聖家節 2019年12月29日


聖家節
 
患難見真情,和睦建聖家
 
讀經一:(德3:3-7,14-17):孝敬父母
讀經二:(哥3:12-21):基督徒家庭生活
福 音:(瑪2:13-15,19-23):聖家逃亡,委身於主
中國文化: 鏡與人俱去,鏡歸人不歸;無復姮娥影,空留明月輝。
 
「起來,帶著嬰孩和他的母親逃往埃及去,住在那裡,直到我再通知你,因為黑落德即將尋找這嬰孩,要把他殺掉。」(瑪2:13)
 
在講聖家道理之前,讓我先講一個小故事。
 
在中國唐朝之前的幾個朝代,有一個稱為南朝的陳國。那時正當戰亂,徐德賢與妻子洛昌公主在戰亂中被迫分手時,把一面鏡子打破,每人各保存半面鏡子。他們約好一年之後,若有機會重逢,兩片破鏡就會重圓。
 
一年後,徐德賢拿著半面鏡子到街市出賣,剛巧洛昌公主的僕人也拿出另外半面鏡子,二面鏡子合在一起,果然可以重圓。徐德賢見到雖然破鏡重圓,但洛昌公主卻不知所蹤。於是他很感慨地在破鏡上寫了一首詩:「鏡與人俱去,鏡歸人不歸;無復姮娥影,空留明月輝。」本來鏡與人都不知去了哪裡,現在鏡回來了,但人卻仍不知身在何處,連影子也找不到,剩下的,只有清冷明月的光輝罷了。
 
這故事的結局當然是破鏡重圓。徐德賢終於再見妻子,二人經過離亂後,彼此就更加恩愛了。
 
今日瑪竇福音所講的故事也是一樣:黑落德王要殺害新生的嬰兒,但卻無從下手。於是他想出了一條萬全的毒計,就是把全城兩歲以下的嬰兒全殺了,新生的聖嬰就決不會漏網。
 
這時,上主的天使托夢給若瑟說:「起來,帶著孩子和他的母親逃到埃及去吧。
 
逃到埃及!天主竟然沒有能力保護自己的兒子!上主、全能大力的上主竟然要逃難!
 
不久以後,黑落德死了,天使在埃及又托夢給若瑟說:「起來,帶著孩子和他的母親,返回以色列去吧!」我們可以想像到,他們三人在紛亂中是如何的顛沛流離。但經過痛苦的洗禮,並受到挫折與困難的鍊淨後,他們的感情也一定更加密切。何況有耶穌作為這個家庭的支柱和核心,這聖家三口一定是世上最好的家庭。(參考瑪2:13-15,19-23)
 
今日禮儀選的聖經,除了瑪竇福音外,也選了保祿宗徒致哥羅森人書,其中一段也描寫了一個美麗家庭應有的特質:「你們該有感恩之心,要讓基督的話充分地保存在你們內,以各種智慧彼此教導、規勸,以聖詠、詩詞和屬神的歌曲,在你們心內,懷著感恩之情,歌頌天主。你們的所作所為,都該因主耶穌的名而作,藉著他感謝天主聖父。」(哥3:15-17)
 
這段話十分精彩,它認為作為一個基督徒家庭,該有兩大要素:就是時常感恩,並以聖言為中心。
 
第一點是感恩。保祿宗徒說要「為一切事,時時感謝天主父。」(弗5:20)他強調的是「時時」和「事事」。時時,即是說沒有一時不感謝;事事,即是說沒有一事不感謝。雖然家家有本難唸的經,聖家也有難唸的經,但還是要時時感謝、事事感謝。
 
今日的福音故事,對若瑟來說,本身就是一本十分難唸的經,一件十分難明的事,一個十分難面對的挑戰。若瑟一定會問:既然自己的兒子是因聖神懷孕,是天主的愛子,為何天主不保護他,要他們逃難到埃及?但若瑟仍是接受,帶著兒子及妻子逃往埃及。他在這種環境中仍是聽命、服從、接受、感謝。
 
我們的生命雖然充滿挫敗,充滿不如意之事,但仍要懷著感恩之心。若瑟和瑪利亞有感恩之心,並不是因為他們的家庭萬事順遂,而是因為他們接納、相信、委身於上主,把一切交託在上主的手中。
 
第二點就是要以聖言為中心,即讓天主的話充分保存在心中。我們個人要常讀聖經、默想聖經,讓上主的話深深印在我們心中。聖經更是家庭的支柱、核心及基礎。
 
若我們常常默想聖經,家庭便會充滿智慧;而且有了聖言作指導,亦可以減少家中各人獨斷獨行、自以為是的危險。
 
如果我們一家人藉著祈禱彼此教導,互相規勸,用聖詠和詩歌讚美天主,所作所為都因基督之名而行,藉著他感謝天主聖父,那麼,我們的家便更可以其樂融融了。
 
藉祈禱而彼此教導、互相規勸,不是比較大家怒氣沖沖、互相對罵,勝過千百倍嗎?我們更希望父母都能用這樣的聖家精神去培育子女,使基督精神成為他們成長的一部分,生命的一部分。
圣家节
 
患难见真情,和睦建圣家
 
读经一:(德3:3-7,14-17):孝敬父母
读经二:(哥3:12-21):基督徒家庭生活
福 音:(玛2:13-15,19-23):圣家逃亡,委身於主
中国文化: 镜与人俱去,镜归人不归;无复姮娥影,空留明月辉。
 
「起来,带著婴孩和他的母亲逃往埃及去,住在那里,直到我再通知你,因为黑落德即将寻找这婴孩,要把他杀掉。」(玛2:13)
 
在讲圣家道理之前,让我先讲一個小故事。
 
在中国唐朝之前的幾個朝代,有一個称为南朝的陈国。那時正当战亂,徐德贤与妻子洛昌公主在战亂中被迫分手時,把一面镜子打破,每人各保存半面镜子。他们约好一年之后,若有机会重逢,两片破镜就会重圆。
 
一年后,徐德贤拿著半面镜子到街市出卖,刚巧洛昌公主的仆人也拿出另外半面镜子,二面镜子合在一起,果然可以重圆。徐德贤见到虽然破镜重圆,但洛昌公主却不知所踪。於是他很感慨地在破镜上写了一首诗:「镜与人俱去,镜归人不归;无复姮娥影,空留明月辉。」本来镜与人都不知去了哪里,现在镜回来了,但人却仍不知身在何处,连影子也找不到,剩下的,只有清冷明月的光辉罢了。
 
这故事的结局当然是破镜重圆。徐德贤终於再见妻子,二人经過離亂后,彼此就更加恩爱了。
 
今日玛窦福音所讲的故事也是一样:黑落德王要杀害新生的婴儿,但却无从下手。於是他想出了一条万全的毒计,就是把全城两岁以下的婴儿全杀了,新生的圣婴就决不会漏网。
 
这時,上主的天使托梦给若瑟说:「起来,带著孩子和他的母亲逃到埃及去吧。
 
逃到埃及!天主竟然没有能力保护自己的儿子!上主、全能大力的上主竟然要逃难!
 
不久以后,黑落德死了,天使在埃及又托梦给若瑟说:「起来,带著孩子和他的母亲,返回以色列去吧!」我们可以想像到,他们三人在纷亂中是如何的颠沛流離。但经過痛苦的洗礼,并受到挫折与困难的炼净后,他们的感情也一定更加密切。何况有耶稣作为这個家庭的支柱和核心,这圣家三口一定是世上最好的家庭。(参考玛2:13-15,19-23)
 
今日礼仪选的圣经,除了玛窦福音外,也选了保禄宗徒致哥罗森人书,其中一段也描写了一個美麗家庭应有的特质:「你们該有感恩之心,要让基督的话充分地保存在你们内,以各种智慧彼此教导、规劝,以圣咏、诗词和属神的歌曲,在你们心内,怀著感恩之情,歌颂天主。你们的所作所为,都該因主耶稣的名而作,藉著他感谢天主圣父。」(哥3:15-17)
 
这段话十分精彩,它认为作为一個基督徒家庭,該有两大要素:就是時常感恩,并以圣言为中心。
 
第一点是感恩。保禄宗徒说要「为一切事,時時感谢天主父。」(弗5:20)他强调的是「時時」和「事事」。時時,即是说没有一時不感谢;事事,即是说没有一事不感谢。虽然家家有本难念的经,圣家也有难念的经,但还是要時時感谢、事事感谢。
 
今日的福音故事,对若瑟来说,本身就是一本十分难念的经,一件十分难明的事,一個十分难面对的挑战。若瑟一定会問:既然自己的儿子是因圣神怀孕,是天主的爱子,为何天主不保护他,要他们逃难到埃及?但若瑟仍是接受,带著儿子及妻子逃往埃及。他在这种环境中仍是听命、服从、接受、感谢。
 
我们的生命虽然充满挫败,充满不如意之事,但仍要怀著感恩之心。若瑟和玛利亚有感恩之心,并不是因为他们的家庭万事顺遂,而是因为他们接纳、相信、委身於上主,把一切交托在上主的手中。
 
第二点就是要以圣言为中心,即让天主的话充分保存在心中。我们個人要常读圣经、默想圣经,让上主的话深深印在我们心中。圣经更是家庭的支柱、核心及基础。
 
若我们常常默想圣经,家庭便会充满智慧;而且有了圣言作指导,亦可以减少家中各人独断独行、自以为是的危险。
 
如果我们一家人藉著祈祷彼此教导,互相规劝,用圣咏和诗歌赞美天主,所作所为都因基督之名而行,藉著他感谢天主圣父,那么,我们的家便更可以其乐融融了。
 
藉祈祷而彼此教导、互相规劝,不是比较大家怒气冲冲、互相对骂,胜過千百倍吗?我们更希望父母都能用这样的圣家精神去培育子女,使基督精神成为他们成长的一部分,生命的一部分。
Feast of the Holy Family
 
True Affection is Found in Adversity
Harmony Built Up the Holy Family
 
First Reading ( Sir 3:3-7,14-17) : Honour your father and mother
Second Reading ( Col 3:12-21 ) : Family life of Christians
Gospel (Mt 2:13-15,19-23 ) : The Holy Family must flee but relied on the Lord
Chinese Classics
“The person and the mirror were gone, The mirror came back but the person did not; The shadow of the Lady of the Moon could be seen no more, only the bright moon shone in the empty sky.” (1)
 
Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ (Mt 2: 13 )
 
Before we talk about the doctrine of the Holy Family let me tell you a little story. Before the Tang Dynasty in China there were several other dynasties. One of them was the Southern Dynasty which was ruled by the House of Chen. The country was in a state of war and turmoil. Xu De Yian and his wife, the Princess Luo Chang, were forced to go separate ways. Xu took a mirror and broke it into two halves, giving one half to his wife and keeping the other half himself. They pledged to look for each other a year later. If they could find each other, the two pieces of mirror would be as one again.
 
A year later, Xu De Yian went to the market to sell his half of the mirror. A servant of Princess Luo Chang came along. He took out the other half of the mirror. The two pieces of the mirror were a perfect match and were reunited. However, the Princess was nowhere to be found. In his sorrow Xu De Yian wrote this poem on the mirror: “The person and the mirror were gone, The mirror came back but the person did not; The shadow of the Lady of the Moon could be seen no more, only the bright moon shone in the empty sky.”(1) To begin with, no one knew where the person and the mirror were. The mirror had returned but the person was nowhere to be found. There was not a trace of her. Only the light of the solo moon was left.
 
There was a happy ending to this story so it was called “The Reunion of the Broken Mirror.” Xu De Yian did find his wife. Having endured separation and turmoil, the two of them loved each other even more than before.
 
The story in today's Gospel of Matthew is quite similar to this story. King Herod wanted to kill the newborn infant but did not know where to find him. So he thought of a brutal plan. He killed all the boys below two years old in Bethlehem and the neighboring regions. The infant could not slip away.
 
At that time, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said to him, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt.
 
Escape to Egypt! God seemed powerless in protecting His own Son! The almighty God must flee for his life!
 
Later King Herod died. In Egypt the angel appeared again to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel’ One can imagine how the family of three had suffered during this unsettling time. After having been cleansed in the baptism of suffering and endured frustration and difficulties, their affection for each other was surely even closer than before. Furthermore, with Jesus as the pillar and center of the family, it was surely the best family in the world. (rf Mt 2: 13-15, 19-23).
 
In the Scripture readings for today's liturgy, besides the passage from Matthew's Gospel, Paul's letter to the Colossians has also been chosen. In one paragraph Paul describes the characteristics of a loving family, “Be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” ( Col 3:15-17)
 
This is a marvelous passage. Paul thinks there should be two main elements in a Christian family, it should always be thankful and it should consider the Word of God the core of life.
 
The first element is to be grateful. Paul said , ‘Give thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything’ (Eph 5:20). He put the stress on “always” and “everything”. “Always” means there is no time that we should not be thankful, “everything” means that we should be thankful for every single thing. Though every family has its own difficulties, as did the Holy Family, we must always be grateful for everything.
 
The dilemma recorded in today's Gospel was difficult for Joseph to understand and presented him with a big challenge. He must have asked himself, if the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was the beloved Son of God, why did God not protect him but sent the family to Egypt? Nonetheless, Joseph accepted this arrangement and took the child and his wife and fled to Egypt. Under such circumstances he continued to obey, to be submissive and remain grateful.
 
Though our lives may be full of frustration and unhappiness, still we should continue to be grateful. Joseph and Mary were grateful not because everything in their lives went smoothly, but because they were obedient, faithful and committed to God. They put everything in the hands of God.
 
Secondly, the Word of God was central to their lives, i.e. God's Word was rooted deeply in their hearts. Each of us should read and meditate on Scripture, letting God's Word enter deeply into our hearts. Scripture is the support, core and foundation of the family.
 
If we regularly meditate on Scripture, our families will be filled with wisdom; moreover, letting
Scripture be our guide will lessen the risk of family members becoming too self-centred and self-righteous.
 
If as a family we support each other with prayer and mutual encouragement, praise God with hymns and psalms, do all in the name of Christ and through Christ give thanks to God, our family will be joyful and united as one.
 
Is it not much better for family members to prayerfully teach and encourage each other rather than be angry and rail against each other? Even more, let us hope that parents will use the spirit of the Holy Family in raising their children and allow the spirit of Christ to be part of their maturing and part of their entire lives.
 
(1) 鏡與人俱去,鏡歸人不歸;無復姮娥影,空留明月輝。

現場講道(粵語)

教友證道


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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2019