常年期第十六主日 2020年07月19日


常年期第十六主日
 
辨材需待七年期
 
讀經一:(智12:13,16-19):天主待人恩威並用
讀經二:(羅8:26-27):聖神為人轉求
福 音:(瑪13:24-43):莠子、芥子和酵母的比喻
中國文化: 贈君一法決狐疑,不用鑽龜與祝蓍;
試玉要燒三日滿,辨材需待七年期。
 
耶穌給眾人說了一個比喻:「天國好像一個人,在自己的田裡撒了好種子。他睡覺時,仇人便在麥子間撒下莠子走了。麥苗長起來,到了吐穗的時候,莠子也顯出來了。僕人於是來對他說:『主人!你不是在田裡撒了好種子嗎?那麼莠子是從哪裡來的呢?』家主對他們說:『這是仇人做的。』僕人對他說:『那麼,你要我們去把莠子拔出來嗎?』他說:『不用了,免得你們拔莠子時,連麥子也拔出來。讓兩者一起長到收割的時候吧。』」(瑪13:24-30)
 
世上有善也有惡,有善人也有惡人。上主不會把惡人鏟除,讓善人度過平平安安、無風無浪的日子。
 
其實我們都是罪人,如果天主要鏟除一切惡人,我們無人能夠幸免。但天主容忍我們、接受我們所有人和每一個人。正如智慧篇記載,上主雖然掌握大權,但施行審判的時候卻非常溫和:「你治理我們的時候,極為寬仁,你這樣做是為教育你的子民,要他們知道,正義的人必須以仁愛待人,並使你的子女滿懷希望,因為你在人犯罪之後,仍賜給人懺悔的心。」(智12:18-19)
 
天主是一個容忍的天主,一個大方、寬宏、無限地愛人的天主,一個完全不斤斤計較的天主。他等待、期望我們回頭,他希望我們皈依。
 
唐朝白居易有一首《放言》詩這樣說︰「贈君一法決狐疑,不用鑽龜與祝蓍;試玉要燒三日滿,辨材需待七年期。周公恐懼流言日,王莽謙恭未篡時;向使當年身便死,一生真偽復誰知?
 
這首詩的意思是︰解決疑惑、辨別好壞,是不用占卜,也不必使用龜殼來敲問的。時間會讓我們分辨出來。
 
「試玉要燒三日滿」:有些石頭只是似玉而不是真玉,要辨認出真假,唯有把它們燒上三天。真玉能夠抵受三天的火燒;如果不是真玉,三天之後便會被燒成灰燼。
 
「辨材需待七年期」:一棵樹的木材是好是壞,起初是看不出來的,待種了七年後,你才會看出哪些是有用的、結實的木材;哪些是疏鬆的、無用的木材。
 
白居易還舉了兩個例子。起初常有流言說周公造反,而王莽開始時卻被認為是忠臣。假若他倆死得早一些,周公便會被後人斷定是奸臣,而王莽卻被視為忠臣了。幸好,時間能証明一切。經過時間的考驗,我們終於發覺周公是忠臣,而王莽才是奸臣。所以白居易說:「向使當年身便死,一生真偽復誰知?」
 
在我們的近代史中,如果汪精衛、蔣介石、周恩來等,在不同的時間去世,他們在人間留下的評語便會不同。又或者孫中山先生如果再多活二十年,誰知道結果會怎樣?
 
天主就是要給我們時間,他容忍、容許世間的一切發生。他容許我們有改變的時間,他不想在這世界上那麼快便分出善惡,那麼快便執行審判。
 
耶穌甚至形容天國是好像一粒芥菜種籽,人把它種在自己的田裡,它是各種種籽中最小的,但後來長得比其它農作物都要大,竟然成為一棵樹,甚至天空的飛鳥都來棲息在它的枝上。時間可以使一粒最小的種籽,成為一棵最大的樹。(參考瑪13:31-32)作為基督徙,作為追隨基督的人,作為一個有信仰的人,我們必須讓我們的信仰接受時間的考驗,去証實我們對天主的忠信。
 
耶穌說了另一個比喻︰「天國好像酵母,婦人把它混和在三斗的麵團內,直到全部發酵起來。」(瑪13:33)
 
酵母要發揮它的威力,也需要時間。就讓我們時常回應天主的召叫,在我們的生命中、家庭內、在我們的事業中,努力活出我們的信仰,為基督作見証。
 
我們毋須時常抱怨在我們身邊有那麼多我們認為是壞的事。我們應該學習怎樣去處理我們的環境,處理我們自己的生活。一切都有天主的聖意。我們切勿急不及待地要做天主的秘書,充當天主的顧問,教天主怎樣做。我們應該懷著謙虛的心,把自己的生命交托在天主的手中。
 
「讓兩者一齊長到收割的時候吧,」耶穌說:「在收割的時候,我要對收割的工人說:先把莠子拔起來,捆起來做燃料,然後把麥子收進我的糧倉內。」(瑪13:30-30)在生命的盡頭,一切都會揭曉。
 
就讓我們一生都忠信到底,使我們終有一天,會好像麥子一樣被收進上主的糧倉裡。
常年期第十六主日
 
辨材需待七年期
 
读经一:(智12:13,16-19):天主待人恩威并用
读经二:(罗8:26-27):圣神为人转求
福 音:(玛13:24-43):莠子、芥子和酵母的比喻
中国文化: 赠君一法决狐疑,不用钻龟与祝蓍;
试玉要烧三日满,辨材需待七年期。
 
耶稣给众人说了一個比喻:「天国好像一個人,在自己的田里撒了好种子。他睡觉時,仇人便在麦子间撒下莠子走了。麦苗长起来,到了吐穗的時候,莠子也显出来了。仆人於是来对他说:『主人!你不是在田里撒了好种子吗?那么莠子是从哪里来的呢?』家主对他们说:『这是仇人做的。』仆人对他说:『那么,你要我们去把莠子拔出来吗?』他说:『不用了,免得你们拔莠子時,连麦子也拔出来。让两者一起长到收割的時候吧。』」(玛13:24-30)
 
世上有善也有恶,有善人也有恶人。上主不会把恶人铲除,让善人度過平平安安、无风无浪的日子。
 
其实我们都是罪人,如果天主要铲除一切恶人,我们无人能够幸免。但天主容忍我们、接受我们所有人和每一個人。正如智慧篇记载,上主虽然掌握大权,但施行审判的時候却非常温和:「你治理我们的時候,极为宽仁,你这样做是为教育你的子民,要他们知道,正义的人必须以仁爱待人,并使你的子女满怀希望,因为你在人犯罪之后,仍赐给人忏悔的心。」(智12:18-19)
 
天主是一個容忍的天主,一個大方、宽宏、无限地爱人的天主,一個完全不斤斤计较的天主。他等待、期望我们回头,他希望我们皈依。
 
唐朝白居易有一首《放言》 诗这样说∶「赠君一法决狐疑,不用钻龟与祝蓍;试玉要烧三日满,辨材需待七年期。周公恐惧流言日,王莽谦恭未篡時;向使当年身便死,一生真伪复谁知?
 
这首诗的意思是∶解决疑惑、辨别好坏,是不用占卜,也不必使用龟壳来敲問的。時间会让我们分辨出来。
 
「试玉要烧三日满」:有些石头只是似玉而不是真玉,要辨认出真假,唯有把它们烧上三天。真玉能够抵受三天的火烧;如果不是真玉,三天之后便会被烧成灰烬。
 
「辨材需待七年期」:一棵树的木材是好是坏,起初是看不出来的,待种了七年后,你才会看出哪些是有用的、结实的木材;哪些是疏松的、无用的木材。
 
白居易还举了两個例子。起初常有流言说周公造反,而王莽開始時却被认为是忠臣。假若他俩死得早一些,周公便会被后人断定是奸臣,而王莽却被视为忠臣了。幸好,時间能证明一切。经過時间的考验,我们终於发觉周公是忠臣,而王莽才是奸臣。所以白居易说:「向使当年身便死,一生真伪复谁知?」
 
在我们的近代史中,如果汪精卫、蒋介石、周恩来等,在不同的時间去世,他们在人间留下的评语便会不同。又或者孫中山先生如果再多活二十年,谁知道结果会怎样?
 
天主就是要给我们時间,他容忍、容许世间的一切发生。他容许我们有改变的時间,他不想在这世界上那么快便分出善恶,那么快便执行审判。
 
耶稣甚至形容天国是好像一粒芥菜种籽,人把它种在自己的田里,它是各种种籽中最小的,但后来长得比其它农作物都要大,竟然成为一棵树,甚至天空的飞鸟都来栖息在它的枝上。時间可以使一粒最小的种籽,成为一棵最大的树。(参考玛13:31-32)作为基督徙,作为追随基督的人,作为一個有信仰的人,我们必须让我们的信仰接受時间的考验,去证实我们对天主的忠信。
 
耶稣说了另一個比喻∶「天国好像酵母,妇人把它混和在三斗的麵团内,直到全部发酵起来。」(玛13:33)
 
酵母要发挥它的威力,也需要時间。就让我们時常回应天主的召叫,在我们的生命中、家庭内、在我们的事业中,努力活出我们的信仰,为基督作见证。
 
我们毋须時常抱怨在我们身边有那么多我们认为是坏的事。我们应該学习怎样去处理我们的环境,处理我们自己的生活。一切都有天主的圣意。我们切勿急不及待地要做天主的秘书,充当天主的顾問,教天主怎样做。我们应該怀著谦虚的心,把自己的生命交托在天主的手中。
 
「让两者一齐长到收割的時候吧,」耶稣说:「在收割的時候,我要对收割的工人说:先把莠子拔起来,捆起来做燃料,然后把麦子收进我的粮仓内。」(玛13:30-30)在生命的尽头,一切都会揭晓。
 
就让我们一生都忠信到底,使我们终有一天,会好像麦子一样被收进上主的粮仓里。
SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
 
To Verify a Piece of Good Wood One Must Wait Seven Years
 
First Reading (Wis 12:13,16-19 ) : God treats us with both mercy and might
Second Reading (Rom 8:26-27 ) : The Holy Spirit intercedes for us
Gospel ( Lk 10:38-42) : The parables of the weed, the mustard seed and yeast
Chinese Classics
-“Let me present you with a method to decide when in doubt, No need to use the tortoise-shell or stalks; To test jade requires burning it for three whole days, To verify a piece of good wood requires waiting for seven years.” (1)
 
Jesus put before them a parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest.” ’ (Mt13:24-30)
 
There is good and evil in the world and there are good people and wicked ones. God will not destroy all wicked people, leaving all good persons to spend their lives in peace and ease.
 
Actually, we all are sinners. If God wished to eliminate all those who sin, none of us could be excluded. Nonetheless, God tolerates us and accepts each one of us. The Book of Wisdom says that although God is almighty and powerful yet He is kind when carrying out judgment, ‘Although you are sovereign in strength, you judge with mildness, and with great forbearance you govern us. Through such works you have taught your people that the righteous must be kind, and you have filled your children with good hope, because you give repentance for sins.’ (Wis 12: 18-19)
 
God is a gracious God, generous, forgiving, with unlimited love for us. He is not a calculating God. He waits for us to repent and hopes we will be converted..
 
In his poem, High-flown Talk, the Tang poet, Bai Juyi wrote: “Let me present you with a method to decide when in doubt, No need to use the tortoise-shell or stalks; To test jade requires burning it for three whole days, To verify a piece of good wood requires waiting for seven years. The Master Zhou feared rumour about him, Wang Mang was humble before he usurped the throne; If they died right then, who would know the truth and falsehood about them?”(1)
 
The poem says that to resolve doubts or to distinguish the good from the bad, we do not need fortune-telling or tapping on the tortoise-shell. Time will make the distinction for us.
 
“To test jade requires burning it for three whole days”: Some stones look like jade but they are not genuine jade. To tell the difference, we have to burn it for three days. The genuine jade can withstand the three-day burning. If it is not genuine jade, after three days, it will be burnt to ashes.
 
“To verify a piece of good wood requires waiting for seven years”: At the beginning, it is very difficult to tell whether the wood of a tree is good or bad. You have to put it in a wet corner, and wait for seven years before you can tell whether the wood is solid and useful or whether it will be rotten.
 
Bai Juyi gave two more examples. At first, there was the rumour that Master Zhou was going to start a revolt. On the other hand, Wang Mang was considered a loyal minister. If they died before their time, Master Zhou would be judged by posterity as being a disloyal and treacherous minister and Wang Mang would be seen as a loyal minister. With the test of time, we found out that Master Zhou was a true loyal minister and Wang Mang was a real treacherous minister. That was why Bai Juyi wrote, If they died right then, who would know the truth and falsehood about them?”
 
In our recent history, if Wang Jing Wei, Jiang Jie Shi, Zhou En Lai and others had died at a different time, people may have had different comments about them. If Dr. Sun Yat Sian had lived twenty years longer, who knows who he would have become?
 
God wants to give us time. He allows things to happen. He allows time for us to change. He does not want to distinguish between good and evil too quickly or judge too easily.
 
Jesus described the Kingdom of heaven as a mustard seed. People plant it in a field. It is the smallest among all seeds yet it grows into the largest among all plants. It can even become a tree that allows birds to rest on its branches (ref. Matthew 13:31-32) We who are followers of Christ and have faith, must allow our faith to endure the test of time and prove our loyalty to God.
 
Jesus told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’ (Mt 13:33)
 
Yeast needs time to be effective. We should always answer God’s call. We should live out our faith in our lives, in our families and careers, and each of us be a witness to Christ.
 
We need not always grumble about things we do not like. We should learn to manage our surroundings and order our own lives. Everything is ordained by God. We should not rush to be God’s “secretary” and consultant, telling God what to do. We should put our life into God’s hands with a humble heart.
 
‘Let both of them grow together until the harvest,’ Jesus said. ‘At harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ (Mt 13:30)
 
Let us be loyal till the end of our lives so that finally we will be like the wheat stored in the Lord’s barn .
 
(1)  贈君一法決狐疑,不用鑽龜與祝蓍; 試玉要燒三日滿,辨材需待七年期。

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2020