主受洗節 2020年01月12日


主受洗節
 
為天國獻身,為世界服務
 
讀經一:(依42:1-4,6-7):上主僕人的召叫和他的慈悲
讀經二:(宗10:34-38):天主以聖神給耶穌傅油
福 音:(瑪3:13-17):耶穌受洗後看見天主聖神降臨在自己身上
中國文化: 人溺己溺,人飢己飢。 先天下之憂而憂,後天下之樂而樂。
鳥獸不可與同群,吾非斯人之徒與而誰與?天下有道,丘不與易也。
 
若翰不肯接受為耶穌授洗。耶穌回答說:「你暫且照做吧!因為我們應該這樣做,以完成全部正義。」從天上有聲音說:「這是我的愛子,我所喜悅的。」(瑪3:13-17)
 
今天,我們紀念耶穌的受洗,這是耶穌公開生活的序幕。從此,他正式踏進了世界的舞台,公開向世人宣講天國的喜訊。
 
他並不是自己要到這世上來的,而是天主、他的父派遣了他:「我、上主,為正義召喚了你,我必提攜你、保護你,我要立你為人民的盟約,使你成為萬民之光;你要開啟失明者的眼睛,把被囚禁的人領出監牢,使黑暗中的人得見光明。」(依42:6-7)
 
耶穌接受洗禮,也就是接受了一個任務、一項使命,接受了天父的派遣,亦因此,他成了天父所喜悅的:「這是我的愛子,我所喜悅的。
 
耶穌是天主的「聖事」。從耶穌身上,在他的宣講和行動中,我們慢慢接觸到、看到、感受到、領悟到,和明白到那位無形無相的天主;因基督的緣故,我們和那位原來不可捉摸的天主,已經可以發展出一種位際的、親密的關係。而且,在耶穌身上,我們還可以看到天主對人的最大和最真摯的愛情;在耶穌身上,我們更看到人對天主最高、最大、最深、和最完全的服從和回應。
 
洗禮正是這一切的標記,藉著接受這個標記,耶穌決心接受和實踐父交給他的使命:把天父啟示給人類,讓天國臨現在人間。
 
我們許多人在洗禮中,大多只會想到赦罪、蒙恩、將來得升天堂的幸福,很少想到這更是一個對基督的追隨,一種終生的奉獻,為天主而奉獻,為實踐他給我們的使命而奉獻一生。
 
比起基督教朋友來,我們天主教徒無疑在傳教使命上是相當薄弱的,我們甚至比不上佛教徒那種蓋寺廟、印善書、積功德的熱誠。
 
其實,我們都知道,我們接受洗禮時已領受了三重使命:作先知、司祭、君王的使命。先知,我們要作天主的代言人,為基督、為信仰、為真理作見證;司祭,我們要直接和天主接觸,盡一切宗教義務,為世界祈禱;君王,我們要讓天主在我們心中為王,並帶領別人到天主那裡,讓天主在一切之中為王。
 
這都是我們在領洗時所領受了的使命;我們絕不是只來承繼永生、享受救恩的!
 
但耶穌的使命是甚麼呢?他又是一個甚麼樣的人呢?教會一向相信,依撒意亞先知所說的「上主的僕人」,就是指耶穌,而今天的讀經是這樣的形容這個上主的僕人:「我在他身上傾注了我的神,叫他給萬民帶來公正。壓傷的蘆葦,他不折斷;將熄的燈芯,他不吹滅;他要忠實地伸張正義。」(依42:1-4)
 
耶穌好像上主的僕人一樣,也是慈悲和正義的,他愛所有人,也愛每一個人,包括軟弱的人和罪人在內。他要把救恩帶給他們。
 
從耶穌的使命和領洗者的使命來看,我們也可以很易聯想到教會的使命。如果耶穌是為人而存在:「他為了我們人類,並為了我們的得救,從天降下」,那麼,教會也應是為世界而存在的。
 
所以梵二的《教會在現代世界牧職憲章》很清楚地說:「我們這時代的人們,尤其貧困者和遭受折磨者,所有的喜樂與期望、愁苦與焦慮,亦是基督信徒的喜樂與期望、愁苦和焦慮。凡是屬於人類的種種,在基督信徒心靈內,莫不有所反映。」即是說,教會對世間的一切,都會感同身受。
 
這亦是中國人所說的「人溺己溺,人飢己飢」,或范仲掩所說的「先天下之憂而憂,後天下之樂而樂」的情懷。孔子周遊列國,他熱愛人民、關切世運,有人勸他不必再費心了,因為洪水橫流、濁浪滔滔,做甚麼也沒有用處。孔子的回答很簡單:「鳥獸不可與同群,吾非斯人之徒與而誰與?天下有道,丘不與易也。」意思是:我不願隱居山林,只是和鳥獸相處。正因為洪水滔滔,所以我才出來濟世;天下太平,我出來幹嗎?
 
希望基督能帶導我們所有人,特別那些信從他的人,為天國而全然獻身,為世界而忠誠服務。
主受洗节
 
为天国献身,为世界服务
 
读经一:(依42:1-4,6-7):上主仆人的召叫和他的慈悲
读经二:(宗10:34-38):天主以圣神给耶稣傅油
福 音:(玛3:13-17):耶稣受洗后看见天主圣神降临在自己身上
中国文化: 人溺己溺,人饥己饥。先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐。
鸟兽不可与同群,吾非斯人之徒与而谁与?天下有道,丘不与易也。
 
若翰不肯接受为耶稣授洗。耶稣回答说:「你暂且照做吧!因为我们应該这样做,以完成全部正义。」从天上有声音说:「这是我的爱子,我所喜悦的。」(玛3:13-17)
 
今天,我们纪念耶稣的受洗,这是耶稣公開生活的序幕。从此,他正式踏进了世界的舞台,公開向世人宣讲天国的喜讯。
 
他并不是自己要到这世上来的,而是天主、他的父派遣了他:「我、上主,为正义召唤了你,我必提携你、保护你,我要立你为人民的盟约,使你成为万民之光;你要開启失明者的眼睛,把被囚禁的人领出监牢,使黑暗中的人得见光明。」(依42:6-7)
 
耶稣接受洗礼,也就是接受了一個任务、一项使命,接受了天父的派遣,亦因此,他成了天父所喜悦的:「这是我的爱子,我所喜悦的。
 
耶稣是天主的「圣事」。从耶稣身上,在他的宣讲和行动中,我们慢慢接触到、看到、感受到、领悟到,和明白到那位无形无相的天主;因基督的缘故,我们和那位原来不可捉摸的天主,已经可以发展出一种位际的、亲密的关系。而且,在耶稣身上,我们还可以看到天主对人的最大和最真摯的爱情;在耶稣身上,我们更看到人对天主最高、最大、最深、和最完全的服从和回应。
 
洗礼正是这一切的标记,藉著接受这個标记,耶稣决心接受和实踐父交给他的使命:把天父启示给人类,让天国临现在人间。
 
我们许多人在洗礼中,大多只会想到赦罪、蒙恩、将来得升天堂的幸福,很少想到这更是一個对基督的追随,一种终生的奉献,为天主而奉献,为实踐他给我们的使命而奉献一生。
 
比起基督教朋友来,我们天主教徒无疑在传教使命上是相当薄弱的,我们甚至比不上佛教徒那种盖寺庙、印善书、积功德的热诚。
 
其实,我们都知道,我们接受洗礼時已领受了三重使命:作先知、司祭、君王的使命。先知,我们要作天主的代言人,为基督、为信仰、为真理作见证;司祭,我们要直接和天主接触,尽一切宗教义务,为世界祈祷;君王,我们要让天主在我们心中为王,并带领别人到天主那里,让天主在一切之中为王。
 
这都是我们在领洗時所领受了的使命;我们绝不是只来承继永生、享受救恩的!
 
但耶稣的使命是甚么呢?他又是一個甚么样的人呢?教会一向相信,依撒意亚先知所说的「上主的仆人」,就是指耶稣,而今天的读经是这样的形容这個上主的仆人:「我在他身上倾注了我的神,叫他给万民带来公正。压伤的芦苇,他不折断;将熄的灯芯,他不吹灭;他要忠实地伸张正义。」(依42:1-4)
 
耶稣好像上主的仆人一样,也是慈悲和正义的,他爱所有人,也爱每一個人,包括软弱的人和罪人在内。他要把救恩带给他们。
 
从耶稣的使命和领洗者的使命来看,我们也可以很易联想到教会的使命。如果耶稣是为人而存在:「他为了我们人类,并为了我们的得救,从天降下」,那么,教会也应是为世界而存在的。
 
所以梵二的《教会在现代世界牧职宪章》 很清楚地说:「我们这時代的人们,尤其贫困者和遭受折磨者,所有的喜乐与期望、愁苦与焦虑,亦是基督信徒的喜乐与期望、愁苦和焦虑。凡是属於人类的种种,在基督信徒心灵内,莫不有所反映。」即是说,教会对世间的一切,都会感同身受。
 
这亦是中国人所说的「人溺己溺,人饥己饥」,或范仲掩所说的「先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐」的情怀。孔子周游列国,他热爱人民、关切世运,有人劝他不必再费心了,因为洪水横流、浊浪滔滔,做甚么也没有用处。孔子的回答很简单:「鸟兽不可与同群,吾非斯人之徒与而谁与?天下有道,丘不与易也。」意思是:我不願隐居山林,只是和鸟兽相处。正因为洪水滔滔,所以我才出来济世;天下太平,我出来干吗?
 
希望基督能带导我们所有人,特别那些信从他的人,为天国而全然献身,为世界而忠诚服务。
Baptism of Lord
 
Commit Oneself to the Lord and Serve the World
 
First Reading (Is 42: 1-4, 6-7): The call of the Servant of the Lord and his mercy
Second Reading (Acts 10: 34-38): God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit
Gospel (Mt 3: 13-17): After his Baptism Jesus saw God's Spirit descending on him
Chinese Classics:
-“When people get drowned I feel I get drowned too. When people are hungry, I feel hungry too.” (1)
-“When, then, can they enjoy themselves in life? No doubt they are concerned before anyone else and enjoy themselves only after everyone else finds enjoyment.” (2)
-“It is inappropriate to associate with birds and beasts, as if they were the same with us. If I associate not with these people, with whom shall I associate? If right principles prevailed through the empire, there would be no use for me to change its state.” (3)
 
John the Baptist did not want to accept Jesus for baptism. “Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’ And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ (Mt 3: 13-17)
 
Today we commemorate the Baptism of Jesus. This is the beginning of Jesus' Public Life. From then on Jesus stepped on to the world stage and openly proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven.
 
He did not come into the world of his own accord, rather it was God his Father who sent him: “I am the Lord, I have called you to righteousness. I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.” (Is 42: 6-7)
 
When Jesus accepted Baptism, he also accepted his mission, his duty, and that the Father had sent him. Because of this he was beloved by the Father: “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.
 
Jesus is the ‘Sacrament’ of God. Through himself, through his preaching and actions, we gradually come in touch with, see and feel, comprehend and understand the invisible God. Because of Christ we are able to establish an actual intimate relationship with God who is actually unfathomable. In Jesus we are able to witness God's enormous genuine love; in Jesus we also can see the highest, most perfect and deepest response of obedience that human beings can make to God.
 
Baptism is a symbol of all of this. Through this symbol Jesus determined to accept and carry out the mission the Father had given him: to reveal God to humankind and to let the Kingdom of Heaven now appear in the midst of humanity.
 
Most of us think of baptism as forgiveness of sin, reception of grace and future happiness of heaven. We seldom think that, even more we have become followers of Christ, that it is a lifelong sacrifice, an offering of ourselves to God in order to accept to carry out the mission God has given us.
 
Compared to our other Christian friends, we Catholics undoubtedly have a weaker concept of our mission to evangelize. We are even less zealous than faithful Buddhists in their zeal to build monasteries, print books and do good deeds.
 
Actually we all know that when we received Baptism we received a three-fold mission to be prophet, priest and king. As prophet we must be representatives of God in witnessing to Christ, faith and truth; as priest we must be in touch with God directly, performing our religious duties, pray for the world and also lead others to God; as king, we must let God reign in our hearts and also lead others to let God rule over all things.
 
This is the mission we received at Baptism. Surely we did not only inherit eternal life and the right to salvation.
 
But what is Jesus' mission? What kind of person is he? The Church has always believed that the Servant of the Lord referred to in today's reading from the prophet Isaiah points to Jesus.: “I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations, a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.” (Is 42: 1-4)
 
Jesus is like the servant of the Lord, all merciful and righteous. He loves all people and each person, including the weak and the sinful. He wants to bring salvation to all of them. . . From Jesus' mission and the mission of the baptized faithful, we can easily think of the mission of the Church. If he is for all of humankind, and “for us and for our sal- vation came down from heaven.” then the Church exists for the world.
 
That is why it is stated clearly in the “Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World” (art 1): “The joys and the hopes, the grief and the anxieties of the people of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, those too are the joys and hopes, the grief and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts.” That is to say, the Church feels and undergoes all that the world feels and undergoes.
 
This is what the Chinese mean by .”When people get drowned, I feel I get drowned too. When people are hungry, I feel hungry too.”(1) This is also Fan Zhong Yan's state of mind when he said, “When then can they enjoy themselves in life? No doubt they are concerned before anyone else and enjoy themselves only after everyone else finds enjoyment.”(2) Confucius loved the people and cared about the rise and fall of the states. He traveled to different states. Some people tried to persuade him to give up and not waste time. The situation of his time was like rampant floods and turbid rivers and there was nothing he could do. Confucius answered simply, “It is inappropriate to associate with birds and beasts as if they were the same with us. If I associate not with these people with whom shall I associate? If right principles prevail throughout the empire, there would be no use for me to change its state.”(3) The meaning is that I would not want to hide myself among mountains and trees only to be with birds and animals. It is exactly because of floods everywhere that I need to help the world. When the world is peaceful, what is the point of my being around?
 
We hope that Christ can lead us all, especially those who follow and believe in him, to commit themselves fully to God's kingdom of heaven and with all sincerity serve the world.
 
(1) 人溺己溺,人飢己飢。
(2) 先天下之憂而憂,後天下之樂而樂。
(3) 鳥獸不可與同群,吾非斯人之徒與而誰與?天下有道,丘不與易也。 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2019