將臨期第四主日 2019年12月22日


將臨期第四主日
 
義人若瑟
 
讀經一:(依7:10-14):一位貞女將懷孕生子
讀經二:(羅1:1-7):耶穌基督是天主子,生於達味的後裔
福 音:(瑪1:18-24):貞女懷孕生子,若瑟領悟聖意
中國文化: 知之為知之,不知為不知,是知也。
 
在今天的讀經中,依撒意亞先知講了一個很特別的故事。這故事是關於猶太人的一位皇帝阿哈次。這皇帝對天主毫無信心,有一次上主對他說:「你向我求一個徵兆吧!無論你是求諸地府,或求諸蒼天。但阿哈次說:我不想求,我不願意試探上主。」(參考依7:10-12)
 
「不願試探上主」,這是一個很堂皇的藉口。阿哈次表面上是說,只要信賴上主,便不必求天主顯奇蹟、拿證據。但其實,他是不信賴上主,他反而害怕上主給他看到徵兆後,要相信上主。對他來說,相信上主是一件很苦的事。
 
因為信上主便要改變生命,付出犧牲,所以他不願意相信,並拒絕徵兆。
 
我們也是如此。我們不願意相信天主,不願意相信人,也不願意相信自己。其實,只要我們張開眼睛,細細的觀看大自然,看看星辰月亮、青山綠水、花鳥蟲魚,從這些美麗的萬物中,我們一定可以看到天主。
 
記得有一次,我與一群年輕人,到了台灣墾丁公園的海邊,大家一起悠然自得地躺臥在沙灘的岩石上,欣賞大自然的美景,談天說地。從日落待到月出,從暮煙四起待到滿天星辰,直到銀河高掛天上。我們一面欣賞,一面交談,十分開心。就在這個如此幽靜及美麗的大自然下,突然有一位朋友說:「神父,為何仍有人不相信天主?」
 
這問題問得真好!只要我們敞開胸懷,張開眼睛去看看這大自然,便不能不感受到造物主的偉大。但我們不願意看,沒有時間與空閒去看。
 
聖經說:「諸天述說天主的榮耀,穹蒼宣揚他的化工。」(詠19:2) 保祿在羅馬人書也說:「一切人都可憑天主所造的萬物,看到天主的臨在。」(參考羅1:20)
 
但我們就是要閉起眼睛。我們不願意看到父母的健在是天主的恩典,友誼、親情是上主的賜與。我們不願意承認人的悔改本身,或者是一個自私自利的人,忽然變得十分慷慨,這些都是奇蹟。我們甚至不願意看看自己的過去,看看我們在天主的領導下做了多少的好事。
 
其實我們做過很多事,這些事有時甚至可以使我們自己也感驚訝。相反地,我們只記著自己的失敗、自己的無能。
 
「我不想求,我不願試探天主。」這也是我的藉口。因為我不想看,不想看到上主在我身上所顯的大能,上主給我的恩寵。我不想看到人間的美善,不想看到原來自己是充滿活力的。因為若果我看見了,便要回應上主,便要在上主內度一個新生命。這種回應或這種新生命,為我來說是可怕的,因為我實在太疲倦了。
 
今日讀經的另一個故事也很有啟發性,那就是若瑟的故事。聖經記載,若瑟是一個義人,他在知道自己的未婚妻瑪利亞懷孕以後,不願公開羞辱她,打算秘密解除婚約、暗暗休退她。
 
若瑟面對一個很大的困難:未婚妻忽然不明不白地懷了孕,按當時的法律,他有權去告發瑪利亞,讓瑪利亞被人用石頭砸死。他不瞭解自己的未婚妻,不明白所發生的一切,於是他選擇了一條路,就是暗暗地休退她。(瑪1:18-24)
不明白就是不明白。他不妄自推測,更不隨便定罪。
 
孔子曾說:「知之為知之,不知為不知,是知也。」這是知識分子應有的良知,這也是待人的重要原則。
 
很多人在不知的情況下,去猜想別人做事的動機。明明是沒有證據,但仍要胡亂猜度,去「靠估」,去生安白造一些證據來。「知之」固然是知之,「不知」還是要勉強當作知。這些人完全缺乏孔子的胸襟,也沒有若瑟的德行。
 
若瑟被稱為義人,他在這方面確實顯出了是一個頂天立地的君子,他面對不明白的事,便把一切交託給上主。
 
但後來明白了事件的真相後,他也果斷地行動。他知道瑪利亞是因聖神而懷孕,所以立即娶了瑪利亞。他雖然完全不明白什麼叫「因聖神而懷孕」,但他相信天使,他相信聖經:「一位貞女將懷孕生子,他的名字叫厄瑪奴耳,意即上主與我們同在。」他相信聖經的話已應驗在自己的家庭中,在自己的未婚妻瑪利亞身上。
 
在這將臨期,讓我們也懷著信心,祈求上主幫助我們相信他,相信別人,也相信自己。
将临期第四主日
 
义人若瑟
 
读经一:(依7:10-14):一位贞女将怀孕生子
读经二:(罗1:1-7):耶稣基督是天主子,生於达味的后裔
福 音:(玛1:18-24):贞女怀孕生子,若瑟领悟圣意
中国文化: 知之为知之,不知为不知,是知也。
 
在今天的读经中,依撒意亚先知讲了一個很特别的故事。这故事是关於犹太人的一位皇帝阿哈次。这皇帝对天主毫无信心,有一次上主对他说:「你向我求一個徵兆吧!无论你是求诸地府,或求诸苍天。但阿哈次说:我不想求,我不願意试探上主。」(参考依7:10-12)
 
「不願试探上主」,这是一個很堂皇的藉口。阿哈次表面上是说,只要信赖上主,便不必求天主显奇迹、拿证据。但其实,他是不信赖上主,他反而害怕上主给他看到徵兆后,要相信上主。对他来说,相信上主是一件很苦的事。
 
因为信上主便要改变生命,付出牺牲,所以他不願意相信,并拒绝徵兆。
 
我们也是如此。我们不願意相信天主,不願意相信人,也不願意相信自己。其实,只要我们张開眼睛,细细的观看大自然,看看星辰月亮、青山绿水、花鸟虫魚,从这些美麗的万物中,我们一定可以看到天主。
 
记得有一次,我与一群年轻人,到了台湾垦丁公园的海边,大家一起悠然自得地躺卧在沙滩的岩石上,欣赏大自然的美景,谈天说地。从日落待到月出,从暮烟四起待到满天星辰,直到银河高掛天上。我们一面欣赏,一面交谈,十分開心。就在这個如此幽静及美麗的大自然下,突然有一位朋友说:「神父,为何仍有人不相信天主?」
 
这問题問得真好!只要我们敞開胸怀,张開眼睛去看看这大自然,便不能不感受到造物主的伟大。但我们不願意看,没有時间与空闲去看。
 
圣经说:「诸天述说天主的荣耀,穹苍宣扬他的化工。」(咏19:2) 保禄在罗马人书也说:「一切人都可凭天主所造的万物,看到天主的临在。」(参考罗1:20)
 
但我们就是要闭起眼睛。我们不願意看到父母的健在是天主的恩典,友谊、亲情是上主的赐与。我们不願意承认人的悔改本身,或者是一個自私自利的人,忽然变得十分慷慨,这些都是奇迹。我们甚至不願意看看自己的過去,看看我们在天主的领导下做了多少的好事。
 
其实我们做過很多事,这些事有時甚至可以使我们自己也感惊讶。相反地,我们只记著自己的失败、自己的无能。
 
「我不想求,我不願试探天主。」这也是我的藉口。因为我不想看,不想看到上主在我身上所显的大能,上主给我的恩宠。我不想看到人间的美善,不想看到原来自己是充满活力的。因为若果我看见了,便要回应上主,便要在上主内度一個新生命。这种回应或这种新生命,为我来说是可怕的,因为我实在太疲倦了。
 
今日读经的另一個故事也很有启发性,那就是若瑟的故事。圣经记载,若瑟是一個义人,他在知道自己的未婚妻玛利亚怀孕以后,不願公開羞辱她,打算秘密解除婚约、暗暗休退她。
 
若瑟面对一個很大的困难:未婚妻忽然不明不白地怀了孕,按当時的法律,他有权去告发玛利亚,让玛利亚被人用石头砸死。他不了解自己的未婚妻,不明白所发生的一切,於是他选择了一条路,就是暗暗地休退她。(玛1:18-24)
不明白就是不明白。他不妄自推測,更不随便定罪。
 
孔子曾说:「知之为知之,不知为不知,是知也。」这是知识分子应有的良知,这也是待人的重要原则。
 
很多人在不知的情况下,去猜想别人做事的动机。明明是没有证据,但仍要胡亂猜度,去「靠估」,去生安白造一些证据来。「知之」固然是知之,「不知」还是要勉强当作知。这些人完全缺乏孔子的胸襟,也没有若瑟的德行。
 
若瑟被称为义人,他在这方面确实显出了是一個顶天立地的君子,他面对不明白的事,便把一切交托给上主。
 
但后来明白了事件的真相后,他也果断地行动。他知道玛利亚是因圣神而怀孕,所以立即娶了玛利亚。他虽然完全不明白什么叫「因圣神而怀孕」,但他相信天使,他相信圣经:「一位贞女将怀孕生子,他的名字叫厄玛奴耳,意即上主与我们同在。」他相信圣经的话已应验在自己的家庭中,在自己的未婚妻玛利亚身上。
 
在这将临期,让我们也怀著信心,祈求上主帮助我们相信他,相信别人,也相信自己。
FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
 
Joseph, The Man of Integrity
 
First Reading (Is 7:10-14) : A virgin shall conceive and bear a son
Second Reading (Rm 1:1-7 ) : Jesus Christ is the Son of God, descendent of David
Gospel (Mt 1:18-24) : The virgin shall conceive and bear a son.
Joseph understands God's will
Chinese Classics
The Master said, “When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, admit that you do not know it, - this is true knowledge.” (1)
 
The teaching in today's Scripture is from a very special story told by the Prophet Isaiah. The story is about a Jewish king called Ahaz. The king had absolutely no faith in God. Once God said to him, ‘Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.’ (Ref Is 7:10-12)
 
“Not to put the Lord to the test” was a very impressive excuse. It would seem that Ahaz was saying one need only to trust in God and need not ask God for a miracle as proof. But actually he had no faith in God. He was afraid that if God showed him a sign he must believe in God. For him, to believe in God would be very distressing.
 
Because to believe in God one must change one's life and make sacrifices so it was better not to believe and ignore the sign.
 
We are the same. We do not want to believe in God, nor other people, nor even ourselves. Actually if we open our eyes and look carefully at Nature, look at the moon and the stars, the mountains and streams, the flowers and the birds, insects and fish – all the beauty of creation -. we will for certain see God.
 
I remember once I was with a group of young people by the seaside in a park in Taiwan. We were lying relaxed on the rocks on the beach, enjoying the beauty of nature and just chatting with each other. We watched the view of the sunset to the rising of the moon, and the murky hue of evening to the silvery Milky Way. We were admiring the scene and talking, enjoying it all immensely. In the midst of the quiet and beauty, one of the group suddenly said, “ Father, why are there still people who do not believe in God?”
 
That was a good question! If only we would open our minds and look at Nature closely, we could not but feel the greatness of God. Somehow, we do not want to look or take the time or space to look.
 
Scripture says, ‘The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.’ (Ps 19:2) . In the letter to the Romans Paul also said, “Ever since the creation of the world, they have been understood and seen through the things he has made’ (Ref Rom 1:20)
 
But we still choose to close our eyes. We refuse to see that our parents' good health is a gift from God, friendship and affection are given us by God. We do not wish to admit that peoples' repentance or the sudden heroism of a selfish person are miracles of God. We even refuse to acknowledge that under God's guidance we ourselves have performed some good deeds in the past.
 
In fact we realize with some surprise that we have accomplished many good things. On the contrary, we seem to remember only our failures and weaknesses.
 
“I do not wish to plead, I do not want to test God” is our excuse. The reason is: I do not want to see what great things God has done in me with His never-ending grace. I do not want to see the beauty of the world nor acknowledge that I myself am full of life and energy. The reason is if I acknowledge all this I must respond to God and live a new life in God. Such a response is frightening for me, I really am too weary for that.
 
Today's Scripture is enlightening in another aspect. It is the story about Joseph. Scripture says that Joseph was a man of integrity. After he knew that Mary, his espoused wife, was pregnant, he did not want to accuse her publicly. He planned to break the marriage contract and put her away quietly.
 
Joseph had to face a very big difficulty. His fiancee suddenly was somehow pregnant without his knowledge. Based on the law of the time, he had the right to accuse Mary and allow her to be stoned to death. He did not know what had happened and did not understand it. He chose to send her away quietly. (Rf Mt 1:18-24).
 
He knew that he did not understand. He did not speculate, even less did he want to judge Mary.
 
Confucius said, “When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, admit that you do not know it, - this is true knowledge.”(1) This should be the moral stance of an intellectual. It is also a principle we should follow when dealing with people.
 
Many people attempt to guess other peoples' intentions when they know nothing about it. They do not have any evidence. They speculate and make guesses, fabricating evidence. “When you know a thing, to hold that you know it” is all right. But some people would willingly say that they know something when they do not. That kind of person lacks the open-mindedness of Confucius or the upright conduct of Joseph.
 
Joseph is called a man of integrity. His actions indeed showed his righteousness. When he was unable to understand he submitted all his doubts to God.
 
Later, when all the truth was revealed he acted courageously. He knew that Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit and he accordingly married her at once. It was beyond his understanding what it meant to be “conceived of the Holy Spirit”, still he believed the angel. He believed the Scripture, ‘A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel’,which means, ‘God is with us.’ He believed that what was written in the Scriptures was realized in his home and in Mary, his betrothed.
 
At this time of Advent, let us have faith in God. Let us pray to God to help us to believe in Him, to believe in other people and to believe in ourselves.
 
(1) 知之為知之,不知為不知,是知也。

現場講道(粵語)

教友證道


神父講道


現場講道文稿

主日八分半(彌撒講道)

粵語講道


普通話講道



 

徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2020