常年期第十八主日 2020年08月02日


常年期第十八主日
 
人有能力餵飽自己
 
讀經一:(依55:1-3):上主的言語是人的美食
讀經二:(羅8:35,37-39):沒有事情可使人與主隔絕
福 音:(瑪14:13-21):耶穌首次增餅
中國文化: 不患寡而患不均。
 
依撒意亞先知書這樣說︰「上主說,凡口渴的,到水泉來吧!沒有錢的,來購買這些不用花錢,不需付款的酒和奶吧!你們如果細心聽從我,就能飽吃美味,你們的心靈必因品嚐佳餚而喜悅。」(參考依55:1-3)
 
依撒意亞先知的預言,在瑪竇福音中應驗了。當耶穌講道理的時候,群眾越來越多,很多人跟隨耶穌已很久,但他們還未進食。那時,耶穌看見這一大群群眾,便對他們動了憐憫的心。到了傍晚,耶穌叫門徒給群眾食物,但門徒說,他們除了五個餅和兩條魚外,甚麼也沒有了。
 
耶穌便叫門徒給他把這五餅二魚拿來,然後便祝福了,再叫門徒分給群眾。聖經說︰眾人吃了,也飽了。然後他們把剩餘的碎塊收了滿滿十二筐。進食的人除了婦女和兒童外,約有五千。(參考瑪14:13-21)這就是很出名的五餅二魚餵飽五千人的故事。
 
這個故事講述天主的大能、天主的慷慨。他是宇宙的主宰,擁有一切。他有能力養活所有人,無條件地、白白地施恩給每一個人。「凡是口渴的,到水泉來吧;無錢的,來購買這些不用花錢、不用付款的酒和奶吧。
 
投奔上主、接觸上主,我們便是到了恩寵的泉源,到了一個施恩的寶庫面前,上主會賞賜給我們最需要的東西。不過今天的故事講的,除了天主的大能和他的慷慨外,也在講人的慷慨。
 
五餅二魚,一定是屬於某個人的;若望福音便說這是屬於一個兒童的。他有五個餅、兩條魚,但群眾成千上萬。
 
當耶穌叫這個兒童拿出他的五餅二魚來的時候,我們的智慧會告訴我們︰耶穌的做法是愚蠢的。這五餅二魚,若一個人甚或一家人吃,可能只是剛剛夠。如果五千人、一萬個人一起吃,就根本無人會飽。
 
所以,與其無人會飽,為何不讓一個人、一家人、一小撮人得到飽食呢?耶穌的要求合理嗎?
 
不過,當時的確有人慷慨地拿出了自己的糧食。有人甚至這樣解釋這個「五餅二魚」的奇蹟:即是耶穌並未真實地顯了一個增餅的奇蹟,他顯的奇蹟是增加人的愛心和分享之心。就好像有些堂區在旅行時,會請大家都帶一些食物。到達目的地時,大家把自己的一分拿出來與其他人分享。那時,有帶食物的,當然可以吃飽,就連沒有帶、或帶得不夠的,都可以得到飽足。多次的經驗告訴我們,每一次這樣的堂區旅行,都會剩下不少食物。
 
耶穌見到這成千上萬的人,可能都隨身帶了一些食物,有多也有少,當耶穌感動、啟發、刺激、鼓勵這群人,拿出自己所有的一切來與大家分享時,於是便有很多食物剩了下來。
 
當然,我不是說耶穌沒有真的顯了增餅這個奇蹟。我想說的是,不論是增餅,或是增加人的愛心,都是「奇蹟」。
 
上主可以直接餵飽世上所有的人,但上主也可以感動人,讓人類去餵飽自己。
 
我看過一份八零年代的調查報告︰它說全世界約有四十多億人,要餵飽這四十多億人,每年只需要一百五十億美元左右便可。而這一百五十億美元,不過只是全球軍費的一個星期的開支。原來,我們祗需一個星期的軍火開支,便可以讓四十多億的人口,在一年內都得溫飽!
 
也有人統計過,列根在美國做總統的時代,用於國防上的經費,便足夠養活全人類一百五十年。
 
這些數字實在很值得我們反省︰若人類把用在殺人上的經費,改用來養活人,世界便不會再有飢餓。但事實告訴我們,現今世上有八億飢餓的人口,有八億人吃不飽、穿不暖,有很多孩子晚上要餓著肚子上床睡覺。為甚麼?是否因為世界沒有充足的食物?是否需要如舊約時代一樣,要天主直接降瑪納去餵飽人?不用!人有能力餵飽自己。
 
春秋戰國時代的孟子早已說過,貧窮和饑餓的問題,不是匱乏的問題,而是「不患寡,而患不均」的問題。是因為我們不懂分配,不願分享。
 
我們需要的是愛心,需要的是一種分享的精神。若上主能直接餵飽人,這個當然是奇蹟;但若上主能感動人去彼此支持,我想這是更大的奇蹟。
常年期第十八主日
 
人有能力喂饱自己
 
读经一:(依55:1-3):上主的言语是人的美食
读经二:(罗8:35,37-39):没有事情可使人与主隔绝
福 音:(玛14:13-21):耶稣首次增饼
中国文化: 不患寡而患不均。
 
依撒意亚先知书这样说∶「上主说,凡口渴的,到水泉来吧!没有钱的,来購买这些不用花钱,不需付款的酒和奶吧!你们如果细心听从我,就能饱吃美味,你们的心灵必因品尝佳肴而喜悦。」(参考依55:1-3)
 
依撒意亚先知的预言,在玛窦福音中应验了。当耶稣讲道理的時候,群众越来越多,很多人跟随耶稣已很久,但他们还未进食。那時,耶稣看见这一大群群众,便对他们动了怜悯的心。到了傍晚,耶稣叫门徒给群众食物,但门徒说,他们除了五個饼和两条魚外,甚么也没有了。
 
耶稣便叫门徒给他把这五饼二魚拿来,然后便祝福了,再叫门徒分给群众。圣经说∶众人吃了,也饱了。然后他们把剩余的碎块收了满满十二筐。进食的人除了妇女和儿童外,约有五千。(参考玛14:13-21)这就是很出名的五饼二魚喂饱五千人的故事。
 
这個故事讲述天主的大能、天主的慷慨。他是宇宙的主宰,拥有一切。他有能力养活所有人,无条件地、白白地施恩给每一個人。「凡是口渴的,到水泉来吧;无钱的,来購买这些不用花钱、不用付款的酒和奶吧。
 
投奔上主、接触上主,我们便是到了恩宠的泉源,到了一個施恩的宝库面前,上主会赏赐给我们最需要的东西。不過今天的故事讲的,除了天主的大能和他的慷慨外,也在讲人的慷慨。
 
五饼二魚,一定是属於某個人的;若望福音便说这是属於一個儿童的。他有五個饼、两条魚,但群众成千上万。
 
当耶稣叫这個儿童拿出他的五饼二魚来的時候,我们的智慧会告诉我们∶耶稣的做法是愚蠢的。这五饼二魚,若一個人甚或一家人吃,可能只是刚刚够。如果五千人、一万個人一起吃,就根本无人会饱。
 
所以,与其无人会饱,为何不让一個人、一家人、一小撮人得到饱食呢?耶稣的要求合理吗?
 
不過,当時的确有人慷慨地拿出了自己的粮食。有人甚至这样解释这個「五饼二魚」的奇迹:即是耶稣并未真实地显了一個增饼的奇迹,他显的奇迹是增加人的爱心和分享之心。就好像有些堂区在旅行時,会请大家都带一些食物。到达目的地時,大家把自己的一分拿出来与其他人分享。那時,有带食物的,当然可以吃饱,就连没有带、或带得不够的,都可以得到饱足。多次的经验告诉我们,每一次这样的堂区旅行,都会剩下不少食物。
 
耶稣见到这成千上万的人,可能都随身带了一些食物,有多也有少,当耶稣感动、启发、刺激、鼓励这群人,拿出自己所有的一切来与大家分享時,於是便有很多食物剩了下来。
 
当然,我不是说耶稣没有真的显了增饼这個奇迹。我想说的是,不论是增饼,或是增加人的爱心,都是「奇迹」。
 
上主可以直接喂饱世上所有的人,但上主也可以感动人,让人类去喂饱自己。
 
我看過一份八零年代的调查报告∶它说全世界约有四十多亿人,要喂饱这四十多亿人,每年只需要一百五十亿美元左右便可。而这一百五十亿美元,不過只是全球军费的一個星期的開支。原来,我们祗需一個星期的军火開支,便可以让四十多亿的人口,在一年内都得温饱!
 
也有人统计過,列根在美国做总统的時代,用於国防上的经费,便足够养活全人类一百五十年。
 
这些数字实在很值得我们反省∶若人类把用在杀人上的经费,改用来养活人,世界便不会再有饥饿。但事实告诉我们,现今世上有八亿饥饿的人口,有八亿人吃不饱、穿不暖,有很多孩子晚上要饿著肚子上床睡觉。为甚么?是否因为世界没有充足的食物?是否需要如旧约時代一样,要天主直接降玛纳去喂饱人?不用!人有能力喂饱自己。
 
春秋战国時代的孟子早已说過,贫穷和饥饿的問题,不是匮乏的問题,而是「不患寡,而患不均」的問题。是因为我们不懂分配,不願分享。
 
我们需要的是爱心,需要的是一种分享的精神。若上主能直接喂饱人,这個当然是奇迹;但若上主能感动人去彼此支持,我想这是更大的奇迹。
EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
 
Human Beings have the Ability to Feed Themselves
 
First Reading ( Is 55:1-3 ) : The Lord's words are food for humankind
Second Reading (Rom 8:35,37-39) : Nothing can separate us from God.
Gospel ( Mt 14:13-21 ) : Jesus' first multiplication of bread
Chinese Classics:
“The cause of poverty is not with scarcity, but rather with uneven distribution.” (1)
 
The book of Isaiah said, ‘Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. (Lk 12:15-21)
 
The Prophet Isaiah's words were realized in Matthew's Gospel. When Jesus delivered his sermon more and more people gathered. They had been following Jesus a long time that day, but they had not had a meal. When Jesus saw the large crowd his heart was filled with pity. Towards evening Jesus told the disciples to give food to the large crowd. But the disciples said they had only five loaves and two fish.
 
Jesus told them to bring him the five loaves and two fish. He then blessed them and told the disciples to give the food to the people. According to the Bible everyone ate and had enough. The disciples collected twelve baskets full the leftovers. The number of men who ate was about five thousand, not counting the women and children. This is the well-known story about feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. (cf Mt 14: 13-21)
 
The story outlines the mighty power and generosity of God. God is master of the universe and everything belongs to him. He has the power to nourish all people and bestow His gifts on each one unconditionally. ‘Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
 
When we run to God and are in contact with God, we have reached the source of grace and are before a reservoir of grace. God will give us all we need. But the story here not only refers to the power and generosity of God but also to the generosity of people.
 
The five loaves and two fish belonged to someone. In John's Gospel it is said they belonged to a child. He had five loaves and two fish but the crowds numbered in the thousands.
 
When Jesus told the child to distribute his loaves and fish, our common sense tells us that Jesus' way was stupid. Five loaves and two fish was barely sufficient for one person or one family. But to feed five thousand or ten thousand people with them meant no one would have enough.
 
Hence, if nobody would have enough anyway one might as well feed a person, a family, a small group of people first. Was Jesus' request sensible?
 
However at the time, there must have been people who had brought food generously. Some interpret the miracle of five loaves and two fish in this way: Jesus did not actually perform a miracle to increase the loaves. His miracle was to increase the love and willingness to share among the people. It is similar to Parishes holding a picnic, everyone is asked to bring some food. When they arrive at their destination, all share their food with one another. Those who bring food of course have enough, also those who did not bring food or who did not bring enough will be fed as well. Experience tells us that there will be a great deal of food leftover each time.
 
Jesus saw the crowd of people and guessed they might have brought some food with them, perhaps a little, perhaps very much. When Jesus moved, inspired, incited and encouraged the people to share with others whatever they could, there would be plenty of food left.
 
Of course I am not saying that Jesus did not perform a miracle by increasing the bread. What I want to emphasize is that no matter whether the bread was increased, or peoples' love, it was “miraculous.”
 
God can feed all people directly or God can move people so that they can feed themselves.
 
I once read about a survey taken in the 1980's.: it said that there were over 40 billion people in the world and to feed them it needed only 150 billion USD annually. That 150 billion USD was actually one week's amount spent on the world's military expenditure. So a week's military expense can feed all 40 billion people in a year!
 
Some calculations also have revealed that the expenditure on national security in US President Reagan's time could feed all of humankind for one hundred fifty years.
 
These statistics are really worth our reflection: if money for killing people can be diverted to feeding people, there would be no hunger. However, the fact is that today we have a total of 100 billion starving people who are regularly being deprived of sufficient food and warmth. Many children have empty stomachs when they go to bed every night. Why? Is it because there is not adequate food? Or must it have to be like what happened in Old Testament times that God must feed the people with manna from heaven? No! Human beings are capable of feeding themselves.
 
In as early as the period of Spring and Autumn and the Warring Kingdoms, Mencius had already pointed out that poverty and hunger were not the problems. Nor was shortage of money the issue. The issue is “not with scarcity, but rather with uneven distribution”. It is because we do not know how to distribute and we do not want to share.
 
What we need is love and a spirit of sharing. If God can directly feed people, that of course is a miracle; but if God can move people to support one another, I believe that is an even greater miracle.
 
(1) 不患寡而患不均。

現場講道(粵語)

教友證道


神父講道


現場講道文稿

主日八分半(彌撒講道)

粵語講道


普通話講道



 

徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2020