傳教節 2019年10月20日


傳教節
 
福傳萬邦、天下一家
 
讀經一:(依60:1-6):萬民趨赴於天主
讀經二:(宗1:3-8):門徒們將藉聖神四處為主作證
福 音:(若17:11,17-23):派遣主的也派遣信徒
中國文化:海闊從魚躍,天空任鳥飛,非大丈夫不能有此度量;
振衣千仞岡,濯足萬里流,非大丈夫不能有此氣節;
珠藏澤自媚,玉韞山含輝,非大丈夫不能有此蘊藉;
月到梧桐上,風來楊柳邊,非大丈夫不能有此襟懷。
 
那時候,耶穌舉目向天禱告:「聖父啊!求你因你的名,保存你賜給我的人,使他們合而為一,如同我們一樣。我不但為他們祈求,也為那些因他們的話而信從我的人祈求。願眾人合為一體!父啊!願他們在我們內合而為一,如同你在我內,我在你內一樣。我在他們內,你在我內,使他們完全合而為一。」(若17:11-23節錄)
 
再過幾天,你們要因聖神受洗……當聖 神降臨你們身上時,你們將充滿聖神的能力,並且要在耶路撒冷、猶太和撒瑪黎雅全境,直到天涯海角,為我作證。(宗1:5,8)
 
「為我作證」按思高版的翻譯是「為我作證人」。從字面來看,「作證」是針對一個事件,證明該事件是真實的,不是幻象,不是偽造,不是謠言,也不是人云亦云、以訛傳訛;「作見證人」的重點則是指一個「證人」,他用自己的生命、人格、信譽和前途,去為這事件的真實性作擔保、作見證。
 
在教會初期的福傳大業中,宗徒們為福音作見證或作證人,相信是包含了上面的兩個層次:一方面是為耶穌的生平史實,為他所講的生命之言,為他所傳達的天主聖意,特別是為他的死而復活,作口頭的宣認和宣講,證明這一切都是歷史上真實發生過的、如假包換的事實;同時他們也用自己整個的生命,去為這歷史的真實事件而作見證,他們甚至為此而受苦、坐牢、流血和殉道。
 
但在今天這個傳教節中,我們又要為什麼而作見證呢?彌撒的讀經提醒我們應為「合一」作見證。
 
今天的福音說了很多「合一」的話。在耶穌要離開門徒以前,他心心念念的,就是他們的合一、教會的合一、世人的合一。耶穌為此而操心,為此而向天父作出了一次情詞並茂、情深意切的禱告。在這篇偉大的祈禱文中,耶穌好像在不斷的重複著合一這個主題,他希望眾人都能在父內和在他內合而為一,就好像他和聖父是合一的和成為一體一樣。
 
福傳,不是傳一個「教」,而是依天父的心意,讓眾人合而為一,成為一體。
 
合一是一個理想,但合一的構成,需要有極大的胸襟和度量。人類都有自我中心甚至自私自利的傾向。一個人固然會自我中心和自私,一群人、一個國家,甚至一個教會,也會不知不覺地傾向於集體自我中心和集體自私。在這種集體自我中心和集體自私的誘惑下,最大公、最無私的行為,也會慢慢蛻變為侵略、壓迫和征服。
 
世界各大宗教,本來都有大公的胸懷,以天下蒼生為念,但一不小心,各宗教的傳教事業就會異化而演變為爭地盤、爭生意,和爭客源的明爭暗鬥。
 
今天天主教所強調的,不再是「傳教」,而是「福傳」,福傳就是「傳福音」,是向世界報告一件大喜事,即天主愛人,天主降生、贖人等等的大喜事。這轉變顯示傳教的目的已不再是一個以組織為主的「教會」,而是以福音為重、以天主為先。這種教會,這種傳道員,都要有很大的胸襟和氣量。
 
清朝的金纓說:
 
海闊從魚躍,天空任鳥飛,非大丈夫不能有此度量;
 
振衣千仞岡,濯足萬里流,非大丈夫不能有此氣節;
 
珠藏澤自媚,玉韞山含輝,非大丈夫不能有此蘊藉;
 
月到梧桐上,風來楊柳邊,非大丈夫不能有此襟懷。
 
這裡所說的大丈夫的胸襟和氣量,也應是傳教士或「天主的人」的胸襟和氣量。它寬廣如天空海闊,博大如高山長河,像珠玉藏在山澤一樣的內蘊光輝,像清風明月般蛟潔溫煦。有無限偉大的天主住在心中,有亦神亦人的基督與我們為師為友,我們有更豐盛的美麗生命,有今生來世的久遠長生。我們怎能不引吭高歌?怎能不高聲宣揚?怎能不與人分享?
 
有這種胸懷的「傳信者」,深知天主的神已充滿世界,天主的救恩已廣被人間、澤及萬物,所以他不單會把福音「傳」給人,也會努力發掘天主在世間各處的臨在,而從別人身上接受福音。因為聖神也可以在一些表面未信主的人身上行動,並透過他們的聖善生活,而傳遞上主愛的訊息。
 
這種福傳者在施與受中,正在和別人一起接受上主的召叫和轉化,而世間便是這樣地變成了在主內的一個大家庭。
传教节
 
福传万邦、天下一家
 
读经一:(依60:1-6):万民趋赴於天主
读经二:(宗1:3-8):门徒们将藉圣神四处为主作证
福 音:(若17:11,17-23):派遣主的也派遣信徒
中国文化:海闊从魚跃,天空任鸟飞,非大丈夫不能有此度量;
振衣千仞冈,濯足万里流,非大丈夫不能有此气节;
珠藏泽自媚,玉韫山含辉,非大丈夫不能有此蕴藉;
月到梧桐上,风来杨柳边,非大丈夫不能有此襟怀。
 
那時候,耶稣举目向天祷告:「圣父啊!求你因你的名,保存你赐给我的人,使他们合而为一,如同我们一样。我不但为他们祈求,也为那些因他们的话而信从我的人祈求。願众人合为一体!父啊!願他们在我们内合而为一,如同你在我内,我在你内一样。我在他们内,你在我内,使他们完全合而为一。」(若17:11-23节录)
 
再過幾天,你们要因圣神受洗……当圣 神降临你们身上時,你们将充满圣神的能力,并且要在耶路撒冷、犹太和撒玛黎雅全境,直到天涯海角,为我作证。(宗1:5,8)
 
「为我作证」按思高版的翻译是「为我作证人」。从字面来看,「作证」是针对一個事件,证明該事件是真实的,不是幻象,不是伪造,不是谣言,也不是人云亦云、以讹传讹;「作见证人」的重点则是指一個「证人」,他用自己的生命、人格、信誉和前途,去为这事件的真实性作担保、作见证。
 
在教会初期的福传大业中,宗徒们为福音作见证或作证人,相信是包含了上面的两個层次:一方面是为耶稣的生平史实,为他所讲的生命之言,为他所传达的天主圣意,特别是为他的死而复活,作口头的宣认和宣讲,证明这一切都是历史上真实发生過的、如假包换的事实;同時他们也用自己整個的生命,去为这历史的真实事件而作见证,他们甚至为此而受苦、坐牢、流血和殉道。
 
但在今天这個传教节中,我们又要为什么而作见证呢?弥撒的读经提醒我们应为「合一」作见证。
 
今天的福音说了很多「合一」的话。在耶稣要離開门徒以前,他心心念念的,就是他们的合一、教会的合一、世人的合一。耶稣为此而操心,为此而向天父作出了一次情词并茂、情深意切的祷告。在这篇伟大的祈祷文中,耶稣好像在不断的重复著合一这個主题,他希望众人都能在父内和在他内合而为一,就好像他和圣父是合一的和成为一体一样。
 
福传,不是传一個「教」,而是依天父的心意,让众人合而为一,成为一体。
 
合一是一個理想,但合一的构成,需要有极大的胸襟和度量。人类都有自我中心甚至自私自利的倾向。一個人固然会自我中心和自私,一群人、一個国家,甚至一個教会,也会不知不觉地倾向於集体自我中心和集体自私。在这种集体自我中心和集体自私的誘惑下,最大公、最无私的行为,也会慢慢蜕变为侵略、压迫和征服。
 
世界各大宗教,本来都有大公的胸怀,以天下苍生为念,但一不小心,各宗教的传教事业就会异化而演变为争地盤、争生意,和争客源的明争暗斗。
 
今天天主教所强调的,不再是「传教」,而是「福传」,福传就是「传福音」,是向世界报告一件大喜事,即天主爱人,天主降生、赎人等等的大喜事。这转变显示传教的目的已不再是一個以组织为主的「教会」,而是以福音为重、以天主为先。这种教会,这种传道员,都要有很大的胸襟和气量。
 
清朝的金缨说:
 
海闊从魚跃,天空任鸟飞,非大丈夫不能有此度量;
 
振衣千仞冈,濯足万里流,非大丈夫不能有此气节;
 
珠藏泽自媚,玉韫山含辉,非大丈夫不能有此蕴藉;
 
月到梧桐上,风来杨柳边,非大丈夫不能有此襟怀。
 
这里所说的大丈夫的胸襟和气量,也应是传教士或「天主的人」的胸襟和气量。它宽广如天空海闊,博大如高山长河,像珠玉藏在山泽一样的内蕴光辉,像清风明月般蛟洁温煦。有无限伟大的天主住在心中,有亦神亦人的基督与我们为师为友,我们有更丰盛的美麗生命,有今生来世的久遠长生。我们怎能不引吭高歌?怎能不高声宣扬?怎能不与人分享?
 
有这种胸怀的「传信者」,深知天主的神已充满世界,天主的救恩已广被人间、泽及万物,所以他不单会把福音「传」给人,也会努力发掘天主在世间各处的临在,而从别人身上接受福音。因为圣神也可以在一些表面未信主的人身上行动,并透過他们的圣善生活,而传递上主爱的讯息。
 
这种福传者在施与受中,正在和别人一起接受上主的召叫和转化,而世间便是这样地变成了在主内的一個大家庭。
MISSION SUNDAY
 
Always the Same - Myriad Manifestations
 
First Reading (Zech 8: 20-23): The Gentiles turned to the true God
Second Reading (1 Tim (2: 1-8): God wants all people to be saved
Gospel (Mk 16: 15-20): The sending of the Apostles to all Nations
Chinese classics:
-“Heaven never speaks but one can feel his all-embracing, creative power in the turning of the seasons and the growing of all things (1)
 
“He desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all - this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” (1 Tim 2: 4-7)
 
In Hong Kong in the sixties and seventies there was a yearly public liturgical celebration on the feast of Christ the King, to show our trust and allegiance to Christ the King. The ceremony was held at the Government Stadium. Later this celebration was transferred to Mission Sunday to show our determination to spread the Good News beyond our own confines. Each year a theme is set in order to help everyone understand the reasons for the celebration, enter into its spirit and carry this out in action. One year the theme of Mission Sunday revolved around the topic, “God is Always the Same.”
 
Christ and his Father truly are 'always the same.' This unchangeable attribute is most evident in their very existence, their internal life of love, and their love of all human beings, their salvific, everlasting love, their unchangeable love.
 
God exists eternally and is eternally present and loves us for all eternity. It is because God bestows this love on us that we can have such an abundant and full life, a life that began from the moment of creation, lasts until now and through all eternity. This eternal, unchangeable life is a gift from God. God loves us and so wants us to be saved and has given us this eternal abundant life.
 
Because God is love with a love which is always the same.
 
We are different from God. We 'have' love, we 'can' love, we 'sometimes' love, but we 'are not' love. Love is a part of our life, one action among many of our actions. But we 'are not' love, because there are times when we do not love, or are unable to love.
 
Even the most loving parents in the world do not always love their children; even those close to each other, as brothers and sisters, at times may become enemies of one another. Have we not sometimes even seen some parents maltreating their children? In Chinese history, in the many court intrigues, are there not some examples of even blood relations killing each other to attain the imperial throne?
 
But God IS love. Love is integral to God's very essence. God not only HAS love, but in his very self IS love; God cannot NOT love. God made us and wants to love us and also wants to save us. That is, even if some people reject salvation, Jesus still would need to be a Mediator between human beings and God, so that we could again attain salvation.
 
That is God's unchangeableness and also the unchangeableness of Christ: their unchangeable love. It is for love of us that God even ”gave us his only Son.” (Jn 3:16) But the unchangeable quality of God and Christ's love manifests itself in countless ways. We have many evidences of this.
 
God created the universe, gave us the soothing wind, the green grass and colorful flowers, the birds and beasts, and ordered the course of the changing seasons, arranged the glories of creation. God is the one whom Confucius did not know but who felt the presence of a true Spirit: “Heaven never speaks but one can feel his all-embracing, creative power in the turning of the seasons and the growing of all things”. (1)
 
That is a manifestation of the numerous faces of the unchangeable God.
 
God is in the midst of us; hidden in the sacraments, in the Scriptures. God moves us, guides us along life's journey. These are also manifestations of God. Another is God's presence in the least of our brothers and sisters and in those who are the most unfortunate: Christ said “just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Mt 25:40)
 
God whispers to us through the stars and speaks to us through the signs of the times. God is hidden in nature and is present in our conscience. Vatican Council II thinks that our conscience is the 'sacred place' of God. “Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a person. There the person is alone with God whose voice echoes in the depths of one's being.” (Church in the Modern World, No. 16)
 
When we evangelize, the one we preach about is this God who is always the same in everlasting love for humankind. But we must look for God in the countless manifestations of the Godhead, and help others to do the same. Together with others we must unearth this never-changing God who is hidden in the midst of a changing world.
 
'Evangelization' is to make this suggestion to others: “Let us go and strive together to search for this God who is always the same and is always among us!’
 
(1) 天何言哉!四時行焉,百物生焉;天何言哉!

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2019