常年期第十七主日 2020年07月26日


常年期第十七主日
 
抉擇與機會成本
 
讀經一:(列上3:5,7-12):撒羅滿向天主求智慧
讀經二:(羅8:28-30):天主預定我們肖似他的兒子
福 音:(瑪13:44-52):寶貝和珍珠的比喻,撒網的比喻
中國文化: 患在鼠:一隻會捕鼠也會捕雞的貓。
 
耶穌說:「天國好像埋在地下的寶藏;有人發現了,就把它埋藏起來,高興地去變賣他所有的一切,買了那塊地。天國又好像一個尋找貴重珍珠的商人;他發現了一顆貴重的珍珠,就去變賣他所有的一切,買了那顆珍珠。」(瑪13:44-46)
 
生命是一個抉擇;或更好說,生命是由一連串大大小小的抉擇所組成的。如果我們發現到有更好的東西,我們會犧牲其他東西,去作出這個更好的抉擇。
 
列王紀記載了撒羅滿向上主求智慧的故事。他說:「上主,求你賜給你僕人一個智慧的心,好能夠治理你的子民,判斷善惡。」於是上主對他說︰「因為你求了這件事,而沒有為自己求財富、求長壽、或者求消滅敵人,你只為自己求智慧,好能辨明正義,我就照你的話去做,賞賜你一個聰明智慧的心。」(參考列上3:5,7-12)
 
智慧幫助我們問:究竟在我們的生命中,甚麼是最重要呢?智慧要我們在芸芸眾多的可能性中,作出選擇;而且不要忘記,在選擇中,要放棄,選擇去放棄。
 
《郁離子》有一個「患在鼠」的故事這樣說:有一個趙國人,家中老鼠為患,他便往中山找來一隻貓。這隻貓雖善於捕鼠,但也喜歡捉雞。過了幾個月,老鼠被捕光了,但雞也死清了。這個人的兒子覺得很不高興,便問父親為何不把貓趕走?他父親說:「孩子,你是有所不知的了。鼠患是我們最大的問題,因為老鼠會偷吃食物、損壞衣服、弄破牆壁、破壞所有器皿,那時我們便會飢寒交迫了。這情況不是比無雞更糟嗎?沒有雞吃,有甚麼關係呢?飢寒交迫才是問題所在啊。那為何要把貓趕走呢?」
 
貓能捕鼠,也能捉雞。要除鼠患,便要忍受無雞吃之苦。
 
生命也是這樣。若星期天要去參加彌撒,便不能去游泳;若我選擇了和這個人結婚,便要放棄其他所有的人。
 
這就是抉擇,這抉擇包含了放棄。我們不單要選擇一樣東西,還要決定去放棄別的東西;要甘心情願去放棄,為了更好的擁有而選擇放棄。
 
讓我們思考一個簡單的問題︰你是一個男人,有母親,也有妻子。你是一個孝子,也是一個好丈夫。但有一天,你的母親和妻子爭吵,你如何是好?若你附和母親,你會激怒妻子;若你聽妻子的,就會激怒母親。你要怎樣做?
 
不懂選擇或不願選擇的人只會等待、焦急。等待誰表現得更惡、罵得更兇。若妻子更惡、更凶,便聽妻子的;若母親更惡、更凶,便聽母親的。
 
其實這並不是真正的選擇。選擇是主動的。正確處理上述情況的態度是:若今次是妻子對,我便要聽妻子的,但要記著,母親可能會因此而遷怒於我,所以我要同時選擇接受母親生氣的後果。若今次是母親對的話,我便要聽母親的,但後果可能是妻子有一段長時間和我冷戰,她甚至可能會抗議,不煮飯、不作家務。選擇,要連後果也一起選擇。
 
可惜的是,很多人在做了選擇之後,當料想不到的後果出現時,他們便會後悔。他們會說︰「早知如此,我就不作這樣的選擇了。」
 
真正的選擇要連同後果一起去選擇。當我選擇了做教友,我會選擇在星期天,以一個特殊的方式,在教堂內善盡我的宗教任務。於是我會放棄在主日和我的朋友釣魚,而改在星期六去釣魚。如果我選擇和這個人結婚,便要放棄其他所有的人。若我選擇了做醫生,便要放棄做工程師。
 
結了婚,對另一個「第三者」便不應再有「恨不相逢未嫁時」(或未娶時)的懊悔。這就是選擇。
 
今天我們也要做一個選擇??選擇天主,選擇度一個更豐盛的生命,選擇一生都要按信仰的要求去生活,守好天主的十誡、善盡宗教的本分。
 
有些教友,在外教人面前總是抬不起頭來,尤其當別人取笑他們︰「你是教友,卻去賭錢!」「你為何吃飯前不唸經?」那時,他們真的有些後悔做了教友。
 
其實,我在做教友時,已經要把這些事預計在內︰若我要做教友的話,我就不會賭錢,最低限度,我不會沉迷於賭博。在我決定做教友的時候,我就要預計,我的同事一定會向我要求一個更高的道德標準。我要把這些事計算在我的選擇之內。
 
「天國是一個寶藏、一粒珍珠」,我們絕對值得變賣一切,去購買這個寶藏、這粒珍珠!
 
慈愛的天父,我們願意為你的緣故而捨棄所有的一切,因為只有得到你,我們才可以得到幸福??真正的、永恆的幸福。求你幫助我們恆心到底,不要後悔選擇了你。
常年期第十七主日
 
抉择与机会成本
 
读经一:(列上3:5,7-12):撒罗满向天主求智慧
读经二:(罗8:28-30):天主预定我们肖似他的儿子
福 音:(玛13:44-52):宝贝和珍珠的比喻,撒网的比喻
中国文化: 患在鼠:一只会捕鼠也会捕鸡的猫。
 
耶稣说:「天国好像埋在地下的宝藏;有人发现了,就把它埋藏起来,高兴地去变卖他所有的一切,买了那块地。天国又好像一個寻找贵重珍珠的商人;他发现了一颗贵重的珍珠,就去变卖他所有的一切,买了那颗珍珠。」(玛13:44-46)
 
生命是一個抉择;或更好说,生命是由一连串大大小小的抉择所组成的。如果我们发现到有更好的东西,我们会牺牲其他东西,去作出这個更好的抉择。
 
列王纪记载了撒罗满向上主求智慧的故事。他说:「上主,求你赐给你仆人一個智慧的心,好能够治理你的子民,判断善恶。」於是上主对他说∶「因为你求了这件事,而没有为自己求财富、求长寿、或者求消灭敌人,你只为自己求智慧,好能辨明正义,我就照你的话去做,赏赐你一個聪明智慧的心。」(参考列上3:5,7-12)
 
智慧帮助我们問:究竟在我们的生命中,甚么是最重要呢?智慧要我们在芸芸众多的可能性中,作出选择;而且不要忘记,在选择中,要放弃,选择去放弃。
 
《郁離子》 有一個「患在鼠」的故事这样说:有一個赵国人,家中老鼠为患,他便往中山找来一只猫。这只猫虽善於捕鼠,但也喜欢捉鸡。過了幾個月,老鼠被捕光了,但鸡也死清了。这個人的儿子觉得很不高兴,便問父亲为何不把猫赶走?他父亲说:「孩子,你是有所不知的了。鼠患是我们最大的問题,因为老鼠会偷吃食物、损坏衣服、弄破墙壁、破坏所有器皿,那時我们便会饥寒交迫了。这情况不是比无鸡更糟吗?没有鸡吃,有甚么关系呢?饥寒交迫才是問题所在啊。那为何要把猫赶走呢?」
 
猫能捕鼠,也能捉鸡。要除鼠患,便要忍受无鸡吃之苦。
 
生命也是这样。若星期天要去参加弥撒,便不能去游泳;若我选择了和这個人结婚,便要放弃其他所有的人。
 
这就是抉择,这抉择包含了放弃。我们不单要选择一样东西,还要决定去放弃别的东西;要甘心情願去放弃,为了更好的拥有而选择放弃。
 
让我们思考一個简单的問题∶你是一個男人,有母亲,也有妻子。你是一個孝子,也是一個好丈夫。但有一天,你的母亲和妻子争吵,你如何是好?若你附和母亲,你会激怒妻子;若你听妻子的,就会激怒母亲。你要怎样做?
 
不懂选择或不願选择的人只会等待、焦急。等待谁表现得更恶、骂得更凶。若妻子更恶、更凶,便听妻子的;若母亲更恶、更凶,便听母亲的。
 
其实这并不是真正的选择。选择是主动的。正确处理上述情况的态度是:若今次是妻子对,我便要听妻子的,但要记著,母亲可能会因此而迁怒於我,所以我要同時选择接受母亲生气的后果。若今次是母亲对的话,我便要听母亲的,但后果可能是妻子有一段长時间和我冷战,她甚至可能会抗议,不煮饭、不作家务。选择,要连后果也一起选择。
 
可惜的是,很多人在做了选择之后,当料想不到的后果出现時,他们便会后悔。他们会说∶「早知如此,我就不作这样的选择了。」
 
真正的选择要连同后果一起去选择。当我选择了做教友,我会选择在星期天,以一個特殊的方式,在教堂内善尽我的宗教任务。於是我会放弃在主日和我的朋友钓魚,而改在星期六去钓魚。如果我选择和这個人结婚,便要放弃其他所有的人。若我选择了做醫生,便要放弃做工程师。
 
结了婚,对另一個「第三者」便不应再有「恨不相逢未嫁時」(或未娶時)的懊悔。这就是选择。
 
今天我们也要做一個选择??选择天主,选择度一個更丰盛的生命,选择一生都要按信仰的要求去生活,守好天主的十诫、善尽宗教的本分。
 
有些教友,在外教人面前总是抬不起头来,尤其当别人取笑他们∶「你是教友,却去赌钱!」「你为何吃饭前不念经?」那時,他们真的有些后悔做了教友。
 
其实,我在做教友時,已经要把这些事预计在内∶若我要做教友的话,我就不会赌钱,最低限度,我不会沉迷於赌博。在我决定做教友的時候,我就要预计,我的同事一定会向我要求一個更高的道德标准。我要把这些事计算在我的选择之内。
 
「天国是一個宝藏、一粒珍珠」,我们绝对值得变卖一切,去購买这個宝藏、这粒珍珠!
 
慈爱的天父,我们願意为你的缘故而舍弃所有的一切,因为只有得到你,我们才可以得到幸福??真正的、永恒的幸福。求你帮助我们恒心到底,不要后悔选择了你。
SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
 
The Choice and the Opportunity Cost
 
First Reading ( 1 Kings 3:7-12 ) : Solomon asked God for wisdom
Second Reading ( Rom 8:28-30 ) : God predestined us to be conformed to the image of his Son,
Gospel ( Mt 13:44-52 ) : Parables of the treasure, the pearl and the net
Chinese Classics
The source of the trouble was the rats – A cat that could catch rats as well as chickens. (1)
 
Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.’ (Mt 13:44-46)
 
Life is a choice, or in other words, life is made up of a string of large and small choices. If we discover something better, we will give up other things for a better choice.
 
In the first Book of Kings there is a story of Solomon asking God for wisdom. He prayed, ‘O Lord my God, Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?’ God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind (Ref 1 Kings 3:5,7-12)
 
Wisdom helps us to ask: what is the most important thing in our lives. Wisdom teaches us to make a choice out of thousands of possibilities and to remember that in making one choice we must give up others and we choose to give it up.
 
Yu Li Zi wrote a story about trouble with the rats. In the country of Zhao, there was a man whose house was infested with rats. He went into the mountains Zhong Shan and got hold of a cat. This cat was good at catching rats but it also liked to catch chickens. After a few months, all the rats were caught. but all the chickens had been killed also. The man's son was not happy about this and asked his father why he did not get rid of the cat. His father said, “Son, there is something you have overlooked. The rats were our biggest problem. It was because they would steal our food, damage our clothes, gnaw through our walls and destroy our vessels. If that happened we would suffer from cold and hunger. Wouldn't that be worse than not having chickens to eat? What does it matter if we do not have chickens to eat? Suffering from cold and hunger is where the problem lies. Why then should we get rid of the cat ?”
 
The cat could catch rats but it also killed the chickens. In order to get rid of the rats, we have to bear with not having chickens to eat.
 
Life is like that. If we want to participate in Mass on Sunday, we cannot go swimming that day; if I choose to marry this person, I must give up all other persons.
 
This is choice. It implies letting go of something. We not only choose something, we must decide to give up other things at the same time, and must do this whole-heartedly for the sake of a better choice.
 
Let us think about a simple question: you are a man. You have a mother and a wife. You are a filial son and also a good husband. But one day your mother and wife have an argument, what do you do? If you are on the side of your mother, your wife will be angry, if you side with your wife, your mother will be displeased. What would you do?
 
The man who does not know how to choose or does not want to do so will wait anxiously. He will wait to see which one is more angry. If it is his wife, he will support her, if it is his mother, he will listen to her.
 
Actually this is not a genuine choice. A choice is an active attitude. The correct way of handling the above situation is: if this time it is not the wife's fault, I should support her. But I need to be aware that my mother may be angry with me. So I must be willing to bear the consequences at the same time. If this time my mother is right I should support her. But this may cause a lengthy rift between my wife and myself. She might even protest by discontinuing to cook, refusing to do any housework etc. When you make a choice, you also choose to bear the consequences of your choice.
 
Unfortunately, many people regret it when unexpected consequences of their choice results. They will say, “If I'd known about this earlier I would not have made that choice.”
 
A real choice includes also choosing the consequences. Since I have chosen to be a Catholic, I choose to fulfill my religious duty in Church on Sundays. I give up going fishing with my friends on Sundays. We go fishing on Saturdays instead. If I have chosen to marry this person, I give up all other candidates. If I have chosen to be a doctor, I must give up being an engineer.
 
Once I am married, there should be no regrets about any other candidate. That is choice.
 
Now we must make a choice – to choose God. We choose to live a more fruitful life. We choose to live in accordance with the demands of our faith. We should obey the Ten Commandments and carry out our religious duties.
 
Some Catholics always feel ashamed in the presence of non-Catholics, especially when they tease. “You are a Catholic, yet you gamble!,” “Why don't you say grace before meal?” At that time some even regret having become a Catholic.
 
Actually when choosing to become a Catholic, we should take these things into considerations: if I become a Catholic, I will discontinue gambling or at least I will not become obsessed by it. When I decide to be a Catholic, I need to realize that my co-workers will definitely look for a higher standard of morality in me. I should include all these issues in my choice.
 
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure or a fine pearl”. It is worth our while to sell everything to find that treasure or buy that pearl.
 
O loving Heavenly Father, for Your sake we are willing to give up everything we have. Only when we are with You, can we have true and eternal happiness. Help us to persevere until the end, never regretting that we have chosen You.
 
(1) 患在鼠:一隻會捕鼠也會捕雞的貓。

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2020