復活主日 2019年04月21日


復活主日

根深葉茂,復活新生

讀經一:(宗10:34,37-43):伯多祿為基督的復活作見證
讀經二:(哥3:1-4):該追求天上的事
福 音:(若20:1-9):墳墓已空
中國文化:臣聞求木之長者,必固其根本;欲流之遠者,必浚其泉源;思國之安者,必積其德義。
根之茂者其實遂,膏之沃者其光曄。

你們既然與基督一同復活,就應該追求天上的事,在那裡基督坐在天主的右邊。你們要時刻想著天上的事,不要想著地上的事,因為你們已經死了,你們的生命已和基督一起結合在天主內。
(哥3:1-3)

復活節是基督徒一年中最大的節日(比聖誕節還要大),我們也稱星期天為「主日」,因為這一天正是「主的日子」,主就在這一天從死者中復活了。

猶太人的安息日原是在星期六的,基督徒本來也應以星期六為安息日,但基督徒為了紀念主的復活,所以才把星期日放在首位,在這一天恭敬天主、參與彌撒、罷百工、樂共融、行愛德,並稱之為「主日」。

但這些都只是基督信仰上的外形,而不是精華和神髓。

基督信仰的精華和神髓是:死亡、復活、結合、追求。用保祿的話來說是:你們已經「死」了,現在又與基督一同「復活」了,並和基督一起「結合」在天主內了,就應「追求」天上的事。

「死亡」和「復活」是一個過程,兩者合在一起,就是我們今天所說的「踰越」;「結合於天主內」,是指人所擁有的一種生命狀態,一種與天主有親密的聯繫、充滿天恩的生命狀態;「追求天上的事」,就是對靈性的事物倍感興趣,對生命欣賞,對理想執著,這是一種屬靈的氣質,是一個屬靈的人所應有的屬靈生活方式和具體生活表現。

初期教會的信徒都相信基督復活了,雖然福音沒有記載過曾經有人見到基督「由死復生」的整個過程;而見到他顯現的人其實也不算多(最多也不過是一千幾百人左右)。但顯然地,初期教會的信徒並沒有感到要把對耶穌的信仰,建基在親眼見到他的復活上。他們沒有見到耶穌的復活,但卻堅信耶穌已經復活了。這便應驗了耶穌對多默所說的話:「那些沒有看見而相信的,才是有福的!」(若20:29)

初期教友最能感受到的,是一個已經復活了的耶穌。這個復活了的、活生生的耶穌現在和他們同在,這個耶穌在他們的心中、在他們的身旁,這個耶穌分享和分擔了他們生命中的一切,並成了他們生活的力量和中心點。

他們只是「相信」耶穌的復活,那是發生在耶穌死而安葬後第三天早晨的一個事件:「一周的第一天,天還沒亮,瑪利亞瑪達肋納來到墳墓那裡,看見墓門的石頭已經移開,就跑去告訴西滿伯多祿和耶穌所愛的那個門徒,對他們說:『有人從墓中把主搬走了,不知道把他放在哪裡。』」(參閱若20:1-9)誰都沒有看到耶穌的「復活」,連主日彌撒的禮儀,在讀經中,也是選了這段「墳墓已空」的述。

但他們卻是「經驗」到復活了的耶穌,一個活生生的、在他們身外、也在他們身內的真實的耶穌!這個耶穌現在已經和他們在一起,永不分離;這個耶穌實實在在的影響和改變了他們的生命。為了這個耶穌,他們不怕面對生活的艱苦和困難,他們中許多人也確是為了這個耶穌,而受到各色各樣的、不同程度的迫害。

魏徵在他的《諫太宗十思疏》中這樣說:「臣聞求木之長者,必固其根本;欲流之遠者,必浚其泉源;思國之安者,必積其德義。」要樹木長得高大,就要穩固它的根柢;要流水奔流得長遠,就要挖深它的泉源;要國家長治久安,就要積德、行善。

初期的信徒在皈依了耶穌之後,所經驗到的,正是自己生命根基的深厚,自己心內恩寵活泉的湧流,自己生活上那種自內而生出的善行的豐富。這些都是和基督結合的必然結果。這亦是韓愈在《答李翊書》中所說的:「根之茂者其實遂,膏之沃者其光曄」,根柢茂盛的植物,結的果實一定是又大又多;油多的燈,一定會發出明亮的光芒。

初期教會由於和耶穌在一起,都明顯的有這種光芒,「他們每天都成群結隊地前往聖殿,也挨戶擘餅,懷著歡樂和誠實的心一起進食。他們常讚頌天主,也獲得了全民眾的愛戴。」(宗2:46-47)這真是一個在耶穌內的「復活的團體」!

我們都相信耶穌復活了,但我們有和基督結合嗎?我們追求天上的事嗎?我們對耶穌又有多深的經驗呢?在我們人生路上的成敗得失和苦苦樂樂之中,我們相信和感受到復活的耶穌與我們同在嗎?

复活主日

根深叶茂,复活新生

读经一:(宗10:34,37-43):伯多禄为基督的复活作见证
读经二:(哥3:1-4):該追求天上的事
福 音:(若20:1-9):坟墓已空
中国文化:臣闻求木之长者,必固其根本;欲流之遠者,必浚其泉源;思国之安者,必积其德义。
根之茂者其实遂,膏之沃者其光晔。

你们既然与基督一同复活,就应該追求天上的事,在那里基督坐在天主的右边。你们要時刻想著天上的事,不要想著地上的事,因为你们已经死了,你们的生命已和基督一起结合在天主内。
(哥3:1-3)

复活节是基督徒一年中最大的节日(比圣诞节还要大),我们也称星期天为「主日」,因为这一天正是「主的日子」,主就在这一天从死者中复活了。

犹太人的安息日原是在星期六的,基督徒本来也应以星期六为安息日,但基督徒为了纪念主的复活,所以才把星期日放在首位,在这一天恭敬天主、参与弥撒、罢百工、乐共融、行爱德,并称之为「主日」。

但这些都只是基督信仰上的外形,而不是精华和神髓。

基督信仰的精华和神髓是:死亡、复活、结合、追求。用保禄的话来说是:你们已经「死」了,现在又与基督一同「复活」了,并和基督一起「结合」在天主内了,就应「追求」天上的事。

「死亡」和「复活」是一個過程,两者合在一起,就是我们今天所说的「逾越」;「结合於天主内」,是指人所拥有的一种生命状态,一种与天主有亲密的联系、充满天恩的生命状态;「追求天上的事」,就是对灵性的事物倍感兴趣,对生命欣赏,对理想执著,这是一种属灵的气质,是一個属灵的人所应有的属灵生活方式和具体生活表现。

初期教会的信徒都相信基督复活了,虽然福音没有记载過曾经有人见到基督「由死复生」的整個過程;而见到他显现的人其实也不算多(最多也不過是一千幾百人左右)。但显然地,初期教会的信徒并没有感到要把对耶稣的信仰,建基在亲眼见到他的复活上。他们没有见到耶稣的复活,但却坚信耶稣已经复活了。这便应验了耶稣对多默所说的话:「那些没有看见而相信的,才是有福的!」(若20:29)

初期教友最能感受到的,是一個已经复活了的耶稣。这個复活了的、活生生的耶稣现在和他们同在,这個耶稣在他们的心中、在他们的身旁,这個耶稣分享和分担了他们生命中的一切,并成了他们生活的力量和中心点。

他们只是「相信」耶稣的复活,那是发生在耶稣死而安葬后第三天早晨的一個事件:「一周的第一天,天还没亮,玛利亚玛达肋纳来到坟墓那里,看见墓门的石头已经移開,就跑去告诉西满伯多禄和耶稣所爱的那個门徒,对他们说:『有人从墓中把主搬走了,不知道把他放在哪里。』」(参阅若20:1-9)谁都没有看到耶稣的「复活」,连主日弥撒的礼仪,在读经中,也是选了这段「坟墓已空」的述。

但他们却是「经验」到复活了的耶稣,一個活生生的、在他们身外、也在他们身内的真实的耶稣!这個耶稣现在已经和他们在一起,永不分離;这個耶稣实实在在的影响和改变了他们的生命。为了这個耶稣,他们不怕面对生活的艰苦和困难,他们中许多人也确是为了这個耶稣,而受到各色各样的、不同程度的迫害。

魏徵在他的《谏太宗十思疏》 中这样说:「臣闻求木之长者,必固其根本;欲流之遠者,必浚其泉源;思国之安者,必积其德义。」要树木长得高大,就要稳固它的根柢;要流水奔流得长遠,就要挖深它的泉源;要国家长治久安,就要积德、行善。

初期的信徒在皈依了耶稣之后,所经验到的,正是自己生命根基的深厚,自己心内恩宠活泉的涌流,自己生活上那种自内而生出的善行的丰富。这些都是和基督结合的必然结果。这亦是韩愈在《答李翊书》 中所说的:「根之茂者其实遂,膏之沃者其光晔」,根柢茂盛的植物,结的果实一定是又大又多;油多的灯,一定会发出明亮的光芒。

初期教会由於和耶稣在一起,都明显的有这种光芒,「他们每天都成群结队地前往圣殿,也挨户擘饼,怀著欢乐和诚实的心一起进食。他们常赞颂天主,也获得了全民众的爱戴。」(宗2:46-47)这真是一個在耶稣内的「复活的团体」!

我们都相信耶稣复活了,但我们有和基督结合吗?我们追求天上的事吗?我们对耶稣又有多深的经验呢?在我们人生路上的成败得失和苦苦乐乐之中,我们相信和感受到复活的耶稣与我们同在吗?

Easter Sunday

Deep Roots, Luxuriant Leaves: Resurrection and New Life

First Reading (Acts 10: 34, 37-41): Peter bears witness to Jesus' Resurrection
Second Reading (Col 3: 1-4): Seek the things that are above
Gospel (Jn 20: 1-9): The empty tomb
Chinese Classics:
-“The minister heard that for a tree to grow well, one must strengthen its roots; for a river to flow wide, one must dredge its source; for a country to be stable, one must be kind and honorable” (1)
-“Luxuriant roots beget plentiful fruit, sufficient oil brightens the light.” (2)

“So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3: 1-3)

For Christians, Easter is the greatest feast of the year (even greater than Christmas). We call Sunday 'the Lord's Day' because that day belongs to God and Our Lord rose from the dead on that day.

The Jews' Sabbath originally was on Saturday so actually one would think Christians would observe that day. But in order to commemorate the Lord's resurrection, Christians gave priority to Sunday. On that day we worship God, participate in Mass, refrain from one's daily labor. We join joyfully in community with other Christians and we perform acts of charity. We term Sunday the “Lord's Day.” These are external practices of the Christian faith, but they are not the essence and spirit.

The essence and spirit of Christian faith is: death, resurrection, unity, seeking. This is what St. Paul says: You have already 'died', but now together with Christ you have 'risen.' 'United' in Christ, you should 'seek' the things that are above.

“Death” and “Resurrection” is a process. The merging of the two is what today we call 'Pascha' or 'Passover'. 'Your life is hidden with Christ in God' means a state of life closely linked to God, a life filled with God’s grace. 'Seeking the things that are above' refers to a keen interest in spiritual matters, an appreciation of life, a holding to high ideals. It is a spiritual 'atmosphere', a lifestyle that shows concretely that spiritual matters are important.

In the early Church, though the Gospels do not record that anyone knew how or when Christ rose from the dead, the disciples believed in the Resurrection. Afterwards Jesus did not appear to large numbers of people (at the most perhaps somewhat over a thousand persons.) But obviously the faithful in the early Church did not feel their faith in Jesus needed to be based on having actually “seen” the Resurrection. They had not seen Jesus rising from death but they firmly believed Jesus had risen. This is what Jesus said to Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” (Jn 20:29)

The early Christians had faith in the risen Jesus. This Jesus was alive and was in their midst. He abode in their hearts, he was beside and around them, he shared and bore with them all that happened in their lives. He became the strength and focus of their lives.

They simply 'believed' in Jesus' Resurrection and in what had happened on the third morning after Jesus had died and was buried: “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” (cf. Jn 20: 1-9). No one had seen Jesus rising from the dead. Even in the Mass for Easter Sunday, it is this section on the ‘empty tomb’ that has been chosen for the Gospel Reading.

But they had 'experienced' the risen Jesus truly alive, outside themselves yet also within their hearts. He was already with them and would be with them forever. This Jesus was truly there, influencing and changing their lives. For this Jesus, they were fearless in facing any suffering or difficulty, and it was for this Jesus that so many of them suffered persecution and all kinds of torture.

In the “Ten Memorandums to Advise Emperor Tai Zong” Wei Jing wrote, “The minister heard that for a tree to grow well, one must strengthen its roots; for a river to flow wide, one must dredge its source; for a country to be stable one must be kind and honourable.”(1) For trees to grow tall and strong, the roots must be firm, for a river to flow far and wide, its source must be very deep. For a country to have peace and stability the ruler must govern with kindness and honor.

After the early Christians had been converted to Jesus they experienced a depth in
their life forces and an overflow of grace within their hearts. They were aware of an abundance of love and good works flowing from within themselves. This was the inevitable result of their union with Christ. It was similar to Han Yu's 'Reply to Li Yi':“Luxuriant roots beget plentiful fruit, sufficient oil brightens the light.” (2) Plants with deep roots and luxuriant leaves will produce plentiful and large fruit, a lamp with sufficient oil will give out a bright light.

Because the early church was united so closely to Jesus, it shone with radiant brightness. ”Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.” (Acts 2: 46-47) In Jesus they were really a 'resurrected community'.

We too believe in Jesus' Resurrection. But are we united to Christ? Do we seek the things that are above? How much experience of Jesus do we have? Do we really believe and feel that the Risen Jesus is always with us throughout the failures and successes, gains and losses, of our lives?

(1)臣聞求木之長者,必固其根本;欲流之遠者,必浚其泉源;思國之安者,必積其德義。
(2)根之茂者其實遂,膏之沃者其光曄。

 

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2019