常年期第二十四主日 2019年09月15日


常年期第廿四主日
 
生命之恩無盡,天主之愛無窮
 
讀經一:(出32:7-11,13-14):梅瑟為敗壞的以民求情
讀經二:(弟前1:12-17):保祿是罪人悔改的榜樣
福 音:(路15:1-32):亡羊的比喻,失錢的比喻,蕩子的比喻
中國文化:伯樂憐馬:若出金石聲者,彼見伯樂之知己也。
 
你們之中誰有一百隻羊,失去了一隻,而不把九十九隻留在曠野,去尋找那失落的一隻,直至找到為止呢?找到了,就高興的把牠放在肩上,回到家裡,請朋友和鄰人來,對他們說:「請你們來與我一同歡樂吧!因為我失去的羊已經找到了。」我告訴你們:因為一個罪人悔改,天上也要同樣為他歡樂,且比為九十九個無須悔改的義人的歡樂更大……我告訴你們:為了一個罪人的悔改,天主的使者也要這樣歡樂……「讓我們吃喝歡樂吧!因為我這個兒子死而復生,失而復得。」他們就歡樂慶祝。(路15:1-32節錄)
 
這些都是描述天主如何接受、肯定和重視人的比喻。我們每一個人在天主的眼中,都是獨一無二的、重要的、珍貴的,而且是十分珍貴的。
 
也許有人會質疑,如果那位牧童把九十九隻羊留在曠野,去尋找那迷失了的一隻,他會不會在回來時,發現在那九十九隻羊中,也有一些會走失呢?這絕對是可能的!但比喻中的牧童並沒有這樣想,也沒有這樣擔心。他沒有計算「一」和「九十九」是孰大孰小的問題,他唯一想到的、心心念念惦掛著的,是那隻迷失了的羊,那隻在他的心中無限珍貴的羊。
 
在天主眼中,所有人都是無價的,都有無限的價值;這價值絕對不能用任何方式去計算或比較。在數學上,任何一個無限大,都等於另一個無限大;一個無限大,也等於九十九個無限大或無數個無限大。在天主的心中也是一樣,一個人的價值和九十九個人的價值並沒有分別。天主以無限的愛去愛所有人,也以無限的愛去愛每一個人。他愛義人,也愛罪人。
 
這種想法是當時自以為義人的法利塞人所無法了解的。因為他們對信仰有誤解,對人也有偏見。
 
人有兩類缺點:他可以犯錯誤,也可以有偏見。錯誤和偏見的最大分別在於:犯錯誤的人會知錯能改,而有偏見的人卻是知錯不改的。當有錯誤時,大家可以辯論,你會發現這時真理會愈辯愈明;但當有偏見時,辯論就毫無用途了,因為你會發現,這時的真理是「愈辯愈不明」的!
 
舉例說,在整個的九零年代和零零年代初期,在香港的「親中派」人士和「民主派」人士之間,他們都會發現幾乎是不可能用客觀而冷靜的理性去分析問題,也沒有能力以理由去說服對方;大陸的地上和地下教會之間,也不大可能會透過分析、分享、討論或辯論而修好。因為這裡存在著「偏見」,越辯越不明的偏見。
 
親子之間如果出現嚴重的代溝,那也是由於有了偏見,你會見到有些子女極難明白父母的心情,而有些父母也難於明白子女的心思。於是在他們中,體諒、包容、寬恕、了解、設身處地等等人際交往的最基本要素,都不會或不易出現。
 
耶穌時代的猶太人,對於他們眼中的「罪人」,有的正正就是這種偏見。正因為他們對罪人有偏見,所以他們不願意接觸罪人、任何的罪人。一個活生生的例子是,據說當時的法利塞人習慣在公共場所緊緊握住自己的長袍,就是為了害怕接觸到罪人,而使自己蒙上「不潔」!
 
耶穌的行為剛好相反,他常常接觸罪人,而且做他們的朋友。因為他說;「不是健康的人需要醫生,而是有病的人。我來不是召叫義人,而是召叫罪人。」(瑪9:12-13)
 
所以今天的福音說:眾稅吏和罪人都來接近耶穌,聽他講道。這便招來了法利塞人和經師們的議論,他們說:「這個人接待罪人,又和他們一起進食。」(路15:2)
 
於是耶穌給他們一連講了上面的三個比喻:亡羊、失錢、蕩子。三個比喻都強烈地表達了同一的信息:天主愛罪人,特別高興看到罪人悔改。
 
但天主的愛會不會引起罪人更進一步的犯罪呢?姑息不是可以養奸嗎?寬恕和縱容之間,究竟有什麼分別呢?
 
《戰國策》有一則「伯樂憐馬」的故事,講述一匹千里馬在老年時被人奴役,伯樂見到心中很覺悲痛,於是下車去愛撫牠,並流下同情之淚。千里馬感動到高聲長鳴,「若出金石聲者,彼見伯樂之知己也。
 
如果我們真的經驗和感受到天主對我們的寬恕、同情和大愛,我們怎能不回頭,反而繼續犯罪傷他的聖心呢?天主的愛和寬恕,難道竟然比不上伯樂的憐馬之情嗎?
常年期第廿四主日
 
生命之恩无尽,天主之爱无穷
 
读经一:(出32:7-11,13-14):梅瑟为败坏的以民求情
读经二:(弟前1:12-17):保禄是罪人悔改的榜样
福 音:(路15:1-32):亡羊的比喻,失钱的比喻,荡子的比喻
中国文化:伯乐怜马:若出金石声者,彼见伯乐之知己也。
 
你们之中谁有一百只羊,失去了一只,而不把九十九只留在旷野,去寻找那失落的一只,直至找到为止呢?找到了,就高兴的把它放在肩上,回到家里,请朋友和邻人来,对他们说:「请你们来与我一同欢乐吧!因为我失去的羊已经找到了。」我告诉你们:因为一個罪人悔改,天上也要同样为他欢乐,且比为九十九個无须悔改的义人的欢乐更大……我告诉你们:为了一個罪人的悔改,天主的使者也要这样欢乐……「让我们吃喝欢乐吧!因为我这個儿子死而复生,失而复得。」他们就欢乐庆祝。(路15:1-32节录)
 
这些都是描述天主如何接受、肯定和重视人的比喻。我们每一個人在天主的眼中,都是独一无二的、重要的、珍贵的,而且是十分珍贵的。
 
也许有人会质疑,如果那位牧童把九十九只羊留在旷野,去寻找那迷失了的一只,他会不会在回来時,发现在那九十九只羊中,也有一些会走失呢?这绝对是可能的!但比喻中的牧童并没有这样想,也没有这样担心。他没有计算「一」和「九十九」是孰大孰小的問题,他唯一想到的、心心念念惦掛著的,是那只迷失了的羊,那只在他的心中无限珍贵的羊。
 
在天主眼中,所有人都是无价的,都有无限的价值;这价值绝对不能用任何方式去计算或比较。在数学上,任何一個无限大,都等於另一個无限大;一個无限大,也等於九十九個无限大或无数個无限大。在天主的心中也是一样,一個人的价值和九十九個人的价值并没有分别。天主以无限的爱去爱所有人,也以无限的爱去爱每一個人。他爱义人,也爱罪人。
 
这种想法是当時自以为义人的法利塞人所无法了解的。因为他们对信仰有误解,对人也有偏见。
 
人有两类缺点:他可以犯错误,也可以有偏见。错误和偏见的最大分别在於:犯错误的人会知错能改,而有偏见的人却是知错不改的。当有错误時,大家可以辩论,你会发现这時真理会愈辩愈明;但当有偏见時,辩论就毫无用途了,因为你会发现,这時的真理是「愈辩愈不明」的!
 
举例说,在整個的九零年代和零零年代初期,在香港的「亲中派」人士和「民主派」人士之间,他们都会发现幾乎是不可能用客观而冷静的理性去分析問题,也没有能力以理由去说服对方;大陆的地上和地下教会之间,也不大可能会透過分析、分享、讨论或辩论而修好。因为这里存在著「偏见」,越辩越不明的偏见。
 
亲子之间如果出现严重的代沟,那也是由於有了偏见,你会见到有些子女极难明白父母的心情,而有些父母也难於明白子女的心思。於是在他们中,体谅、包容、宽恕、了解、设身处地等等人际交往的最基本要素,都不会或不易出现。
 
耶稣時代的犹太人,对於他们眼中的「罪人」,有的正正就是这种偏见。正因为他们对罪人有偏见,所以他们不願意接触罪人、任何的罪人。一個活生生的例子是,据说当時的法利塞人习惯在公共场所紧紧握住自己的长袍,就是为了害怕接触到罪人,而使自己蒙上「不洁」!
 
耶稣的行为刚好相反,他常常接触罪人,而且做他们的朋友。因为他说;「不是健康的人需要醫生,而是有病的人。我来不是召叫义人,而是召叫罪人。」(玛9:12-13)
 
所以今天的福音说:众税吏和罪人都来接近耶稣,听他讲道。这便招来了法利塞人和经师们的议论,他们说:「这個人接待罪人,又和他们一起进食。」(路15:2)
 
於是耶稣给他们一连讲了上面的三個比喻:亡羊、失钱、荡子。三個比喻都强烈地表达了同一的信息:天主爱罪人,特别高兴看到罪人悔改。
 
但天主的爱会不会引起罪人更进一步的犯罪呢?姑息不是可以养奸吗?宽恕和纵容之间,究竟有什么分别呢?
 
《战国策》 有一则「伯乐怜马」的故事,讲述一匹千里马在老年時被人奴役,伯乐见到心中很觉悲痛,於是下车去爱抚它,并流下同情之淚。千里马感动到高声长鸣,「若出金石声者,彼见伯乐之知己也。
 
如果我们真的经验和感受到天主对我们的宽恕、同情和大爱,我们怎能不回头,反而继续犯罪伤他的圣心呢?天主的爱和宽恕,难道竟然比不上伯乐的怜马之情吗?
Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
Life's Blessings are Boundless – God's Love is Without Limits
 
First Reading (Ex 32: 7-11, 13-14): Moses asked God's mercy for the corrupt Israelites
Second Reading (1 Tim 1: 12-17): Paul is an example of the repentant sinner
Gospel (Lk 15: 1-32): Parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin and Prodigal Son
Chinese Classics:
-“Bo Le pitied the horse: its neighing was like the sound of metal on rock. This showed that the horse knew that Be Lo understood it.” (1)
 
“Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance... I tell you there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repent... ’let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.” (Lk 15: 1-32 summarized)
 
The above passages are parables that express how God accepts, affirms and values us human beings. Every one of us is unique, important and precious, really very precious, in the eyes of God.
 
Some of us might doubt that a shepherd would leave ninety-nine sheep in the wilderness to go look for one lost sheep, and when he returns may find that some of the ninety-nine would have strayed away. That certainly is possible! But the shepherd in the parable did not think that way nor was he worried. He did not calculate ‘1’ or ‘99’ in the sense of more or less. He was only concerned about the sheep that had strayed away and was so precious to him.
 
In the eyes of God, each one of us is priceless and invaluable. The value cannot be calculated or compared by any other measure. In mathematics, every infinity equals every other infinity. One infinity is equivalent to ninety-ninety or to infinite infinities. It is the same in the eyes of God, the value of one person is no different than the value of ninety-nine. God loves each one with an infinite love and loves every single person with an infinite love. He loves the righteous and he loves the sinner.
 
The self-righteous Pharisees of Jesus' time could not understand this concept because their understanding of faith was mistaken and they were biased against some people.
 
We human beings have two kinds of limitations. We may make mistakes and we may be biased. The major difference is that the first one recognizes the mistake and corrects it, the second one sees the mistake but does not change. When a mistake has been made, people can argue about it and through discussion often reach the truth. However, when prejudice is present, one discovers that discussion is useless, because the longer one argues the harder it is to discover the truth.
 
Here is an example. Throughout the decade of the ‘90’s and into the first part of 2000, it was almost impossible for those in Hong Kong who were termed 'pro-China' and others termed 'democrats' to discuss anything objectively or unemotionally, nor could a person of one group use whatsoever rationale to change the mind of the other group. Or could members of the 'underground' and 'official' sections of the church in China reach reconciliation with each other through discussion, sharing or analysis. The reason was there was prejudice and misunderstanding on both sides which only deepened when they tried to discuss.
 
Often when a big generation gap exists in families it is due to prejudice. One sometimes sees children who find it very difficult to understand their parents' feelings, and parents who cannot understand their children's thinking. In their relationship with each other one seldom or never sees any of the most basic elements such as mutual acceptance, tolerance, forgiveness or understanding.
 
During Jesus' time there existed among the Jews this kind of prejudice toward those they deemed 'sinners.' Because of such bias, they were unwilling to come into contact with anyone who might be considered a 'sinner.' A clear example was the way in which some Pharisees would clutch their long robes tightly in their hands so as to avoid any contact with sinners who might cause them to be 'unclean.'
 
Jesus' actions were just the opposite. He was always in contact with sinners and made friends with them. He said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” (Mt 9: 12-13)
 
That is why today's Gospel says that the tax-collectors and outcasts came near Jesus to listen to his teaching. This aroused grumbling among the Pharisees and Scribes. They said, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Lk 15:2).
 
So Jesus told them the above three parables, the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. All three of the parables strongly emphasize the same message: God loves sinners and is especially happy when He sees the sinner repent.
 
But will God's love lead a sinner to sin even more? Will indulgence induce evil? What is the difference between forgiveness and permissiveness?
 
In the “Book of the Warring Kingdoms” there is a story called ‘Bo Le Pitied the Horse.’ A thoroughbred horse was maltreated in its old age. When Bo Le saw this he was deeply grieved. He alighted from his carriage and went to pat the horse. He could not help but shed tears of pity. The thoroughbred was moved and neighed long and loud. “Its neigh was like the sound of metal on rock. This shows that the horse knew that Bo Le understood it.”(1)
 
If we really have experienced and felt God's forgiveness, sympathy and love, how can we refrain from being converted, and on the contrary continue to hurt God by our sins? Is it possible that God's love and forgiveness is not as great as Bo Le's pity for the horse?
 
(1) 伯樂憐馬:若出金石聲者,彼見伯樂之知己也。

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2019