常年期第二十八主日 2019年10月13日


常年期第廿八主日
 
承天寵眷憶萬世,受人恩惠記千年
 
讀經一:(列下5:14-17):納阿曼信主
讀經二:(弟後2:8-13):我們與基督同生同為王
福 音:(路17:11-19):治好十個癩病人
中國文化:漢武帝欲殺乳娘。
 
那十個痳瘋人還在途中,便潔淨了。其中一個看見自己已經痊愈了,就回來大聲讚美天主,並且跪伏在耶穌足前感謝他;這人是個撒瑪黎雅人。耶穌便說:「不是有十個人潔淨了嗎?那九個人在哪裡呢?除了這個外邦人,就沒有任何人回來讚美光榮天主嗎?」(路17:14-18)
 
今天我們讀到的,是十個癩病人或十個痳瘋人的故事。在那十個被耶穌治好的癩病人中,只有一位立刻回來感謝耶穌;而這個滿懷感恩之心的,卻剛好是一個撒瑪黎雅人,一個被猶太人視為外人的、沒有信德的、不是被天主揀選的,更不是蒙天主特寵的「外邦人」。
 
按照猶太人的法律,凡是痳瘋病人或癩病人,都要經過一位司祭的檢驗,證明他患有癩病,並被宣稱為「不潔」。這些不潔的人要遠離人群,和社會隔離,連和人談話,亦要保持相當的距離。
 
同樣,凡認為自己的痳瘋病或癩病已痊愈的,亦必須經過一位司祭的檢驗,證明他已經痊愈,並變成「清潔」。這時他才有資格重新回到社會團體中,過正常的生活。
 
在這種背景下,那九位沒有回來感謝的,並不一定都是不知恩或不感恩的人。因為他們可能只是急於去被司祭檢驗,以還他們一個清白之軀,好恢復他們在社會中的地位,好讓他們可以快樂地再與他們的家人、親戚、朋友團聚。
 
這九個人可能實在是太高興了,太高興的人,許多時都不會思想慎密周到。又或者他們是只想到自己,只以自己的利益為優先,其他的就想不起來了。他們或者也會有一個念頭,就是等後來再見到耶穌時,才感謝他。但這樣一拖延,以後就未必能把這件事放在心上,甚至不久就會忘得一乾二淨了。
 
那位立刻回來感謝耶穌的撒瑪黎雅人,他的特點不單單只是感恩,也不單單是他懂得感恩,而是他能夠把感恩放在第一位,放在最優先的位置。他認為受到別人的恩典,就要立刻的感謝。他不會把任何恩典,當作是必然的,或者是理所當然的,所以在他的人生觀中,他對任何恩典都要感謝,滿懷感恩心地去感謝。
 
有些人的人生態度,總是先想到別人,以別人為中心和重心;另有一些人的人生態度,卻總是先想到自己;除了自己,就沒有別人。
 
有些人即使有了大成就,亦常會想起誰幫助過自己,誰是自己成功的因素,誰把自己引上成功之路;他們常懷感恩之心,多謝別人,也多謝天主。有些人卻在有了一點點小成就的時候,就不斷的趾高氣揚、目空一切,以為自己的一切成就,全部都是自己的功勞,都是自己努力的成果。他們想不起別人,更想不起天主,當然更不會對任何人懷有感恩之心;他們在自己內心的深處,也許還怕別人沾了自己的光呢!
 
感恩其實是天主教徒的最大特點之一。連我們的敬天大禮都被稱為「感恩祭宴」,保祿宗徒更教人要「常常歡樂、不斷祈禱、事事感謝。」(得前5:16-18)他還鼓勵我們要「為一切事,時時感謝天主父。」(弗5:20)
 
基督徒的感恩是時時的、事事的,沒有時間的限制,也不管在什麼情況之下,都要為一切的事而感謝。感恩,是刻在基督徒心上的印記,是掛在基督徒口邊的語言,是滲透基督徒整個生命的精神,基督徒生命的原動力。
 
我們不感恩,有時是因為我們不知道要感恩,有時是因為我們忘記了要感恩,也有時是因為我們關心太多別的事,把感恩之心或感恩的行為擱在一旁、放在一邊。
 
漢武帝的乳娘犯了罪,武帝想依法處罰她。她求助於當時最有智慧、最富機智與鬼才的東方朔。東方朔告訴她,向皇帝求情是沒有用處的,只建議她在皇帝向她問完話以後,在離開皇帝時不要說任何話,只要頻頻的回頭看著皇帝就好了,這樣做也許會有點用。
 
乳娘果然依照東方朔的話去做。當她頻頻回顧皇帝時,東方朔就大聲向她說:「你回頭看什麼?皇上哪裡還會記得你餵乳時的恩情呢?」漢武帝聽了,內心好像震了一震,忽然感到十分汗顏,就赦免了乳娘的罪。
 
我們也能一生一世以感恩之心,去多謝一切人和一切物,及在萬有之內的上主嗎?我們願意承認,我們的一切所是和所有,都是上主和父母、師長、社會的恩澤所致的嗎?我們願意一生銘記別人和上主的恩情,時時感謝嗎?
常年期第廿八主日
 
承天宠眷憶万世,受人恩惠记千年
 
读经一:(列下5:14-17):纳阿曼信主
读经二:(弟后2:8-13):我们与基督同生同为王
福 音:(路17:11-19):治好十個癞病人
中国文化:汉武帝欲杀乳娘。
 
那十個麻疯人还在途中,便洁净了。其中一個看见自己已经痊愈了,就回来大声赞美天主,并且跪伏在耶稣足前感谢他;这人是個撒玛黎雅人。耶稣便说:「不是有十個人洁净了吗?那九個人在哪里呢?除了这個外邦人,就没有任何人回来赞美光荣天主吗?」(路17:14-18)
 
今天我们读到的,是十個癞病人或十個麻疯人的故事。在那十個被耶稣治好的癞病人中,只有一位立刻回来感谢耶稣;而这個满怀感恩之心的,却刚好是一個撒玛黎雅人,一個被犹太人视为外人的、没有信德的、不是被天主拣选的,更不是蒙天主特宠的「外邦人」。
 
按照犹太人的法律,凡是麻疯病人或癞病人,都要经過一位司祭的检验,证明他患有癞病,并被宣称为「不洁」。这些不洁的人要遠離人群,和社会隔離,连和人谈话,亦要保持相当的距離。
 
同样,凡认为自己的麻疯病或癞病已痊愈的,亦必须经過一位司祭的检验,证明他已经痊愈,并变成「清洁」。这時他才有资格重新回到社会团体中,過正常的生活。
 
在这种背景下,那九位没有回来感谢的,并不一定都是不知恩或不感恩的人。因为他们可能只是急於去被司祭检验,以还他们一個清白之躯,好恢复他们在社会中的地位,好让他们可以快乐地再与他们的家人、亲戚、朋友团聚。
 
这九個人可能实在是太高兴了,太高兴的人,许多時都不会思想慎密周到。又或者他们是只想到自己,只以自己的利益为优先,其他的就想不起来了。他们或者也会有一個念头,就是等后来再见到耶稣時,才感谢他。但这样一拖延,以后就未必能把这件事放在心上,甚至不久就会忘得一干二净了。
 
那位立刻回来感谢耶稣的撒玛黎雅人,他的特点不单单只是感恩,也不单单是他懂得感恩,而是他能够把感恩放在第一位,放在最优先的位置。他认为受到别人的恩典,就要立刻的感谢。他不会把任何恩典,当作是必然的,或者是理所当然的,所以在他的人生观中,他对任何恩典都要感谢,满怀感恩心地去感谢。
 
有些人的人生态度,总是先想到别人,以别人为中心和重心;另有一些人的人生态度,却总是先想到自己;除了自己,就没有别人。
 
有些人即使有了大成就,亦常会想起谁帮助過自己,谁是自己成功的因素,谁把自己引上成功之路;他们常怀感恩之心,多谢别人,也多谢天主。有些人却在有了一点点小成就的時候,就不断的趾高气扬、目空一切,以为自己的一切成就,全部都是自己的功劳,都是自己努力的成果。他们想不起别人,更想不起天主,当然更不会对任何人怀有感恩之心;他们在自己内心的深处,也许还怕别人沾了自己的光呢!
 
感恩其实是天主教徒的最大特点之一。连我们的敬天大礼都被称为「感恩祭宴」,保禄宗徒更教人要「常常欢乐、不断祈祷、事事感谢。」(得前5:16-18)他还鼓励我们要「为一切事,時時感谢天主父。」(弗5:20)
 
基督徒的感恩是時時的、事事的,没有時间的限制,也不管在什么情况之下,都要为一切的事而感谢。感恩,是刻在基督徒心上的印记,是掛在基督徒口边的语言,是渗透基督徒整個生命的精神,基督徒生命的原动力。
 
我们不感恩,有時是因为我们不知道要感恩,有時是因为我们忘记了要感恩,也有時是因为我们关心太多别的事,把感恩之心或感恩的行为搁在一旁、放在一边。
 
汉武帝的乳娘犯了罪,武帝想依法处罚她。她求助於当時最有智慧、最富机智与鬼才的东方朔。东方朔告诉她,向皇帝求情是没有用处的,只建议她在皇帝向她問完话以后,在離開皇帝時不要说任何话,只要频频的回头看著皇帝就好了,这样做也许会有点用。
 
乳娘果然依照东方朔的话去做。当她频频回顾皇帝時,东方朔就大声向她说:「你回头看什么?皇上哪里还会记得你喂乳時的恩情呢?」汉武帝听了,内心好像震了一震,忽然感到十分汗颜,就赦免了乳娘的罪。
 
我们也能一生一世以感恩之心,去多谢一切人和一切物,及在万有之内的上主吗?我们願意承认,我们的一切所是和所有,都是上主和父母、师长、社会的恩泽所致的吗?我们願意一生铭记别人和上主的恩情,時時感谢吗?
TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
 
Acknowledge God's Graces Forever – Remember Others' Favors for Thousands of Years
 
First Reading (Ex 17: 8-13): Naaman had faith in God
Second Reading (2 Tim 2: 8-13): With Christ we live and acknowledge him as King
Gospel (k 17: 11 – 19): Cleansing of the ten lepers
Chinese classics:
-“Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty intended to kill his wet nurse” (1)
 
As the ten lepers went they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner? (Lk l7: 14-18)
 
The Gospel we read today is the story of the ten victims of skin disease, or leprosy. After Jesus had cured them, only one of the ten people returned to thank him. And the one who immediately returned with a heart full of gratitude was a Samaritan, one whom the Jews considered an 'outsider,' a person without faith. He was not one of God's 'Chosen People', not even one of the 'favoured' Gentiles.
 
At that time, those who had been struck with a skin disease or leprosy who thought they had been healed were required by law to be examined by a priest who certified that they had recovered and were 'clean.' Only then were they allowed to return to the wider society and live a normal life.
 
With this kind of background, the nine who did not return to express thanks were not necessarily ungrateful or unappreciative. They may have been in a hurry to undergo the priest's examination, so they could be declared physically clean and be allowed to return to their place in society quickly and be reunited with their families, relatives and friends.
 
Perhaps those nine were just too happy. People too excited often do not think very clearly, or only think of themselves, put their own benefits first and neglect to think of anything else. Or they might have thought that when they met Jesus they would thank him then. But by postponing it in this way, it might easily slip their minds and after a while they might forget it altogether.
 
The Samaritan who returned to thank Jesus was special not only because he was grateful, or realized he should do this, but because it was the first thing he did. Gratitude was his first priority. He thought that when one had received a favor from another, that person should express gratitude immediately. No matter what the gift, he would not assume he deserved it or that it was something someone 'owed' him. So his outlook on life included a heartfelt sense of gratitude for all that he received.
 
There are some people whose entire life attitude is to think of others first, others are the center of their concern. There are others whose life attitude is to think of themselves first, as if aside from themselves, there is no one else.
 
Some people who have attained great achievements will always think of who had helped them along the way, what were some of the elements of their success, who gave of themselves to assist them on their road to success. They harbor a habitual sense of gratitude, always grateful to others and also grateful to God. There are others who at the smallest successful deed become smug and proud, supercilious, and think that their success is a result of their own efforts only. They never think of others, and even less of God, and of course they never show gratitude to anyone.
Secretly, in the depths of their hearts, they may even fear someone else will take away some of their glory.
 
Gratitude should be one of the special characteristics of a Catholic. Even our most important liturgical act (the Mass) is called the “Eucharist” (act of thanksgiving). The Apostle Paul exhorted the Christians to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.” (l Thess 5: 16-18) He encouraged everyone to “Give thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything.” (Eph 5:20)
 
The gratitude of Christians should be constant, all-embracing, with no limit of time or circumstances, that is, always thankful for everything. Gratitude should be engraved on the hearts of all Christians, expressions of gratitude always on their lips. It should permeate the spirit of the entire life of a Christian and be a source of motivation in their lives.
 
We sometimes are not grateful because we do not realize we should be, sometimes we forget and sometimes we are concerned about too many other things. We put aside thoughts or deeds that might express gratitude.
 
During the Han Dynasty, the former wet nurse of Emperor Wu committed an offence and the Emperor was about to punish her. She asked the help of the Court Jester, Dong Fang Shuo, who was the most clever and quick-witted member of the Court. Dong Fang Shuo advised her that pleading with the Emperor would not save her, but if she wished to succeed, “after you have been questioned say nothing, but as you are being led away, look at the Emperor again and again. This is your only chance in a thousand.”
 
The nurse followed his advice. When she was brought in, and then looked back at the Emperor, Dong Fang Shuo spoke up loudly, “Why are you turning your head? How could the Emperor remember your former kindness? He was only a child when you were nursing him.” Despite his ambition and ruthlessness, the Emperor was a man of feeling. He suddenly felt very ashamed and pardoned the nurse her offence.
 
Can we in turn continue to nurture gratitude throughout our entire lives, always thankful for all persons and circumstances, and be grateful too to our Supreme Lord? Are we ready to acknowledge that all that we have and are comes from the benevolence of God and our parents, elders and society? Can we throughout life always remember God’s bounty and that of other people? Can we be grateful at all times?
 
(1) 漢武帝欲殺乳娘。

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2019