耶穌復活主日 2020年04月12日


復活主日
 
昂然踏步,邁向新天
 
讀經一:(宗10:34,37-43):伯多祿為基督的復活作見證
讀經二:(哥3:1-4):該追求天上的事
福 音:(若20:1-9):墳墓已空
中國文化: 夜深經戰場,寒月照白骨。
不經一番寒徹骨,那得梅花樸鼻香?
 
我們就是天主揀選的見證人,我們就是那些耶穌從死者中復活後與他共同飲食過的人。」(宗10:41)
 
復活節不單是紀念基督的復活,也是相信我們自己會復活,整個人類會復活,萬物也會復活。今日我想和大家分享兩個民族的遭遇:中華民族及以色列民族的遭遇。
 
中華民族是一個偉大而又可憐的民族。我們很偉大,因為我們有很長的歷史——有世界上最長久最持續不斷的文明。我們有過漢、唐的盛世,有過儒家、諸子百家的智慧。我們的屈原是世界上第一位大詩人。我們曾經有過四大發明:印刷術、造紙術、羅盤及火葯。從前,我們的絲綢及瓷器是全世界人民所追求的精品。
 
不過我們亦很可憐。我們的老百姓經常受苦。在亂世中,中國大地上曾經出現過「百里無人煙」的慘況。杜甫在《北征》詩裡描寫的「夜深經戰場,寒月照白骨」,讀起來也令人感覺十分悽冷。殘唐五代、五胡亂華的時候,更是我國歷史上最大的黑暗時期。
 
近代中國人在外國人面前抬不起頭來,甚至連帶著基督精神的傳教士,有時也在不知不覺間,站在帝國主義者的一邊。屈辱、痛苦、自卑,是我們不少中國人的心境。
 
中華民國的軍閥時代,錢穆先生形容是歷史上最糊塗、最混帳的時刻。中華人民共和國成立以後,外求獨立與平等固然做得好,但內求富強與統一,則仍然是遙遙無期。五四運動時所提出的「德先生」與「賽先生」(即民主與科學),到現在還未在中國遍地開花,更不知何時可以結果。
 
中華民族甚麼時候可以逾越,甚麼時候可以復活呢?
 
讓我們再看看另一個民族??聖經的民族。
 
距離現在大約三千多年前,在埃及有一群旅居異地的僑民,由於他們苦幹、勤勞,於是積累了很多金錢與財產。但金錢與財產剛好惹起了禍端,法老王及埃及人要把以色列人貶為奴隸。這一群流落異鄉、寄人籬下的奴隸,他們堅強的身體被蹂躪,他們脆弱的心靈被糟蹋。於是一種渴望和平、嚮往自由的理想,就在這一種非人的生活中慢慢形成了。
 
與現實對比,這個理想更是多麼的鮮明,多麼的吸引。
 
終於,這個追求自由的理想,成為一種巨大的力量,推動這群奴隸踏上了艱苦的征途。由渴望到追求,由理想到實踐,需要很大的力量。而這力量的背後就是以色列人所稱的萬軍的上主、慈悲的上主、廣施救援的雅威。
 
但離開為奴之家,卻不能一步就進入自由的國境。拋棄了埃及之後,他們立刻要面對的是茫茫的沙漠,一望無際的荒原;沒有水、沒有食物。日間攝氏一百多度高溫,夜間冷到冰點以下,日曬雨淋、飛沙走石。他們面臨的抉擇是:要不要回去為奴之家,那裡至少可以「死有葬身之地」,或者,堅持夢想,找尋自由。
 
以色列人選擇了後者。於是在四十年內,他們在沙漠裡漂泊流浪。四十年,佔去了人生大部分的時光。他們掙扎、流浪、吃苦,直到整整一代人死去以後,終於找到了一片屬於自己的地方。
 
進入沙漠、投奔自由,這就是以色列人與我們基督徒原來的感召,是今日我們在復活節、在逾越節所慶祝的奧蹟。我們今日所宣揚的,就是這種面對生命的挑戰,和投奔自由的精神。我們要在任何環境下都有不屈不撓的勇氣,懷抱永遠不熄滅的希望。
 
昂起頭來,離開為奴之家;打破罪惡的枷鎖,經過沙漠的洗禮,走向上主所許諾的自由福地,十分不容易。
 
一個沉迷於電視的學生,要他重新拿起書本;一個沉迷於賭博的家庭主婦,要她重新將全部時間用在子女、丈夫及家務身上;一個只知道追求肉慾安逸,和沉迷於聲色犬馬的男人,要他重新度純潔的生活。這一切都絕非易事。但這正是皈依、回頭、洗禮、逾越的含義。
 
今天是復活節。我們不單只慶祝基督的復活,我們也要成為基督復活的見証人。我們就好像宗徒大事錄所說的,在基督從死者中復活之後,與他共同飲食過的人。我們經驗過基督,領受過基督,擁抱過基督;我們曾經在基督的懷抱裡沉睡過、安息過。我們也曾經驗過基督給我們多少的恩典、多少的希望。就讓我們將我們的希望帶給我們的鄰人,帶到世界上,帶給中華民族。
 
以色列人曾經歷過四百年的奴隸生活,終於重獲自由。「不經一番寒徹骨,那得梅花樸鼻香?」我們相信世界上所有的人和所有的民族,甚至整個人類,儘管苦難不斷,都要得到基督的救贖,得到他賜給我們圓滿的幸福和生命。
复活主日
 
昂然踏步,迈向新天
 
读经一:(宗10:34,37-43):伯多禄为基督的复活作见证
读经二:(哥3:1-4):該追求天上的事
福 音:(若20:1-9):坟墓已空
中国文化: 夜深经战场,寒月照白骨。
不经一番寒彻骨,那得梅花朴鼻香?
 
我们就是天主拣选的见证人,我们就是那些耶稣从死者中复活后与他共同饮食過的人。」(宗10:41)
 
复活节不单是纪念基督的复活,也是相信我们自己会复活,整個人类会复活,万物也会复活。今日我想和大家分享两個民族的遭遇:中华民族及以色列民族的遭遇。
 
中华民族是一個伟大而又可怜的民族。我们很伟大,因为我们有很长的历史——有世界上最长久最持续不断的文明。我们有過汉、唐的盛世,有過儒家、诸子百家的智慧。我们的屈原是世界上第一位大诗人。我们曾经有過四大发明:印刷术、造纸术、罗盤及火药。从前,我们的丝绸及瓷器是全世界人民所追求的精品。
 
不過我们亦很可怜。我们的老百姓经常受苦。在亂世中,中国大地上曾经出现過「百里无人烟」的惨况。杜甫在《北征》 诗里描写的「夜深经战场,寒月照白骨」,读起来也令人感觉十分凄冷。残唐五代、五胡亂华的時候,更是我国历史上最大的黑暗時期。
 
近代中国人在外国人面前抬不起头来,甚至连带著基督精神的传教士,有時也在不知不觉间,站在帝国主义者的一边。屈辱、痛苦、自卑,是我们不少中国人的心境。
 
中华民国的军阀時代,钱穆先生形容是历史上最糊涂、最混帐的時刻。中华人民共和国成立以后,外求独立与平等固然做得好,但内求富强与统一,则仍然是遥遥无期。五四运动時所提出的「德先生」与「赛先生」(即民主与科学),到现在还未在中国遍地開花,更不知何時可以结果。
 
中华民族甚么時候可以逾越,甚么時候可以复活呢?
 
让我们再看看另一個民族??圣经的民族。
 
距離现在大约三千多年前,在埃及有一群旅居异地的侨民,由於他们苦干、勤劳,於是积累了很多金钱与财產。但金钱与财產刚好惹起了祸端,法老王及埃及人要把以色列人贬为奴隶。这一群流落异乡、寄人篱下的奴隶,他们坚强的身体被蹂躏,他们脆弱的心灵被糟蹋。於是一种渴望和平、向往自由的理想,就在这一种非人的生活中慢慢形成了。
 
与现实对比,这個理想更是多么的鲜明,多么的吸引。
 
终於,这個追求自由的理想,成为一种巨大的力量,推动这群奴隶踏上了艰苦的征途。由渴望到追求,由理想到实踐,需要很大的力量。而这力量的背后就是以色列人所称的万军的上主、慈悲的上主、广施救援的雅威。
 
但離開为奴之家,却不能一步就进入自由的国境。抛弃了埃及之后,他们立刻要面对的是茫茫的沙漠,一望无际的荒原;没有水、没有食物。日间摄氏一百多度高温,夜间冷到冰点以下,日晒雨淋、飞沙走石。他们面临的抉择是:要不要回去为奴之家,那里至少可以「死有葬身之地」,或者,坚持梦想,找寻自由。
 
以色列人选择了后者。於是在四十年内,他们在沙漠里漂泊流浪。四十年,占去了人生大部分的時光。他们挣扎、流浪、吃苦,直到整整一代人死去以后,终於找到了一片属於自己的地方。
 
进入沙漠、投奔自由,这就是以色列人与我们基督徒原来的感召,是今日我们在复活节、在逾越节所庆祝的奥迹。我们今日所宣扬的,就是这种面对生命的挑战,和投奔自由的精神。我们要在任何环境下都有不屈不挠的勇气,怀抱永遠不熄灭的希望。
 
昂起头来,離開为奴之家;打破罪恶的枷锁,经過沙漠的洗礼,走向上主所许诺的自由福地,十分不容易。
 
一個沉迷於电视的学生,要他重新拿起书本;一個沉迷於赌博的家庭主妇,要她重新将全部時间用在子女、丈夫及家务身上;一個只知道追求肉欲安逸,和沉迷於声色犬马的男人,要他重新度纯洁的生活。这一切都绝非易事。但这正是皈依、回头、洗礼、逾越的含义。
 
今天是复活节。我们不单只庆祝基督的复活,我们也要成为基督复活的见证人。我们就好像宗徒大事录所说的,在基督从死者中复活之后,与他共同饮食過的人。我们经验過基督,领受過基督,拥抱過基督;我们曾经在基督的怀抱里沉睡過、安息過。我们也曾经验過基督给我们多少的恩典、多少的希望。就让我们将我们的希望带给我们的邻人,带到世界上,带给中华民族。
 
以色列人曾经历過四百年的奴隶生活,终於重获自由。「不经一番寒彻骨,那得梅花朴鼻香?」我们相信世界上所有的人和所有的民族,甚至整個人类,尽管苦难不断,都要得到基督的救赎,得到他赐给我们圆满的幸福和生命。
Easter Sunday
 
Stepping Forward Proudly towards a New Day
 
First Reading : ( Acts 10: 34,37-43 ) : Peter witnessed Jesus' resurrection
Second Reading : ( Col 3:1-4 ) : Seek the things that are above
Gospel : ( Jn 20:1-9 ) : The tomb was already empty
Chinese Classics
“I passed through the battlefield in the dead of night, The cold moon shone upon the bones of the dead.” (1)
“Not having endured the bone-chilling winter, how can you smell the fragrance of the plum flowers?” (2)
 
We were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.’ (Acts 10:41)
 
The feast of Easter does not only commemorate Christ's resurrection, It also witnesses to our faith in our own resurrection, in the resurrection of all human beings and of all creation. Today I want to share with you the events of two ethnic groups, the Chinese and of the Israelites.
 
The Chinese race is a great race but it is also to be pitied. We are great because of our long, continuous civilization. We have in our history the Han and Tang dynasties, the wisdom of Confucius and hundreds of memorable scholars. Among our ancestors is Qu Yuan, the world's first great poet. . We have four great inventions : printing, papermaking, compass and gunpowder. In the past our silk and porcelain have been sought throughout the world..
 
However, we are also very pitiful. The Chinese people have often suffered hardships. In times of chaos and upheaval on Chinese soil, there was “no life within a million miles.” Du Fu wrote in his poem, “Campaign in The North”: “I passed through the battlefield in the dead of night, The cold moon shone upon the bones of the dead.”(1) The poem makes us feel so sad and desolate. The end of the Tang Dynasty, the Five Dynasties and the invasion of the Five Northern Tribes were the dark ages in Chinese history.
 
In more recent times the Chinese people could not stand up before other nations. Even Christian missioners imbued with Christian principles sometimes sided with the imperialists. Many Chinese felt disgraced, painful and humiliated.
 
The time of the Nationalists have been described by Mr Qien Mu as the most “stupid” and chaotic of times. Then when the Peoples' Republic of China was established, independence and equality among the world's nations were well maintained, but internally prosperity and unity in our homeland were still not stabilized. The ‘May 4 incident’ promoted ideas of ‘Mr De’ and ‘Mr Sai’ (i.e. Democracy and Science) but even today they still are not widespread throughout the country nor do we know the final outcome.
 
When will the Chinese nation have its Passover, when will it have its resurrection ?
 
Let us look at another nation – the tribe in the Bible.
 
About 3000 years ago there was a foreign tribe living in Egypt. Because of their hard work and diligence, they had accumulated great wealth and property. But it was this very wealth and property that caused them disaster. The King Pharaoh and the Egyptians put the Israelites into slavery. This tribe who had wandered abroad and sought coverage from others, now found that their strong physical build had weakened, their spirits were desolate. But then within this inhuman existence, an ideal gradually arose, a desire for peace and freedom.
 
Compared to the reality, the ideal was much brighter and attractive.
 
Eventually the ideal to strive for liberty took on great strength and motivated this tribe of slaves to take a very difficult journey. From hope to pursuit, from ideal to realization, demanded enormous energy. Behind this energy was the One whom the Israelites called “Mighty God,” “the Lord of Mercy,” “Yahweh who Saves.”.
 
But on leaving the land of slavery the Israelites could not immediately enter the land of freedom. After leaving Egypt, immediately they faced a vast desert – large stretches of wilderness, no food or water, temperatures of over 100 degrees in the day and down to under 0 degrees in the freezing night, the glaring sun, heavy downpours, whirling sand and rocks. The choice before them was to return to the land of slavery, where at least there would be a ‘tomb for them upon death,’ or to pursue their ideal, their search for freedom.
 
The Israelites decided on the second. For forty years they wandered as nomads in the desert. Forty years represent a large part of a person’s lifetime. They struggled, wandered and suffered until after a whole generation had passed away, eventually they discovered a homeland of their own.
 
Going into the desert and discovering are exactly what the Israelites and we Christians have been originally called to. It is this mystery we celebrate today at the time of Passover and Easter. What we proclaim is a kind of challenge to life and a spirit to seek freedom. Under whatever circumstance we must persevere with unremitting courage to harbor an undistinguishable, eternal hope.
 
To raise up our heads and leave the land of slavery, to break down the bonds of sin, to pass through the baptism of the desert and go towards the land of freedom God has promised, is not in any way comfortable.
 
A student immersed in television programs must become involved in h is studies, a housewife addictive to gambling must once again give her time to her children, spouse and family duties, a man who only wants sexual pleasure, idleness and gambling must return to a more sober lifestyle. None of these changes is easy. But this is the meaning of conversion, baptism, Passover.
 
Today is Easter. We not only celebrate Christ's resurrection, but we also must be witness to his resurrection. We are the people who have ‘eaten and drunk’ with Christ,, just as the Acts of the Apostles records., that after Christ rose from the dead, he ate with the Apostles. We have experienced Christ, received him, embraced him. We have slumbered and rested in the heart of Christ. We also have experienced all the graces Christ has bestowed on us. Let us take our hope to our neighbors, to the whole world and to all the people of the Chinese race.
 
The Israelites went through four hundred years of slavery but eventually regained their freedom. “But not having endured the bone-chilling winter, how can you smell the fragrance of the plum flower (2) We believe that in the end all peoples and nations of the earth, all humankind, having passed through suffering, will eventually obtain Christ's salvation and the fullness of the life of bliss that Christ offers us.
 
(1) 夜深經戰場,寒月照白骨。
(2) 不經一番寒徹骨,那得梅花樸鼻香?

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2020