全没有误会;没有误会的家庭生活,也未必是家庭生活的最高境界。

圣家三口面对误会的办法,就是继续一起生活:玛利亚、若瑟这两位做父母的,继续尽父母的責任,耶稣这位做儿子的,继续尽儿子的責任。所以路加福音说:「耶稣就同他们下去,回到纳匝肋,接受他们的管教」。

这事件还有另一個关键,就是玛利亚的态度:「他的母亲把这一切都牢记在心中。

人生不是为了解决問题,而是要学会面对問题,尤其要学会如何面对解决不了的問题。在有些环境中,我们只能以无限的敬意,把一切默存心中,静待天主的眷顾。

清朝金缨在他的《格言联璧》 中这样说:「提得起,放得下;算得到,做得完;看得破,撇得開。」也是这個意思。

以活得潇洒见称的庄子,更进一步要做到「安時处顺」,并认为这样才可以达到「哀乐不能入」的无忧无虑的境界,进而能够完全的顺服生命,接受生命中的一切,就好像四時的自然运转,就好像园中的花開花落、天上的云卷云舒。

在这点上,玛利亚和圣家都给了我们一個绝佳的榜样。

 

 

 

FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

Do one's best in this world, Be a model human person

First Reading (1 Sam 1: 20-22, 24-28): Hannah offered up Samuel
Second Reading (1 Jn 3: 1-2, 2l-24): We are God's children
Gospel (Lk 2: 41-52): First manifestation of Jesus' divinity
Chinese classics:
- “What can be held on to can also be let go; what can be calculated can be done; what can be seen through can be cast away”(1)
- -“Accept birth and death as natural coming and going, then sorrow and joy will not affect you.”(2)

Jesus went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.” (Lk 2: 51-52)

During his life on earth, did Jesus experience growth? If he did, what was this growth like? Wasn't he born with the awareness that he was God? Throughout his entire life, was he fully aware of his divinity all the time?

Many theologians believe that Jesus grew gradually to maturity, that he was not born with a full awareness of his mission or immediately reached the highest level of humanity.

Without a doubt Jesus is true God, but he also is truly human, a full, real human being. He was able to, and did, grow to maturity. He lived among us, walked the journey of life as every human person does. And because he fulfilled all the duties of a human person he was the most perfect human being that ever existed.

As Paul said, Jesus was like us in all things except sin. In other words, he personally experienced all that we experience. What differentiates him from us is that in all these experiences he did everything well and in accordance with the Father’s will.

Today is the Feast of the Holy Family and we hope that our family is a 'Holy Family': parents and children loving each other, siblings respectful of each other, all living in happiness and mutual harmony. We fervently pray to God to help our family be a Holy Family. We recall what Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given you.” (Mk 7: 7) We long for God to give us the grace for our family to become a Holy Family.

But we may forget the fact that even Jesus did not receive all he wished for. Everything Jesus had and received came from his perseverance and struggle.

During his prayer in Gethsemane, Jesus did not want to drink the bitter cup that his Father asked him to drink. Hanging on the cross, he cried out in agony, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mk 5: 34).

In fact, Jesus was learning throughout his entire life, “learning” to obey his Father's will. The highest point in his obedience to the Father came at the end of his life when on the cross he called out, “It is finished.”(Jn 19: 30)

He continued to learn throughout his life and he succeeded. He learned to be completely submissive to the Father's will and so could become mediator between heaven and earth.

As Jesus was growing to maturity, the 'Holy Family' did not become perfect in a day. Rather, the lengthy concerted efforts of all three, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, bore fruit and together they grew to perfection.

Today's Gospel passage relates the incident when Jesus at the age of twelve was found teaching in the temple. It gives us a glimpse of the hidden way in which the Holy Family grew in strength. It tells us about a misunderstanding that could happen in any family and it took place in the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

When Mary and Joseph discovered that they had lost Jesus, their anxiety and worry was indescribable. When they at last found Jesus, Mary openly expressed her worry, perhaps in a tone of blame and exasperation. Jesus in all sincerity explained the reason for his “being lost” for three days. But his earnestness did not seem to resolve the misunderstanding: “they did not understand what Jesus said.” The misunderstanding remained.

Life will not be entirely without misunderstandings, nor does it need to be: a family without any misunderstandings has not necessarily reached the highest stage of family life.

The Holy Family's way to handle this misunderstanding was to continue their life as before. The parents Mary and Joseph continued their parental responsibility to raise their son, the son Jesus continued his life of filial piety. Therefore Luke's Gospel records, “Jesus went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.” There is another sentence which provides a further key to Mary's attitude: “His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

Life does not have solutions to all problems, but we must learn how to face problems, especially how to face those we cannot solve. In those situations we can only 'keep everything in our heart', and with the greatest reverence quietly wait for God's loving care.

This is what Jin Ying of the Ching Dynasty meant in his “Maxims in Couplets of Jade: “What can be held on to can also be let go; what can be calculated can be done; what can be seen through, can be cast away.”(1)

Zhuang Zi, known to be a free spirit, went one step further to say one should strive to “accept birth and death as natural coming and going.”(2) This would bring one to the state “where sorrow and joy would not affect you.”(2) Then one would be able to submit completely to life as it is and accept everything in life as naturally as the seasons change, the flowers in the garden bloom and wither, and the clouds in the sky roll on and on.

In this respect Mary and the Holy Family have given us a remarkable example.

(1)提得起,放得下;算得到,做得完;看得破,撇得開。
(2)安時處順,哀樂不能入也。

 

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2019