復活期第三主日 2019年05月05日


復活期第三主日

要把青春換明天,直到火傳而薪盡

讀經一:(宗5:27-32,40-41):宗徒不怕迫害,為主宣講
讀經二:(默5:11-14):被宰殺的羔羊堪受讚頌
福 音:(若21:1-19):耶穌在海邊顯現
中國文化:試玉要燒三日滿,辨材需待七年期。
     引刀成一快,不負少年頭。

耶穌對西滿伯多祿說:「若望的兒子西滿,你比他們更愛我嗎?」伯多祿回答說:「主,是的,你知道我愛你。」耶穌對他說:「你餵養我的羊群。我鄭重的告訴你:你年輕的時候,自己束上腰,隨意往來;但是到了老年,你要伸出手來,別人要給你束上腰,帶你到你不願意去的地方。」說完這話,又對他說:「你跟隨我吧!」
(若21:15,18-19)

耶穌在世上的壽命只有三十三年,其中前面的三十年是隱居的生活,我們對這三十年所知很少;後面的三年是耶穌的公開生活,他以言、以行,傳佈喜訊,為宣講和建設天國而奔走。這是十分絢爛而多姿多采的三年。

在耶穌的最後三年公開生活中,我們聽到耶穌精采的、針對生命的講道,看到耶穌為憐憫人而顯的奇蹟;我們看到耶穌的臨在,即所謂的「耶穌事件」,所給全城人帶來的哄動;我們目睹到純樸的老百姓,為所看到的和所聽到的耶穌,而熱情地奔走相告。那時,「閤城的人」都聚在耶穌的面前,「人都驚奇他的教訓,因為他教訓他們正像有權威似的,不像經師們一樣。」(參考谷1:21-34)

我們仿佛看到二千年前的「耶穌迷」的風采,他們迷上了耶穌,連帶對耶穌的母親也羨慕不已:「懷過你的胎,哺過你的乳,真是有福!」(路11:27)

不過,就正如一切的熱潮,來得快,消逝得也快;對耶穌愛得深,或更好說是對他起哄得快的人,對他的失望和怨恨也會來得格外的深刻。聖枝主日的「賀三納」歡呼聲還在耳邊縈繞,不夠六天,就被主受難日「釘死他」的咒罵聲所取代了。人們寧可選擇釋放一個殺人重犯巴辣巴,也不要釋放耶穌。人間的冷暖、世事的無常、禍福的難料、人心的變幻和飄忽,有比這更令人震驚和感到無奈的嗎?

就連宗徒之長伯多祿,他那愛主的熱情、深情和豪情,和他那信誓旦旦的、要和耶穌共生死的諾言(瑪26:35),最後還不是懦弱地、可怕地、可恥地變成了「我不認識這個人」的否認與背叛?

白居易在他的《放言》詩中說:「試玉要燒三日滿,辨材需待七年期」,這是說,不怕火燒的玉和經不起火燒的石的分別,要燃燒它們三天才可知道,而辨別樹木木質的好壞,則要經過七年的栽培,才可顯露出來。要考驗信仰,又何止三日、七年呢?

絢爛過後,宗徒們要面對的,是一生無盡的信仰考驗:猶太人的迫害、外教人的冷眼、羅馬人的敵視,以至各式各樣從教會內部與教會外部而來的危機。

年富力強的人,還可以一鼓作氣,擔起一切的壓力,頂著從四方八面而來的攻擊,如汪精衛少年時的豪語:「引刀成一快,不負少年頭」,但越來越老了,人已經不復有當年之勇,有些人便也如汪精衛一樣變成了漢奸,一腔的熱忱,化作灰飛煙滅。時間確實是人格真偽的大熔爐。

伯多祿曾經否認過他一生跟隨的主,不過他的淚也為他洗去了他的恥辱,但耶穌的悉心栽培和他自己對上主的虛心回應,卻是決定性的因素。我相信,以下會是伯多祿和耶穌一生不斷的對話:

「你比他們傷得我更深,因為你是我的門徒、我的朋友、我的至愛、我所揀選的,所以你會比他們更愛我嗎?」

「主,我不知道我是否比別人更愛你,也不知道我能否比別人更愛你。但我希望你知道:我愛你!我也不知道我能愛你多久,但我今天,以及以後的無數天,都要在你的幫助下,努力不斷的說:我愛你!直到海枯石爛,直到地老天荒。」

「謝謝你,西滿!我相信你已經驗到『心神固然切願,但肉體卻軟弱』的真理,但我還是喜歡親耳聽到你對我的這個愛的誓言。不過,希望你也知道,你年輕的時候,雖然可以主宰自己,但到了老年的時候,你不會再有主宰自己的精力。但如果你信賴我、依靠我,邀請我進入你的生命,我會慢慢和你結合,成為你的力量。

「你去吧,去我要你去的地方,完成我要你完成的任務。在你的生命燃盡的時候,就是你生命完成的時候。我要在你的生命中,看到薪盡火傳:你的生命資源總有一天會耗盡,但由我在你身上燃起的火,將會永久的傳下去。」

 

复活期第三主日

要把青春换明天,直到火传而薪尽

读经一:(宗5:27-32,40-41):宗徒不怕迫害,为主宣讲
读经二:(默5:11-14):被宰杀的羔羊堪受赞颂
福 音:(若21:1-19):耶稣在海边显现
中国文化:试玉要烧三日满,辨材需待七年期。
     引刀成一快,不负少年头。

耶稣对西满伯多禄说:「若望的儿子西满,你比他们更爱我吗?」伯多禄回答说:「主,是的,你知道我爱你。」耶稣对他说:「你喂养我的羊群。我郑重的告诉你:你年轻的時候,自己束上腰,随意往来;但是到了老年,你要伸出手来,别人要给你束上腰,带你到你不願意去的地方。」说完这话,又对他说:「你跟随我吧!」
(若21:15,18-19)

耶稣在世上的寿命只有三十三年,其中前面的三十年是隐居的生活,我们对这三十年所知很少;后面的三年是耶稣的公開生活,他以言、以行,传布喜讯,为宣讲和建设天国而奔走。这是十分绚烂而多姿多采的三年。

在耶稣的最后三年公開生活中,我们听到耶稣精采的、针对生命的讲道,看到耶稣为怜悯人而显的奇迹;我们看到耶稣的临在,即所谓的「耶稣事件」,所给全城人带来的哄动;我们目睹到纯朴的老百姓,为所看到的和所听到的耶稣,而热情地奔走相告。那時,「合城的人」都聚在耶稣的面前,「人都惊奇他的教训,因为他教训他们正像有权威似的,不像经师们一样。」(参考谷1:21-34)

我们仿佛看到二千年前的「耶稣迷」的风采,他们迷上了耶稣,连带对耶稣的母亲也羡慕不已:「怀過你的胎,哺過你的乳,真是有福!」(路11:27)

不過,就正如一切的热潮,来得快,消逝得也快;对耶稣爱得深,或更好说是对他起哄得快的人,对他的失望和怨恨也会来得格外的深刻。圣枝主日的「贺三纳」欢呼声还在耳边萦绕,不够六天,就被主受难日「钉死他」的咒骂声所取代了。人们宁可选择释放一個杀人重犯巴辣巴,也不要释放耶稣。人间的冷暖、世事的无常、祸福的难料、人心的变幻和飘忽,有比这更令人震惊和感到无奈的吗?

就连宗徒之长伯多禄,他那爱主的热情、深情和豪情,和他那信誓旦旦的、要和耶稣共生死的诺言(玛26:35),最后还不是懦弱地、可怕地、可耻地变成了「我不认识这個人」的否认与背叛?

白居易在他的《放言》 诗中说:「试玉要烧三日满,辨材需待七年期」,这是说,不怕火烧的玉和经不起火烧的石的分别,要燃烧它们三天才可知道,而辨别树木木质的好坏,则要经過七年的栽培,才可显露出来。要考验信仰,又何止三日、七年呢?

绚烂過后,宗徒们要面对的,是一生无尽的信仰考验:犹太人的迫害、外教人的冷眼、罗马人的敌视,以至各式各样从教会内部与教会外部而来的危机。

年富力强的人,还可以一鼓作气,担起一切的压力,顶著从四方八面而来的攻击,如汪精卫少年時的豪语:「引刀成一快,不负少年头」,但越来越老了,人已经不复有当年之勇,有些人便也如汪精卫一样变成了汉奸,一腔的热忱,化作灰飞烟灭。時间确实是人格真伪的大熔炉。

伯多禄曾经否认過他一生跟随的主,不過他的淚也为他洗去了他的耻辱,但耶稣的悉心栽培和他自己对上主的虚心回应,却是决定性的因素。我相信,以下会是伯多禄和耶稣一生不断的对话:

「你比他们伤得我更深,因为你是我的门徒、我的朋友、我的至爱、我所拣选的,所以你会比他们更爱我吗?」

「主,我不知道我是否比别人更爱你,也不知道我能否比别人更爱你。但我希望你知道:我爱你!我也不知道我能爱你多久,但我今天,以及以后的无数天,都要在你的帮助下,努力不断的说:我爱你!直到海枯石烂,直到地老天荒。」

「谢谢你,西满!我相信你已经验到『心神固然切願,但肉体却软弱』的真理,但我还是喜欢亲耳听到你对我的这個爱的誓言。不過,希望你也知道,你年轻的時候,虽然可以主宰自己,但到了老年的時候,你不会再有主宰自己的精力。但如果你信赖我、依靠我,邀请我进入你的生命,我会慢慢和你结合,成为你的力量。

「你去吧,去我要你去的地方,完成我要你完成的任务。在你的生命燃尽的時候,就是你生命完成的時候。我要在你的生命中,看到薪尽火传:你的生命资源总有一天会耗尽,但由我在你身上燃起的火,将会永久的传下去。」

 

Third Sunday of Easter

Exchange Youth for Tomorrow Until theTorch of Learning Has Been Passed On

First Reading (Acts 5:27-32, 40-41): The apostles did not fear persecution and preached for the Lord
Second Reading (Rev 5:11-14): The Lamb that was slaughtered is worthy of praise
Gospel (John 21:1-19): Jesus appeared at the edge of the sea
Chinese culture:
-“To test jade requires burning it for three whole days; to verify good wood requires waiting for seven long years.” (1)
-“Behead me with the sharp knife quickly. Let me not be ashamed of my young head.” (2)


“Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’ After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ ” (Jn 21: 15, 18-19)

Jesus lived on this earth for only thirty-three years. The first thirty years were a 'hidden' life of which we know very little. The last three years were Jesus' 'Public life' during which time he proclaimed the 'good news' by his words and actions. He went throughout the country to spread the good news and establish the kingdom of heaven. They were a bright and wonderful three years.

During those last three years of his public life we hear Jesus' wise words that touched peoples' lives and see the miracles he performed out of compassion for people; we can imbibe the presence of Jesus. This is sometimes called the 'Jesus Event,' which created such a sensation throughout the cities. We see the simple people going around excitedly telling others what they have seen and heard about Jesus. At that time, “almost the entire city” gathered around Jesus, “and were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (ref Mk 1: 21- 34)

It is almost as if we can see the fascination people had for 'this phenomenon' that was Jesus two thousand years ago. Their admiration extended to his mother as well: “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” (Lk 11: 27)

However, like so many exciting events, it came quickly and disappeared quickly. Those who seemed to have loved Jesus the most, or rather one might say were most excited about him, were the quickest to be disappointed and angry. The chanting of the 'Hosannas' on Palm Sunday could still be heard when in less than six days, on Good Friday they were replaced by the shouted curses, 'Crucify him.' The people preferred to release the murderer Barabbas rather than to set Jesus free. Is there anything on earth that fills us more with a sense of alarm and helplessness than human beings' changeable moods, the ever-changing affairs of life, disaster and blessing, and the vagaries and fickleness of the human heart?

Even Peter, head of the apostles, who was so zealous and loved Jesus so passionately, who had sworn he would follow Jesus unto death (Mt 26:35), in the end was so weak and fearful that he denied and betrayed Jesus with an oath, “I do not know the man.

There are two lines in Bai Ju Yi's poem 'Frank Talk', “To test jade requires burning it for three whole days, To verify good wood requires waiting for seven long years.” (1) That is, it takes three days of burning to tell the difference between fire-resistant jade and breakable rock. It takes seven years of putting the wood in a wet place before the difference between a superior and inferior quality of tree bark emerges. To test one's faith will it not take more than three days, perhaps even seven years?

After those exhilarating days, the apostles had to face a whole lifetime of tests to their faith - the oppression of the Jews, indifference of the Gentiles, the enmity of the Romans, even the many frequent internal and external crises in the Church.

In the prime of life, one can pluck up courage and bear many pressures and criticisms coming from different directions. In his youth, Wang Jing Wei said with high spirits, “Behead me with a sharp knife quickly. Let me not be ashamed of my young head. (2) But as a person grows older, it is almost impossible to recover the courage one showed when young. Some people even become traitors like Wang Jing Wei. The zeal they once had burns off into smoke and ashes. Time is the furnace that tests a person's moral character.

Peter had denied that he knew the Lord whom he intended to follow unto death., but later his tears washed away his shame. The decisive factors, however, were Jesus' careful training and Peter's own sincere response. I think the following could have been the lifelong dialogue between Peter and Jesus:

“You hurt me more than anyone else, because you are my disciple and my friend, the one I loved the most and chose especially. So will you love me more than the others?”

“Lord, I do not know if I love you more than the others, nor if I can love you more than others do. But I hope you know: I love you! I do not know for how long I can love you, but today and forever, with your help I will try my best to say always, I love you and will love you until the end of time.”

“Thank you, Simon! I believe you have already experienced the truth that ‘the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.’ However, I still want to hear for myself this pledge of your love for me. But I hope you also realize that although when you were young you had control over yourself, when you are old you may not have the same ability. But if you put your trust in me, rely on me and invite me into your life, I will gradually be united with you and become your strength.”

“Go. Go to the lands where I want you to go, to complete the mission I have given you. When the fire in your life has burned out, your life will come to an end. I want to see that during your life you have passed on what you learned. One day your life's resources will be exhausted, but the fire that I started within you will be passed on forever.”

(1)試玉要燒三日滿,辨材需待七年期。
(2)引刀成一快,不負少年頭。

 

 

現場講道(粵語)

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2019