常年期第十五主日 2020年07月12日


常年期第十五主日
 
橘生淮北則為枳
 
讀經一:(依55:10-11):上主言出必行
讀經二:(羅8:18-23):受造物皆熱切期待救贖
福 音:(瑪13:1-23):撒種的比喻
中國文化: 橘生淮南則為橘,生於淮北則為枳。
 
耶穌對群眾說了一個比喻︰「看,有一個撒種的出去撒種。撒種時,有的落在路旁,小鳥飛來把種子吃了。有的落在沒有多少土壤的石頭地裡,因為土壤不深,很快就發了芽;但是太陽一出來,就被曬乾了,又因為沒有根,就枯萎了。有的落在荊棘中,荊棘長起來,把它們窒息了。有的落在好地裡,就結出果實︰有一百倍的,有六十倍的,有三十倍的。」(參考瑪13:1-23)
 
上述的聖經還有一段令我們覺得奇怪的話。門徒對耶穌說︰「為甚麼你用比喻對他們講話呢?」耶穌回答他們說︰「因為天國的奧妙,只讓你們明白,卻不給他們知道。我用比喻對他們講話,是因為他們看,卻看不見,聽,卻聽不到,也不了解。」馬爾谷在述說同樣的比喻時甚至暗示:「耶穌的比喻是要他們不明白。」
 
有些聖經學者說,耶穌的原意不是使人不明白 ,因為他用比喻來講道理,本來就是為使人更易明白。不過,有些生命的道理,我們越認識便越不理解,因為我們拒絕去理解。
 
舉例來說,如果有兩個人在爭辯,最後是一方發現了是自己理虧,那麼他是否一定會服輸?未必!我們有時會拒絕承認理虧。
 
兩個母親為自己的兒子爭吵,當其中一個母親察覺是錯在自己的兒時,你以為她會向對方道歉嗎?有時她寧可口頭上繼續堅持,然後待帶兒子回家後,再嚴厲地責備他,因為他差點令母親在別人跟前丟臉!
 
當父母不給我們錢去買名牌衣服時,我們便會生他們的氣。即使有人向我們解釋,父母工作賺錢很辛苦,我們仍然不會明白,因我們拒絕明白。
 
猶太人、法利塞人和經師們,因為不喜歡耶穌,並且認為耶穌的道理與他們的傳統格格不入。所以,即使他們知道耶穌的話有理,他們仍然不會接受,因為他們拒絕接受。
 
當我們拒絕一個人、不喜歡一個人時,我們就不會明白他的話,即使他的話有理。「真理越辯越明」這句話,有時並不是事實。
 
今日耶穌所講的「撒種比喻」,包括各種各類的人。他講的「道」有如種子,落在不同的泥土上,就結出不同的果實。耶穌認為聽眾當中有四種人,就好像有四種泥土。
 
有些人聽道理,卻完全無心裝載。他們來趁熱鬧,他們好奇,只馬虎地聽,種子根本沒有機會在他們的生命中生長,就如落在路旁的種子,小鳥飛來便把它們吃掉了。
 
另外有一種人很熱心求道,愛聽新奇的事。好像現今有很多青年人,他們留意哪個神父道理講得好,哪個慕道班辦得棒,哪裡有一個熱鬧的青年運動……。他們很高興地、滿懷熱誠地去參加。第一、二次確實覺得很開心,但第三次已經覺得不外如是。
 
沒有土壤、或土壤不夠深,落在石頭淺土層上的種子,即使能發芽,太陽一出來,便被曬乾了。缺乏恆心的人,就是這樣。
 
也有第三種人,他們肯聽道理、肯思考、肯相信,他們願意找尋生命,努力使種子發芽和生長。可惜遇上太多荊棘,這些荊棘使植物窒息了。
 
從前有一位女士,她很熱心,每天參與彌撒。後來結了婚,丈夫最初陪她一起信,但後來不信了,還禁止太太信,不准太太在家中放置聖經、十字架……。當太太祈禱或去聖堂的時候,他便大吵大鬧。這位太太唯有偷偷摸摸地履行自己的宗教本份。幸好由於信仰根基深,經過五、六年艱苦日子後,丈夫有點回心轉意,她終於能夠繼續度宗教生活。
 
荊棘使很多人跌倒。生命的壓力、環境的逼迫,有時也會使我們的信仰生命夭折。
 
當然也有些種子是落在好的泥土中。它們結出果實,有些一百倍、有些六十倍、有些三十倍。
 
《晏子春秋》有個比喻︰「橘生淮南則為橘,生於淮北則為枳。」意思是說,橘樹或橙樹,生長在淮水的南面,就是真正的橙、鮮甜的橙。若生在淮水的北面,就會變為枳,樣子雖然像橙,卻是酸的、澀的、苦的。
 
天主的聖言也是一樣,種在不同的地方,就會有完全不同的結果。
 
我們必須讓我們的心成為良田,讓上主的聖言種在我們的心田中。我們需要不斷的聽、不斷的學習、不斷的默想和實踐耶穌的道,才能讓這道在我們的生命中開花結果。
常年期第十五主日
 
橘生淮北则为枳
 
读经一:(依55:10-11):上主言出必行
读经二:(罗8:18-23):受造物皆热切期待救赎
福 音:(玛13:1-23):撒种的比喻
中国文化: 橘生淮南则为橘,生於淮北则为枳。
 
耶稣对群众说了一個比喻∶「看,有一個撒种的出去撒种。撒种時,有的落在路旁,小鸟飞来把种子吃了。有的落在没有多少土壤的石头地里,因为土壤不深,很快就发了芽;但是太阳一出来,就被晒干了,又因为没有根,就枯萎了。有的落在荆棘中,荆棘长起来,把它们窒息了。有的落在好地里,就结出果实∶有一百倍的,有六十倍的,有三十倍的。」(参考玛13:1-23)
 
上述的圣经还有一段令我们觉得奇怪的话。门徒对耶稣说∶「为甚么你用比喻对他们讲话呢?」耶稣回答他们说∶「因为天国的奥妙,只让你们明白,却不给他们知道。我用比喻对他们讲话,是因为他们看,却看不见,听,却听不到,也不了解。」马尔谷在述说同样的比喻時甚至暗示:「耶稣的比喻是要他们不明白。」
 
有些圣经学者说,耶稣的原意不是使人不明白 ,因为他用比喻来讲道理,本来就是为使人更易明白。不過,有些生命的道理,我们越认识便越不理解,因为我们拒绝去理解。
 
举例来说,如果有两個人在争辩,最后是一方发现了是自己理亏,那么他是否一定会服输?未必!我们有時会拒绝承认理亏。
 
两個母亲为自己的儿子争吵,当其中一個母亲察觉是错在自己的儿時,你以为她会向对方道歉吗?有時她宁可口头上继续坚持,然后待带儿子回家后,再严厉地責备他,因为他差点令母亲在别人跟前丢脸!
 
当父母不给我们钱去买名牌衣服時,我们便会生他们的气。即使有人向我们解释,父母工作赚钱很辛苦,我们仍然不会明白,因我们拒绝明白。
 
犹太人、法利塞人和经师们,因为不喜欢耶稣,并且认为耶稣的道理与他们的传统格格不入。所以,即使他们知道耶稣的话有理,他们仍然不会接受,因为他们拒绝接受。
 
当我们拒绝一個人、不喜欢一個人時,我们就不会明白他的话,即使他的话有理。「真理越辩越明」这句话,有時并不是事实。
 
今日耶稣所讲的「撒种比喻」,包括各种各类的人。他讲的「道」有如种子,落在不同的泥土上,就结出不同的果实。耶稣认为听众当中有四种人,就好像有四种泥土。
 
有些人听道理,却完全无心装载。他们来趁热闹,他们好奇,只马虎地听,种子根本没有机会在他们的生命中生长,就如落在路旁的种子,小鸟飞来便把它们吃掉了。
 
另外有一种人很热心求道,爱听新奇的事。好像现今有很多青年人,他们留意哪個神父道理讲得好,哪個慕道班办得棒,哪里有一個热闹的青年运动……。他们很高兴地、满怀热诚地去参加。第一、二次确实觉得很開心,但第三次已经觉得不外如是。
 
没有土壤、或土壤不够深,落在石头浅土层上的种子,即使能发芽,太阳一出来,便被晒干了。缺乏恒心的人,就是这样。
 
也有第三种人,他们肯听道理、肯思考、肯相信,他们願意找寻生命,努力使种子发芽和生长。可惜遇上太多荆棘,这些荆棘使植物窒息了。
 
从前有一位女士,她很热心,每天参与弥撒。后来结了婚,丈夫最初陪她一起信,但后来不信了,还禁止太太信,不准太太在家中放置圣经、十字架……。当太太祈祷或去圣堂的時候,他便大吵大闹。这位太太唯有偷偷摸摸地履行自己的宗教本份。幸好由於信仰根基深,经過五、六年艰苦日子后,丈夫有点回心转意,她终於能够继续度宗教生活。
 
荆棘使很多人跌倒。生命的压力、环境的逼迫,有時也会使我们的信仰生命夭折。
 
当然也有些种子是落在好的泥土中。它们结出果实,有些一百倍、有些六十倍、有些三十倍。
 
《晏子春秋》 有個比喻∶「橘生淮南则为橘,生於淮北则为枳。」意思是说,橘树或橙树,生长在淮水的南面,就是真正的橙、鲜甜的橙。若生在淮水的北面,就会变为枳,样子虽然像橙,却是酸的、涩的、苦的。
 
天主的圣言也是一样,种在不同的地方,就会有完全不同的结果。
 
我们必须让我们的心成为良田,让上主的圣言种在我们的心田中。我们需要不断的听、不断的学习、不断的默想和实踐耶稣的道,才能让这道在我们的生命中開花结果。
FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
 
Oranges Become Bitter North of River Huai
 
First Reading (Is 55:10-11): God' s Word is always fulfilled
Second Reading (Rom 8:18-23): Creation is longing for redemption
Gospel (Mt 13:1-23): The parable of the sowing of seeds.
Chinese Classics
-“An orange growing in the south of Huai River is an sweet orange, growing in the north of Huai River is a bitter orange.” (1)
 
Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ (Ref Mt13: 1-23)
 
Then the disciples came and asked him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ He answered, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. The reason I speak to them in parables is that “seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.”
 
Some biblical scholars say that Jesus' original idea was not to be misunderstood. After all he used parables in his teaching in order to be easily comprehended by people. However there are some truths of life that become harder to understand when we have more knowledge about them. This is because we refuse to understand them.
 
For instance, there are two persons arguing. Eventually one of them realizes that he actually made some mistakes in the first place and he will lose the argument. Will he admit his fault anyway? Not necessarily! This is because we sometimes deny our faults.
 
When two mothers are arguing about their sons and one of them discovers that her own son in fact did something wrong, will she apologize to the other woman? Sometimes, she might continue her argument in front of her opponent. But when she goes home she will blame her son for almost being a shame to his parents.
 
When our parents refuse to buy us some name-brand clothes, we become angry. Even when people to us how hard our parents work to earn a living, we still do not understand. It is because we refuse to see the point.
 
The Jews, Pharisees and Scribes did not like Jesus and thought it was contradictory to their traditions. So even though they realized his teaching was correct they did not accept it. It was because they refused to accept it.
 
When we reject and dislike someone, we will not understand what he says even though his words are reasonable. Sometimes, the saying “Truth will be truer when debated” is not correct.
 
Now Jesus, “parable of the sower” includes different kinds of people. The “Word” is like seeds that fall onto different kinds of soil and so have different outcomes. Jesus thought that there were four types of people represented by four kinds of soil.
 
Some people hear but do not listen attentively. They heed it out of curiosity and listen to it absent-mindedly. The seeds have no chance to grow in these people's lives. They are like seeds that fall on the path and birds easily eat them up.
 
Other people enthusiastically search for knowledge and like to hear extraordinary things. They are like some teenagers nowadays who follow priests who preach well. They look for attractive catechumenates and a center with well-organized activities for teenagers, etc. They participate with enthusiasm and enjoy the events for the first few times. But their enthusiasm quickly fades away.
 
When there is no soil or the soil is not deep enough, the seeds fall on rocks. Even if the seeds sprout, the sprouts will dry up quickly under the sun. People who have no persistence to sustain their enthusiasm are like that.
 
A third kind of person is willing to listen to the Word. and are willing to think about it and believe it. They want to search for life and make the seeds grow. Unfortunately, there are too many thorn bushes that choke the growing plants.
 
There was a woman who was very zealous faith and went to Mass everyday. She married later and at first her husband shared her faith. Later her husband left the Church and would not allow his wife to carry on with her faith. He did not allow her to place a Bible or crucifix in their home. When she prayed or went to church, he became very angry. She had to fulfill her religious duties in secret.
 
Fortunately she had profound faith. After five or six years of difficult times her husband changed his mind somewhat and she was able to live her religious life in a more normal way.
 
The thorn bushes cause many people to fall. The pressure of living and the stress of the environment can sometimes choke our faith.
 
Of course there are some seeds that fall on good soil. The plants then bear grain. Some bear grain, a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
 
There is a parable in The Annals of Ngan Tze: “An orange growing in the south of Huai River is an sweet orange, growing in the north of Huai River it is a bitter orange.”(1) The parable compares an orange tree and a bitter orange tree. When the tree is grown at the south of Huai River, the tree is a true orange tree with sweet fruit. But when it is grown north of Huai River, the tree becomes a bitter orange tree. The fruit looks like oranges but they are sour and bitter.
 
The Word of God is like that. It results in different ways when it is planted in different places.
 
Our hearts must become good soil and we should allow God's Word to grow there. We must persistent in listening, continue to learn, meditate, and implement Jesus' Word. Then that Word will flourish and bear fruit in our lives.
 
(1) 橘生淮南則為橘,生於淮北則為枳。

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2020