常年期第二主日 2019年01月20日


常年期第二主日

多元合一、殊途同歸

讀經一:(依62:1-5):上主對以民的愛
讀經二:(格前12:4-11):神恩來自同一聖神
福 音:(若2:1-12):加納婚宴
中國文化:春遊芳草地,夏賞綠荷池;秋飲黃花酒,冬吟白雪詩。
造物無言卻有情,每於寒盡覺春生;千紅萬紫安排著,只待新雷第一聲。


神恩雖有區別,卻只有一個聖神;服務雖有多種,卻只有一個主;工作雖有區別,卻是由同一的天主所推動眾人做的。聖神在各人身上的顯示,都是為了眾人的好處……這一切都是唯一和同一的聖神所做的;他隨自己的心意,把恩寵分給各人。(格前12:4-11)

格林多前書第十二章全章,都在討論「神恩」和「教會一身」的問題,及它們彼此間密不可分的關係。上面所選的片段特別闡釋的是「神恩」的內容和它的多面性。它告訴我們:

第一、神恩有許多種;第二、它們全都是從唯一的和同一的聖神而來;第三、它們都是為人的好處而賜下的;第四、沒有人可以限制聖神廣施恩惠。

我們感謝天主賜給我們一個這樣充滿聖神的教會,一個這樣神恩廣被的世界。我們的教會原來不單是一個完備的組織,也是一個屬靈的團體;我們的世界原來不單有物質的部分,也是充滿天上神恩的。

天主創造的世界,原本是多元而共融、色彩繽紛和遍佈彩虹的。這是一個立體的、漂亮的世界,它絕不是一個平面的、單調的和沉悶的世界。

在這個美麗的世界上,樹上的葉子沒有一片是相同的,天上的浮雲也幻化無窮。一年四季,寒來暑往、秋收冬藏,正好讓我們有一個「春遊芳草地,夏賞綠荷池;秋飲黃花酒,冬吟白雪詩」的不同機會。難怪有一位新加坡朋友向人說:在新加坡生活有時會感到很沉悶,因為一年四季都是夏季,人在新加坡一生都只能穿「夏威夷恤」而已!

為聖神所聖化和祝聖的世界,也是多姿多采的。聖神以不同的神恩,裝扮了教會,裝飾了大地。正如春風吹綠了大地,使百花爭艷,聖神也像風,使世界春意盎然,充滿生機。

清朝張維屏有一首小詩叫《新雷》,所描寫的是一個物質的世界,也是一個千紅萬紫的、精神的世界,它這樣說:「造物無言卻有情,每於寒盡覺春生;千紅萬紫安排著,只待新雷第一聲。

教會本來也是一個千紅萬紫的團體。從教會內部來說,我們看到有不同的教友團體、不同的堂區、不同的修會、不同的神恩運動、不同的聖人所修煉出來的不同聖德。在這個「至一」的教會中,既有足不出戶,只專注於祈禱、勞動的隱修士和修女,也有經常上街示威、喊口號的活躍分子、關社人士。我們有較為保守的傳統神學,也有以草根階層為主的「解放神學」。

從教會外部來說,我們看到基督徒間的不同、宗教間的不同、文化間的不同,我們也看到古往今來不同的偉大人物,各以不同的方式,去貢獻社會、豐富文化、建設人類社會。

我們相信聖神是一切真、善、美、聖的根源,世上的一切真、善、美、聖,都無一不是從他而來的,「他隨自己的心意,把恩寵分給各人」。沒有任何人或團體,包括天主教和基督教在內,可以壟斷聖神的行動,或限制聖神的奇工妙化。

慷慨、大方、絕不斤斤計較,這些都是無限包容的天主的屬性之一。今天我們在福音中讀到變水為酒的故事,這故事也在述說上主的無限慷慨。六個石缸,每缸大約可裝一百公升的水,全部變成了酒——六百公升的酒,而且是「好酒」!

真的,「耶穌製造」的酒,又哪能不是好酒呢!

這個故事可以引伸的教訓有很多:聖母的關心和細心、耶穌的大能、彼此代禱的意義、婚姻的聖化……。但在這一切中,我們不能不驚訝的,就是天主的慷慨,並由此慷慨而產生的豐盛收穫與滿堂歡慶。

面對著上主的大方和慷慨,我們的反應是欣賞、讚嘆,還是嫉妒、冷漠呢?

我們會從別人的好處、長處、特點和神恩上,去欣賞上主的化工嗎?我們會配合別人的神恩,一起合作去榮主侍人嗎?我們會有一點點若翰的精神,講得出「他可以長大,我可以縮小」的豪語嗎?我們努力、競爭,這是好事,但我們是為誰競爭、為什麼而競爭呢?

讓我們為一個多姿多采的教會而祈求,也為一個多元化的世界而祈求,期望所有人最後都能一同回到世界和生命的最終根源——天主那裡去。

 

常年期第二主日

多元合一、殊途同归

读经一:(依62:1-5):上主对以民的爱
读经二:(格前12:4-11):神恩来自同一圣神
福 音:(若2:1-12):加纳婚宴
中国文化:春游芳草地,夏赏绿荷池;秋饮黄花酒,冬吟白雪诗。
造物无言却有情,每於寒尽觉春生;千红万紫安排著,只待新雷第一声。


神恩虽有区别,却只有一個圣神;服务虽有多种,却只有一個主;工作虽有区别,却是由同一的天主所推动众人做的。圣神在各人身上的显示,都是为了众人的好处……这一切都是唯一和同一的圣神所做的;他随自己的心意,把恩宠分给各人。(格前12:4-11)

格林多前书第十二章全章,都在讨论「神恩」和「教会一身」的問题,及它们彼此间密不可分的关系。上面所选的片段特别阐释的是「神恩」的内容和它的多面性。它告诉我们:

第一、神恩有许多种;第二、它们全都是从唯一的和同一的圣神而来;第三、它们都是为人的好处而赐下的;第四、没有人可以限制圣神广施恩惠。

我们感谢天主赐给我们一個这样充满圣神的教会,一個这样神恩广被的世界。我们的教会原来不单是一個完备的组织,也是一個属灵的团体;我们的世界原来不单有物质的部分,也是充满天上神恩的。

天主创造的世界,原本是多元而共融、色彩缤纷和遍布彩虹的。这是一個立体的、漂亮的世界,它绝不是一個平面的、单调的和沉闷的世界。

在这個美麗的世界上,树上的叶子没有一片是相同的,天上的浮云也幻化无穷。一年四季,寒来暑往、秋收冬藏,正好让我们有一個「春游芳草地,夏赏绿荷池;秋饮黄花酒,冬吟白雪诗」的不同机会。难怪有一位新加坡朋友向人说:在新加坡生活有時会感到很沉闷,因为一年四季都是夏季,人在新加坡一生都只能穿「夏威夷恤」而已!

为圣神所圣化和祝圣的世界,也是多姿多采的。圣神以不同的神恩,装扮了教会,装饰了大地。正如春风吹绿了大地,使百花争艳,圣神也像风,使世界春意盎然,充满生机。

清朝张维屏有一首小诗叫《新雷》 ,所描写的是一個物质的世界,也是一個千红万紫的、精神的世界,它这样说:「造物无言却有情,每於寒尽觉春生;千红万紫安排著,只待新雷第一声。

教会本来也是一個千红万紫的团体。从教会内部来说,我们看到有不同的教友团体、不同的堂区、不同的修会、不同的神恩运动、不同的圣人所修炼出来的不同圣德。在这個「至一」的教会中,既有足不出户,只专注於祈祷、劳动的隐修士和修女,也有经常上街示威、喊口号的活跃分子、关社人士。我们有较为保守的传统神学,也有以草根阶层为主的「解放神学」。

从教会外部来说,我们看到基督徒间的不同、宗教间的不同、文化间的不同,我们也看到古往今来不同的伟大人物,各以不同的方式,去貢献社会、丰富文化、建设人类社会。

我们相信圣神是一切真、善、美、圣的根源,世上的一切真、善、美、圣,都无一不是从他而来的,「他随自己的心意,把恩宠分给各人」。没有任何人或团体,包括天主教和基督教在内,可以垄断圣神的行动,或限制圣神的奇工妙化。

慷慨、大方、绝不斤斤计较,这些都是无限包容的天主的属性之一。今天我们在福音中读到变水为酒的故事,这故事也在述说上主的无限慷慨。六個石缸,每缸大约可装一百公升的水,全部变成了酒——六百公升的酒,而且是「好酒」!

真的,「耶稣制造」的酒,又哪能不是好酒呢!

这個故事可以引伸的教训有很多:圣母的关心和细心、耶稣的大能、彼此代祷的意义、婚姻的圣化……。但在这一切中,我们不能不惊讶的,就是天主的慷慨,并由此慷慨而產生的丰盛收获与满堂欢庆。

面对著上主的大方和慷慨,我们的反应是欣赏、赞叹,还是嫉妒、冷漠呢?

我们会从别人的好处、长处、特点和神恩上,去欣赏上主的化工吗?我们会配合别人的神恩,一起合作去荣主侍人吗?我们会有一点点若翰的精神,讲得出「他可以长大,我可以缩小」的豪语吗?我们努力、竞争,这是好事,但我们是为谁竞争、为什么而竞争呢?

让我们为一個多姿多采的教会而祈求,也为一個多元化的世界而祈求,期望所有人最后都能一同回到世界和生命的最终根源——天主那里去。

 

SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Unity in Diversity - Different Routes Lead to One Final Destiny

First Reading (Is 62: 1-5): God's love for the Israelites
Second Reading ( 1 Cor 12:4-11): All spiritual gifts come from the one Spirit
Gospel (Jn 2:1-12): The wedding at Cana
Chinese classics:
“In spring visit places of scented flowers, in summer enjoy the green lotus pond; in autumn drink chrysanthemum wine, in winter sing a song of snow.”(1)
-“Though the Creator does not speak He has sympathy. At the end of every winter spring is felt, a thousand and a million shades of red and purple are arranged just waiting for the first sound of the new thunder.(2).

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each it is the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good... All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.” (1 Cor 12: 4-11)

The entire chapter 12 of the second letter to the Corinthians discusses the 'gifts of the Spirit' (charisms), the oneness of the Church and the inseparable inter-relationship between the two. The selections from the above Scripture reading refer to the kinds of gifts or charisms and their variety.

First, there are different kinds of charisms; secondly, all of them come from the one and only Spirit; thirdly, all are given for the benefit of humankind; and fourthly, no one can limit the abundance of the Spirit’s gifts.

We thank God for granting us a Church so filled with the Holy Spirit who spreads his charisms throughout the world. Our Church is not only a perfect temporal society, it is also a spiritual community. Our world does not have only a material side to it, it is also filled with spiritual graces from above.

God originally made a world of great variety yet unified, colorful as the rainbow. It was a beautiful world of great variety, certainly not a world which was dull, unchangeable, or the same all over.

In this beautiful world, there are no two tree leaves exactly the same and the clouds are ever changing. The four seasons follow one on the other regularly, autumn harvests provide for the winter, cold comes after summer heat. This gives us an opportunity to “in spring visit places of scented flowers, in summer enjoy the green lotus pods, in autumn drink chrysanthemum wine and in winter sing a song of snow.” (1) No wonder a friend from Singapore commented that it could be very boring living in Singapore because it is summer throughout the year. People there wear only ‘Hawaiian” shirts all their lives!

The world that has been sanctified and hallowed by the Holy Spirit's blessing is truly beautiful. The Holy Spirit also has filled the earth with spiritual gifts (charisms) which the Spirit has bestowed on the Church. As the spring breezes blow till the land turns green and the flowers begin to bloom, so the Holy Spirit, like the wind, fills the world with fruitfulness and vitality.

In the Ching dynasty, the poet Zhang Wei Bing wrote a poem entitled 'New Thunder.' He describes a material world which is also a spiritual world filled with millions of colors. He says it in this way, “Though the Creator does not speak He has sympathy. At the end of every winter spring is felt, a thousand and a million shades of red and purple are arranged just waiting for the first sound of the new thunder.”(2)

The Church in fact is a body of 'many colors', that is, of great variety. Within the Church we can see different lay organizations, different parishes and religious communities, different spiritual movements, a great variety of virtues practiced by different saints. Within this 'one' Church, there are cloistered religious whose chief work is prayer and cloistered men and women who do manual labor, those who often engage in demonstrations and protests, those who are involved in social action. We have a comparatively conservative theology and also 'liberation theology' which emphasizes a viewpoint from the grassroots.

Externally we see many different kinds of Christians, different sects, a variety of cultures. From earliest times till now we see a variety of 'great heroes' or saints, each with a different style which contributes to society, enriches cultures and helps build up human society.

We believe the Holy Spirit is the source of all truth, goodness, beauty and holiness. All that is good, true and beautiful in this world comes from the Holy Spirit. “God allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.” No one person or organization, including the Catholic Church and other Christian groups, can monopolize the actions of the Holy Spirit or limit the Spirit's mysterious work of sanctification.

Heroic, generous, open to all - these are characteristics of the God of unlimited tolerance. In today's Gospel, we read about the miracle of turning water into wine which shows God's generosity. Six big jars, each holding about 100 liters of water, all turned into wine, 'good wine' (XO!) the Gospel says. Truly, the wine 'made by Jesus' could not but be good wine!

This story has many lessons: Blessed Mother's concern and carefulness, Jesus' power, the meaningfulness of praying for each other, the sacredness of marriage... But among all of these, what is most to be wondered at is God's generosity and the joy and abundant results that come from such generosity.

Faced with the Lord's selflessness and generosity is our response appreciation and praise or jealousy and indifference?

When we observe others' virtues, merits, good qualities and spiritual graces, do we appreciate the work of God? Do we match the grace of others and cooperate with each other to further glorify God and serve our neighbor? Can we have a little bit of John the Baptist's spirit and say, ‘'He must increase, I must decrease'? We put forth much effort and compete and that is good, but for whom and for what reason do we compete with each other?

Let us pray for this Church of such abundant grace and pray also for this world of such great variety, that all people ultimately may return to God, the source of the world and of life.

(1)春遊芳草地,夏賞綠荷池;秋飲黃花酒,冬吟白雪詩。
(2)造物無言卻有情,每於寒盡覺春生;千紅萬紫安排著,只待新雷第一聲。

 

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2019