耶穌升天節 2019年06月02日


耶穌升天節

傳信者宣講喜訊,見證人活出救恩

讀經一:(宗1:1-11):耶穌升天
讀經二:(希9:24-28;10:19-23)耶穌親自在天主面前為我們轉求
福 音:(路24:46-53):耶穌升天
中國文化:先行其言,然後從之。


默西亞必須受苦,第三天要從死者中復活;並且必須因他的名把悔改和赦罪的信息,從耶路撒冷開始,傳遍萬國。你們就是這些事的見證人。(路24:46-48)

我們在教會內常聽到「見證人」三個字,我們說基督徒要為我們所信的一切作見證,為基督作見證,為基督的復活作見證,為信仰作見證等等。

究竟「作見證」的具體意義是什麼?見證人又是什麼樣的人?那些在街頭,甚至進入人們的家庭,不斷要人信主的人,他們是不是上主的見證人?神父、修女、傳道員,他們經常講道、辦要理班,不也是見證人嗎?

耶穌自己對宗教、對天父、對精神世界的態度,也許可以給我們一些有關何謂「見證人」的啟示。他有一次說:「我是道路、真理、生命」。他沒有說,我給你們介紹一條路,給你們說說真理,帶你們看看生命。他說:我就「是」道路、我就「是」真理、我就「是」生命;在我身上、在我的生命中,你們要看到什麼叫道路、真理、生命。

耶穌不講虛無縹緲的東西,不說抽象的理論;他講自己。他說給人聽,活給人看;他給人講理論,也給人立表樣,讓人知道如何可以具體地把這些理論變為生活。

孔子認為偉大的導師應該「先行其言,然後從之」,即是說,他應該把將要講的道理,先實踐出來,才講出去。耶穌在最後晚餐時為門徒洗腳,用的就是這個方法。

他先給門徒洗腳,洗完腳以後,才坐下來對他們說:「你們明白我給你們所做的嗎?你們稱我師傅、主子,說得正對:我原來是。若我為主子,為師傅的,給你們洗腳,你們也該彼此洗腳;我給你們立了榜樣,叫你們也照我給你們所做的去做。」(若13:12-15)

在某個程度上,我們基督徒也必須「是」信仰,「是」真理,「是」生命,「是」復活。我們也必須像孔子、像基督一 樣,「先行其言,然後從之。」

在晉鐸或昇神父的典禮中,主教對將要晉升司鐸的人的重要訓勉,其中就有這樣的幾句話:「你要宣講你所相信的,生活你所宣講的。」神父不能只作一個「錄音機」,只是不斷的重複著基督的話,自己在生活中卻遠離基督的教訓。

聖奧斯定認為只有兩種人有資格宣道,首先當然是那些「先行其言,然後從之」的人,即那些信了,又生活了,然後才去「傳」的人。其次,就是那些能夠「為了自己的宣講卻未能實踐而痛哭的人」,他們也有資格宣道。

我們很難時時刻刻都做到「先行其言,而後從之」,但我們一定要學到和做到,去為自己達不到自己所宣講的福音的要求而痛哭。其實所有宣講者的首要對象就是自己,他是首先向自己宣講,他也應該首先要求自己能實踐出來。

基督的福音原來並不是抽象的「道理」、不是思辨的真理、也不是學術研究的成果,而是人生經驗的精華,信仰生活的結晶。教會和她的信徒有了生活的事實,才能從中整理出一套有關生活的理論,並在這理論的框架和指導下,再去發展和深化自己的生活。這就是神學,基督徒的神學。這神學的具體內容,就是教會自己信仰生活的反省和整理。

今天的讀經告訴我們,基督徒首先要見證的,是基督的復活。這個「復活」包含雙重意義:第一、是相信二千年前的一個「死人復活」的奇蹟;第二、是相信和肯定耶穌——這個由死者中復活的人,是一直活到現在,活在信仰他的人心中,活在信徒們的生命裡。

正是由於基督在信徒們生命中活生生的臨在,他的德能滲透了信徒們的生命,所以這些信徒們悔改了、重生了,並因為獲得了罪過的赦免,而從死亡的桎梏中解放出來。

信徒們要宣講的就是這個信息,並要為這信息作見證。他們必須讓人看到,讓人驚訝地感受到,在他們身上就有復活的基督;亦正因為有復活的基督在他們身上,他們的生命才發生了悔改、罪赦和重生的事實。

世界或許也缺乏偉大的佈道家,但更缺乏的是基督的見證人。教會不是要人聽到有關基督的教訓,而是要人看到基督的臨在:臨在於信徒中,臨在於教會中。正是這個生活的、仍然活著的基督,藉信徒和教會在作著他未完成的工作。

 

耶稣升天节

传信者宣讲喜讯,见证人活出救恩

读经一:(宗1:1-11):耶稣升天
读经二:(希9:24-28;10:19-23)耶稣亲自在天主面前为我们转求
福 音:(路24:46-53):耶稣升天
中国文化:先行其言,然后从之。


默西亚必须受苦,第三天要从死者中复活;并且必须因他的名把悔改和赦罪的信息,从耶路撒冷開始,传遍万国。你们就是这些事的见证人。(路24:46-48)

我们在教会内常听到「见证人」三個字,我们说基督徒要为我们所信的一切作见证,为基督作见证,为基督的复活作见证,为信仰作见证等等。

究竟「作见证」的具体意义是什么?见证人又是什么样的人?那些在街头,甚至进入人们的家庭,不断要人信主的人,他们是不是上主的见证人?神父、修女、传道员,他们经常讲道、办要理班,不也是见证人吗?

耶稣自己对宗教、对天父、对精神世界的态度,也许可以给我们一些有关何谓「见证人」的启示。他有一次说:「我是道路、真理、生命」。他没有说,我给你们介绍一条路,给你们说说真理,带你们看看生命。他说:我就「是」道路、我就「是」真理、我就「是」生命;在我身上、在我的生命中,你们要看到什么叫道路、真理、生命。

耶稣不讲虚无缥缈的东西,不说抽象的理论;他讲自己。他说给人听,活给人看;他给人讲理论,也给人立表样,让人知道如何可以具体地把这些理论变为生活。

孔子认为伟大的导师应該「先行其言,然后从之」,即是说,他应該把将要讲的道理,先实踐出来,才讲出去。耶稣在最后晚餐時为门徒洗脚,用的就是这個方法。

他先给门徒洗脚,洗完脚以后,才坐下来对他们说:「你们明白我给你们所做的吗?你们称我师傅、主子,说得正对:我原来是。若我为主子,为师傅的,给你们洗脚,你们也該彼此洗脚;我给你们立了榜样,叫你们也照我给你们所做的去做。」(若13:12-15)

在某個程度上,我们基督徒也必须「是」信仰,「是」真理,「是」生命,「是」复活。我们也必须像孔子、像基督一 样,「先行其言,然后从之。」

在晋铎或升神父的典礼中,主教对将要晋升司铎的人的重要训勉,其中就有这样的幾句话:「你要宣讲你所相信的,生活你所宣讲的。」神父不能只作一個「录音机」,只是不断的重复著基督的话,自己在生活中却遠離基督的教训。

圣奥斯定认为只有两种人有资格宣道,首先当然是那些「先行其言,然后从之」的人,即那些信了,又生活了,然后才去「传」的人。其次,就是那些能够「为了自己的宣讲却未能实踐而痛哭的人」,他们也有资格宣道。

我们很难時時刻刻都做到「先行其言,而后从之」,但我们一定要学到和做到,去为自己达不到自己所宣讲的福音的要求而痛哭。其实所有宣讲者的首要对象就是自己,他是首先向自己宣讲,他也应該首先要求自己能实踐出来。

基督的福音原来并不是抽象的「道理」、不是思辨的真理、也不是学术研究的成果,而是人生经验的精华,信仰生活的结晶。教会和她的信徒有了生活的事实,才能从中整理出一套有关生活的理论,并在这理论的框架和指导下,再去发展和深化自己的生活。这就是神学,基督徒的神学。这神学的具体内容,就是教会自己信仰生活的反省和整理。

今天的读经告诉我们,基督徒首先要见证的,是基督的复活。这個「复活」包含双重意义:第一、是相信二千年前的一個「死人复活」的奇迹;第二、是相信和肯定耶稣——这個由死者中复活的人,是一直活到现在,活在信仰他的人心中,活在信徒们的生命里。

正是由於基督在信徒们生命中活生生的临在,他的德能渗透了信徒们的生命,所以这些信徒们悔改了、重生了,并因为获得了罪過的赦免,而从死亡的桎梏中解放出来。

信徒们要宣讲的就是这個信息,并要为这信息作见证。他们必须让人看到,让人惊讶地感受到,在他们身上就有复活的基督;亦正因为有复活的基督在他们身上,他们的生命才发生了悔改、罪赦和重生的事实。

世界或许也缺乏伟大的布道家,但更缺乏的是基督的见证人。教会不是要人听到有关基督的教训,而是要人看到基督的临在:临在於信徒中,临在於教会中。正是这個生活的、仍然活著的基督,藉信徒和教会在作著他未完成的工作。

 

The Ascension

Evangelists Proclaim the Good News
Witnesses Live Out Salvation

First Reading (Acts 1:1-11): The Ascension of our Lord
Second Reading (Heb 9:24-28; 10:19-23): Jesus himself pleads for us before God
Gospel (Lk 24:46-53): Jesus ascends to heaven
Chinese culture: He acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions(1)

Thus it is written that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.(Lk 24: 46-48)

We often hear the word 'witness' in church circles. We say Christians must witness to what they believe, or they must witness to Christ, must witness to Christ's resurrection, or they must witness to their faith, etc.

So what actually is the specific meaning of 'to be a witness'? What kind of a person is a witness? Are those who stand around on the street or even go into people's homes to continuously urge them to believe in the Lord - are they the Lord's witnesses? Priests, religious Sisters, catechists, who regularly teach religion classes or who organize catechism classes - are they not also witnesses?

Perhaps we can get some enlightenment on what a witness is by studying Jesus' attitude towards religion, his heavenly Father, the spiritual world. He once said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He did not say 'I will introduce you to a way' 'I will tell you about truth', 'I will lead you to see life.' He said, I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life.' In me and in my life, you will see what is meant by the way, the truth and the life.

Jesus did not talk about illusory things or abstract theories. He talked about himself. He talked so people could hear and lived so people could observe. He talked about theories and also gave good example so that his listeners could understand how they could transform those theories into actual life.

Confucius held that a great teacher should be someone who “acts before he speaks and afterwards speaks according to his actions.” That is to say, he should put into practice what he intends to teach before he teaches it. That is the method Jesus used when he washed the disciples' feet at the Last Supper.

He first washed the feet of the disciples. Afterwards he said to them, Do you know what I have done for you? You call me Teacher and Lord - and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. (Jn 13: 12 – 15).

To a certain degree, we Christians must BE faith, BE the truth, the life and the resurrection. We must also be like Confucius and like Jesus, “act before we speak, and afterwards speak according to our actions.”

In the ordination rite for priests, part of an important admonition the bishop addresses to those being ordained is this: 'You must preach what you believe and live what you preach.' The priest cannot be just a 'tape recorder' only repeating over and over the words of Christ while his actual life is far removed from the teachings of Christ.

St. Augustine thought there are only two types of people qualified to be evangelizers. The first of course are those who ‘live what they believe before they preach about it.' These are people who already have faith and live it and only then 'preach' to others. The second group are those who 'cry because they cannot yet carry out in their own lives what they preach.' Such people also are qualified to evangelise.

It is very difficult for us to always be able to 'live out what we believe before we preach about it.' But we must continue to try until we can do it, and cry when we fail to respond to the demands of the gospel we preach. Actually all who preach must evangelise themselves first and make demands on themselves to live out their faith.

Christ's gospel is not abstract 'doctrine,' nor is it intellectual truth or the result of academic research. Rather, it is the quintessence of life experience and the fruit of a life lived in faith. The church and the faithful possess actual life experience and from that draw up a set of theories that relate to life. Guided by this theoretical framework, they further develop and deepen their own lives. That is theology, Christians' theology. The concrete content of this theology stems from the church putting in order its reflections on its own faith-life.

Today's reading tells us that what Christians must first witness to is Christ's resurrection. This 'resurrection' consists of a twofold meaning: first, belief in the miracle of a person 'rising from the dead' two thousand years ago; secondly, belief and affirmation that Jesus, the one who rose from the dead, lives until the present, in the hearts of those who believe in him and in the lives of his followers.

Precisely because Jesus is present in the lives of his followers, his goodness has permeated their lives. They have been converted and reborn, and because they have received forgiveness of their sins, they are liberated from the shackles of death.

This is the message his followers must proclaim and to which they must witness. They must let people see, feel wonder, and become aware of the Risen Lord in their lives. And because they possess the Risen Lord within themselves, they experience in their own lives the reality of repentance, forgiveness of sin and re-birth.

Perhaps the world is short of great preachers, but it is even more short of witnesses to Christ. The church should not be concerned that people hear Christ's teachings, but rather that people can observe his presence, in the faithful, within the church. It is this living Christ, still alive today who, through his followers and through the church, continues the task he began but has not yet completed.

(1)先行其言,然後從之。

 

 

 

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2019