復活期第六主日 2019年05月26日


復活期第六主日

學習重在思量,聖言需要反芻

讀經一:(宗15:1-2,22-29):外邦信徒不必受割損
讀經二:(默21:10-14,22-23):天主就是聖殿
福 音:(若14:23-29):聖神幫助人明白耶穌的話
中國文化:學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。

誰若愛我,必遵守我的話,我父也必愛他,我們要到他那裡去,並要以他那裡做我們的居所。不愛我的人,就不遵守我的話。你們所聽到的,並不是我的話,而是派遣我來的父的話。當我還和你們在一起時,我把這些話告訴了你們。但是那護慰者,即父因我的名所要派來的聖神,必要教導你們一切,並且使你們記起我對你們所說過的一切。
(若14:23-26)

聖神的其中一個重要作用,是使門徒能夠「記起」或「想起」耶穌所說過的一切。

當門徒在生命不同的遭遇中,想起了耶穌的話,並用耶穌的話去指導自己的生活,幫助自己去做重大的決定時,門徒的信仰便成熟了、成長了。耶穌的話已經內化在他們的生命中,成為他們生命的方向和動力。

當他們再去傳揚這些話的時候,他們已經可以像若望一書所說:「我們聽見過,我們親眼看見過、瞻仰過,以及我們親手摸過的生命的聖言--這生命已顯示出來,我們看見了,也為他作證--我們將所見聞的傳報給你們。」(若一1:1-3)

這就好像將聖言加以「反芻」一樣,因為第一次的聽道未必足夠讓這道成為生命中的營養。

信仰不是一件實物,不是一樣東西。一件實物例如一枝原子筆,你把它傳了十次、百次,傳來傳去還是那枝筆;但信仰傳了,便一定會發生變化,正如一個故事,傳了幾次便會有所不同一樣。當然,信仰在傳而變化的過程中,改變的並不是它的精神,而是它的外型和它的表達方式。

讓我們以「效法耶穌」為例子。當耶穌在十字架上寬恕釘他的人時,他向天父祈禱說:「父啊,寬恕他們吧,他們不知道作了什麼。」(路23:34)我們當然要效法耶穌,但卻不必被釘在十字架上,也不必講耶穌所講過同樣的話。

我們寬恕的方式是人人不同、事事不同的。小朋友吵架以後,第二天就忘記了,這是「寬恕」加「忘記」;親子之間鬧了意見,第二天清晨,一聲親切的問安便足以化解昨天的不愉快;兩個信徒如果能利用彌撒中的互祝平安時間,親切而真誠地祝福對方,仇恨也許亦可以消解於無形。

只要我們記起耶穌的話,想起耶穌的表樣,我們就可以找到自己的方法;精神相同,內容和方式卻可以千變萬化。這是聖神的化工。
寫於二千年前的聖經,不會告訴我們今天社會的真實情況,也不會預告我們今天的詳細遭遇,更不會為我們提供具體而微的解決辦法。我們需要的是舉一反三、觸類旁通,默觀耶穌的表樣,吸取耶穌的精神,再把耶穌的教訓消化、內在化,使耶穌的話活在我們的心中,我們就可以找到那屬於我們的、獨一無二的面對人生挑戰的方法。這時我們的信仰便成長了,那是在聖神的感動和激發下的成長。這時,我們需要的,是「想起」耶穌的話,並使它變成我們的話。

孔子說:「學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。」孔子主張求學要「學」「思」並重。他認為,如果我們只是讀書而不思考,就會陷於迷惑;只是空想而不讀書,就有危機。

人的生命有限、經驗也有限,我們不能什麼都親身去經驗、去發現,我們需要學,向別人學,向大自然學,甚至可以在一個民族的歷史、文化中去學。

耶穌是道路、真理、生命。他有真理之言,有永生的話。他告訴我們生命的豐富內容,給我們指出人生的正確方向,他還會帶領我們抵達永生的彼岸。我們更需要向耶穌學。

但單單學是不夠的,那並不會自動變成我們的東西。在學的過程中,如果我們也懂得反思,我們就會慢慢把別人的經驗、智慧,轉化而成為我們自己的智慧。

在這方面,我們要學到如何在實踐和反思的交替中成長。例如:我知道要愛人,於是我實踐愛人。實踐以後,我會對愛人有更深的認識和體會,於是我便會在愛的實踐中,愛得更起勁。然後,我對愛的領會,又會更上一層樓……。

在這個過程中,聖神佔有絕對舉足輕重的地位。他會讓我們把學自耶穌的一切,加以實踐,然後在實踐中,又加深了對耶穌的話的領會。這將是一個「螺旋式」向上的過程,在這樣的過程中,我們的信仰漸趨成熟,我們從耶穌那裡聽來的信仰,就會變成我們自己的信仰。

 

复活期第六主日

学习重在思量,圣言需要反刍

读经一:(宗15:1-2,22-29):外邦信徒不必受割损
读经二:(默21:10-14,22-23):天主就是圣殿
福 音:(若14:23-29):圣神帮助人明白耶稣的话
中国文化:学而不思则罔,思而不学则殆。

谁若爱我,必遵守我的话,我父也必爱他,我们要到他那里去,并要以他那里做我们的居所。不爱我的人,就不遵守我的话。你们所听到的,并不是我的话,而是派遣我来的父的话。当我还和你们在一起時,我把这些话告诉了你们。但是那护慰者,即父因我的名所要派来的圣神,必要教导你们一切,并且使你们记起我对你们所说過的一切。
(若14:23-26)

圣神的其中一個重要作用,是使门徒能够「记起」或「想起」耶稣所说過的一切。

当门徒在生命不同的遭遇中,想起了耶稣的话,并用耶稣的话去指导自己的生活,帮助自己去做重大的决定時,门徒的信仰便成熟了、成长了。耶稣的话已经内化在他们的生命中,成为他们生命的方向和动力。

当他们再去传扬这些话的時候,他们已经可以像若望一书所说:「我们听见過,我们亲眼看见過、瞻仰過,以及我们亲手摸過的生命的圣言--这生命已显示出来,我们看见了,也为他作证--我们将所见闻的传报给你们。」(若一1:1-3)

这就好像将圣言加以「反刍」一样,因为第一次的听道未必足够让这道成为生命中的營养。

信仰不是一件实物,不是一样东西。一件实物例如一枝原子笔,你把它传了十次、百次,传来传去还是那枝笔;但信仰传了,便一定会发生变化,正如一個故事,传了幾次便会有所不同一样。当然,信仰在传而变化的過程中,改变的并不是它的精神,而是它的外型和它的表达方式。

让我们以「效法耶稣」为例子。当耶稣在十字架上宽恕钉他的人時,他向天父祈祷说:「父啊,宽恕他们吧,他们不知道作了什么。」(路23:34)我们当然要效法耶稣,但却不必被钉在十字架上,也不必讲耶稣所讲過同样的话。

我们宽恕的方式是人人不同、事事不同的。小朋友吵架以后,第二天就忘记了,这是「宽恕」加「忘记」;亲子之间闹了意见,第二天清晨,一声亲切的問安便足以化解昨天的不愉快;两個信徒如果能利用弥撒中的互祝平安時间,亲切而真诚地祝福对方,仇恨也许亦可以消解於无形。

只要我们记起耶稣的话,想起耶稣的表样,我们就可以找到自己的方法;精神相同,内容和方式却可以千变万化。这是圣神的化工。
写於二千年前的圣经,不会告诉我们今天社会的真实情况,也不会预告我们今天的详细遭遇,更不会为我们提供具体而微的解决办法。我们需要的是举一反三、触类旁通,默观耶稣的表样,吸取耶稣的精神,再把耶稣的教训消化、内在化,使耶稣的话活在我们的心中,我们就可以找到那属於我们的、独一无二的面对人生挑战的方法。这時我们的信仰便成长了,那是在圣神的感动和激发下的成长。这時,我们需要的,是「想起」耶稣的话,并使它变成我们的话。

孔子说:「学而不思则罔,思而不学则殆。」孔子主张求学要「学」「思」并重。他认为,如果我们只是读书而不思考,就会陷於迷惑;只是空想而不读书,就有危机。

人的生命有限、经验也有限,我们不能什么都亲身去经验、去发现,我们需要学,向别人学,向大自然学,甚至可以在一個民族的历史、文化中去学。

耶稣是道路、真理、生命。他有真理之言,有永生的话。他告诉我们生命的丰富内容,给我们指出人生的正确方向,他还会带领我们抵达永生的彼岸。我们更需要向耶稣学。

但单单学是不够的,那并不会自动变成我们的东西。在学的過程中,如果我们也懂得反思,我们就会慢慢把别人的经验、智慧,转化而成为我们自己的智慧。

在这方面,我们要学到如何在实踐和反思的交替中成长。例如:我知道要爱人,於是我实踐爱人。实踐以后,我会对爱人有更深的认识和体会,於是我便会在爱的实踐中,爱得更起勁。然后,我对爱的领会,又会更上一层楼……。

在这個過程中,圣神占有绝对举足轻重的地位。他会让我们把学自耶稣的一切,加以实踐,然后在实踐中,又加深了对耶稣的话的领会。这将是一個「螺旋式」向上的過程,在这样的過程中,我们的信仰渐趋成熟,我们从耶稣那里听来的信仰,就会变成我们自己的信仰。

 

Sixth Sunday of Easter

To Learn We Must Reflect; to Understand the Word We Must Ponder Deeply

First Reading (Acts 15: 1-2, 22-29): Gentile believers need not be circumcised
Second Reading (Rev 21:10-14, 22-23): God is the temple
Gospel (Jn 14:23-29): The Holy Spirit helps us to understand the words of Jesus
Chinese Culture:
-“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous”(1) (Con-fucian Analects, Wei Chang, Chapter 15)

Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words: and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. “ (Jn 14: 23-26) .

One of the important tasks of the Holy Spirit has been to enable the disciples to 'remem-ber' or to 'recollect' all that Jesus had told them.

When the disciples encountered various setbacks in life they recalled what Jesus had taught them. They made use of his teachings to direct their lives and help them make im-portant decisions. So their faith grew and matured. Jesus' words had been internalised and had become their motivation and direction for life.

In John's first Epistle he describes the disciples as they went out to spread Jesus' teaching: “What we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it – we declare to you what we have seen and heard.” (1 Jn 1: 1-3) This is what we mean by 'pondering' over the Word of God. The initial hearing may not be sufficient to allow the Word to become nourishment for life.

Faith is not an object or an article. For example, we can pass a ball-pen around ten times or a hundred, and it remains a ball-pen. If we spread the Word around, it will cer-tainly change. It is like a story, it will not remain the same once it has been told several times. Faith, however, in the process of being handed down , may change, not in spirit, but in the external form and method of promulgation.

Let us take the example of 'imitating Jesus'. When Jesus forgave those who had cruci-fied him, he prayed to his heavenly Father saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Lk 23: 34). Of course we must imitate Jesus, but we need not be hanged on the cross or speak the same words that Jesus spoke.

There are many ways to forgive others and a variety of circumstances. After children have bickered with each other, by the next day they often have forgotten all about it. That is 'forgiving' and 'forgetting'. Parents and children disagree over something, and a warm greeting the following morning is sufficient to mollify yesterday’s unpleasantness. If two Christians sincerely and warmly greet each other at the Kiss of Peace during the Eucharist, grudges and ill feelings may dissolve altogether.

If we but remember Jesus' words and recall his example, we surely can find our own way to express forgiveness. The spirit is the same, but the style and content can take many forms. This is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Scripture written more than two thousand years ago will not tell us about the actual re-alities of today's society nor predict in detail the misfortunes we encounter now. Still less will it provide us with concrete and detailed solutions to our problems. We must re-flect over and over, think of different analogies, reflect in quiet on the example of Jesus and absorb his spirit. Then we will internalize his teachings and allow his words to be-come alive in our hearts. We can then discover our own unique way to meet life’s chal-lenges. When we have reached this stage, our faith life has become mature, with a ma-turity that is moved and enkindled by the Spirit. Then we need to 'recall' the words of Jesus and make them our very own.

Confucius said, “Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.” (1) Confucius put equal emphasis on 'learning' and 'thinking.' He maintained that if we only study from books and do not reflect we will become confused. But it is also dangerous to fantasize and not study from books.

Our life span is short and our experience is limited. It is impossible for anyone to experi-ence personally every event or discover everything. We need to learn, and learn from other people, from Nature, and even from the history and culture of other nations.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He has the words of truth and the words of eter-nal life. He tells us of the rich content of our lives, points out the right direction for life, and more, leads us safely to eternal life. We need to learn more and more from Jesus.

Merely to learn however is not enough. That will not automatically make learning be-come part of ourselves. But if we know how to reflect also, we will gradually allow the experience and wisdom of others to transform us and become our own wisdom.

In this respect, we need to learn how we can grow by alternating between reflection and implementation. For instance, I realize I must love others, so I carry out this love in my life. Having put it into practice, I have a deeper understanding of how to love others. So in the process of loving others, I become more enthused and advance one step further
in my understanding of true love.

In this process the Holy Spirit plays a decisive role. The Spirit enables us to put into practice all we have learned from Jesus, and in the practice deepen our understanding of Jesus’ words. It is a process that spirals up and up, and as it continues our faith life gradually matures. The faith we have learned and heard from Jesus becomes our own faith.

(1)學而不思則罔,思而不學則殆。

 

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2019