常年十九主日:和風細雨,比死更強 2020年08月09日


常年期第十九主日
 
信心、冒險、委身
 
讀經一:(列上19:9,11-13):先知在微風中認出天主來
讀經二:(羅9:1-5):保祿為同胞甘願受詛咒
福 音:(瑪14:22-33):耶穌步行水面
中國文化: 邊際境遇的跳躍。 次非斬蛟
 
那時,門徒所乘的船離岸已幾公里,遇著逆風,在波浪中顛簸不定。天快亮時,耶穌在海面步行向他們走去。門徒看見他在海上行走,就很驚慌,說:「是個妖怪!」並且嚇得大叫起來。耶穌立刻對他們說:「放心!是我,不必怕!」伯多祿對他說:「主!如果是你,就讓我在水面步行到你那裡去吧!」耶穌說:「來吧!」伯多祿就離開了船,在水面向耶穌走去。但他一見風勢猛烈,害怕起來,便開始下沉,大叫說:「主!救命啊!」耶穌立刻伸手拉住他,對他說:「小信德的人呀!你為甚麼懷疑呢?」(瑪14:22-33)
 
門徒見到主在水面上行走,誤認他是一個妖怪。我們是否也有時會把天主當妖怪,或把妖怪當天主呢?
 
門徒把耶穌當妖怪的原因,是因為那時天色仍然很昏暗。昏暗中,我們不辨是非、不辨善惡。基督是光,只有在信德的光照和啟發下,我們才可分辨善惡、分辨好壞。
 
伯多祿見到是耶穌,便說︰「主!如果是你……。」
 
「如果是你」,表示他仍未肯定。在未完全肯定的情況中,他仍說︰「主!如果是你,就叫我在水面上步行到你那裡吧!」伯多祿的特點是願意嘗試、敢於嘗試。
 
「如果是你。」人生不需要事事都獲得百分之百的保證。信德才是我們的保證,雖然我們看不清,其實主常與我們在一起。
 
當伯多祿聽到耶穌說「來吧!」他便縱身一躍,跳到水面上,向耶穌走去。這就是所謂「邊際境遇的跳躍」。
 
人生有很多「邊際境遇」,很多我們無法明白和控制的風浪。我們需要跳躍,需要帶著信心向前「縱身一躍」。
 
當我和一個人吵架後,我應否和他修好?我應否首先伸手向他握手言和?我無法保證對方也會伸出手來。若他不伸手,我會很尷尬。但若果我不計較,我便會做該做的事,勇敢地、主動地伸出修和之手。這就是縱身一躍。
 
父母養育子女,不會知道子女是否忤逆,會否報答自己,會否達到「養兒防老,積穀防飢」的目的。但他們不需證明、不用證據;他們愛自己的子女,願意在子女身上投下自己的時間和愛。這也是向前縱身一躍。
 
當一個人要結婚的時候,他會向自己的另一半,在上主面前說出這個盟誓︰「某某,我如今鄭 重承認你是我的妻子/丈夫,並且許諾從今以後,無論環境順逆,疾病健康,我將永遠愛慕尊重你,終生不渝。願主垂鑒我的意願。」
 
我將「永遠」愛慕尊重你、「無論」疾病健康、環境順逆。我有什麼把握?有沒有保證?沒有!一點也沒有!於是我向前縱身一躍。
這就是終身的盟誓。
 
在教會內、學校中、社會內,當我要承擔一個責任,或者承擔公職、又或做一件重要的事的時候,我沒有能力去擔保成功,但我認為我要盡一個好公民、好學生的責任,於是我向前縱身一躍。
 
在《呂氏春秋》中,有一個「次非斬蛟」的故事︰有一個名叫次非的人,他有一把寶劍。有一次乘船時,遇到兩條蛟龍把船纏著,眾人認為他們都必死無疑了。但次非拿著寶劍說︰若我不能用這寶劍把蛟龍斬死,那麼這寶劍對我有何用處?於是他跳入江中,和兩條蛟龍搏鬥,把它們殺掉,保全了全船人的生命。次非,他也是在向前縱身一躍。
 
伯多祿的特點是︰「主!如果是你,就叫我在水面上步行到你那裡罷!」
 
他大概知道耶穌是在那裡,但並不完全肯定。然而,即使他未完全肯定,他也願意縱身一躍,由安全的船,跳到驚濤駭浪之中。這就是信德的跳躍。
 
但聖經繼續說,伯多祿見到風勢猛烈,便害怕起來。
 
我們的信德需要無數次的磨鍊,在風浪中磨鍊、在風浪中實踐,才能得到鞏固。
 
伯多祿在下沉的時候大叫︰「主!救命呀!」當我們下沉的時候,或遇到困難時,我們也千萬不要忘記大叫一聲︰「主!救命呀!」
主原來就在我們的心內,在我們的周圍,只不過我們看不見。我們的天主本來就是無所不在的天主。
 
讓我們時常懷著信心在主內行走、在主內生活。我們都應有信心離開那條安全的船,跳到驚濤駭浪之中,因為耶穌就在海面上行走。在那裡,只要我們懷著信心、懂得依靠,懂得大叫「主!救命呀!」主一定會及時伸出救援之手。
常年期第十九主日
 
信心、冒险、委身
 
读经一:(列上19:9,11-13):先知在微风中认出天主来
读经二:(罗9:1-5):保禄为同胞甘願受诅咒
福 音:(玛14:22-33):耶稣步行水面
中国文化: 边际境遇的跳跃。次非斩蛟
 
那時,门徒所乘的船離岸已幾公里,遇著逆风,在波浪中颠簸不定。天快亮時,耶稣在海面步行向他们走去。门徒看见他在海上行走,就很惊慌,说:「是個妖怪!」并且吓得大叫起来。耶稣立刻对他们说:「放心!是我,不必怕!」伯多禄对他说:「主!如果是你,就让我在水面步行到你那里去吧!」耶稣说:「来吧!」伯多禄就離開了船,在水面向耶稣走去。但他一见风势猛烈,害怕起来,便開始下沉,大叫说:「主!救命啊!」耶稣立刻伸手拉住他,对他说:「小信德的人呀!你为甚么怀疑呢?」(玛14:22-33)
 
门徒见到主在水面上行走,误认他是一個妖怪。我们是否也有時会把天主当妖怪,或把妖怪当天主呢?
 
门徒把耶稣当妖怪的原因,是因为那時天色仍然很昏暗。昏暗中,我们不辨是非、不辨善恶。基督是光,只有在信德的光照和启发下,我们才可分辨善恶、分辨好坏。
 
伯多禄见到是耶稣,便说∶「主!如果是你……。」
 
「如果是你」,表示他仍未肯定。在未完全肯定的情况中,他仍说∶「主!如果是你,就叫我在水面上步行到你那里吧!」伯多禄的特点是願意尝试、敢於尝试。
 
「如果是你。」人生不需要事事都获得百分之百的保证。信德才是我们的保证,虽然我们看不清,其实主常与我们在一起。
 
当伯多禄听到耶稣说「来吧!」他便纵身一跃,跳到水面上,向耶稣走去。这就是所谓「边际境遇的跳跃」。
 
人生有很多「边际境遇」,很多我们无法明白和控制的风浪。我们需要跳跃,需要带著信心向前「纵身一跃」。
 
当我和一個人吵架后,我应否和他修好?我应否首先伸手向他握手言和?我无法保证对方也会伸出手来。若他不伸手,我会很尴尬。但若果我不计较,我便会做該做的事,勇敢地、主动地伸出修和之手。这就是纵身一跃。
 
父母养育子女,不会知道子女是否忤逆,会否报答自己,会否达到「养儿防老,积谷防饥」的目的。但他们不需证明、不用证据;他们爱自己的子女,願意在子女身上投下自己的時间和爱。这也是向前纵身一跃。
 
当一個人要结婚的時候,他会向自己的另一半,在上主面前说出这個盟誓∶「某某,我如今郑 重承认你是我的妻子/丈夫,并且许诺从今以后,无论环境顺逆,疾病健康,我将永遠爱慕尊重你,终生不渝。願主垂鉴我的意願。」
 
我将「永遠」爱慕尊重你、「无论」疾病健康、环境顺逆。我有什么把握?有没有保证?没有!一点也没有!於是我向前纵身一跃。
这就是终身的盟誓。
 
在教会内、学校中、社会内,当我要承担一個責任,或者承担公职、又或做一件重要的事的時候,我没有能力去担保成功,但我认为我要尽一個好公民、好学生的責任,於是我向前纵身一跃。
 
在《吕氏春秋》 中,有一個「次非斩蛟」的故事∶有一個名叫次非的人,他有一把宝劍。有一次乘船時,遇到两条蛟龙把船缠著,众人认为他们都必死无疑了。但次非拿著宝劍说∶若我不能用这宝劍把蛟龙斩死,那么这宝劍对我有何用处?於是他跳入江中,和两条蛟龙搏斗,把它们杀掉,保全了全船人的生命。次非,他也是在向前纵身一跃。
 
伯多禄的特点是∶「主!如果是你,就叫我在水面上步行到你那里罢!」
 
他大概知道耶稣是在那里,但并不完全肯定。然而,即使他未完全肯定,他也願意纵身一跃,由安全的船,跳到惊涛骇浪之中。这就是信德的跳跃。
 
但圣经继续说,伯多禄见到风势猛烈,便害怕起来。
 
我们的信德需要无数次的磨炼,在风浪中磨炼、在风浪中实踐,才能得到巩固。
 
伯多禄在下沉的時候大叫∶「主!救命呀!」当我们下沉的時候,或遇到困难時,我们也千万不要忘记大叫一声∶「主!救命呀!」
主原来就在我们的心内,在我们的周围,只不過我们看不见。我们的天主本来就是无所不在的天主。
 
让我们時常怀著信心在主内行走、在主内生活。我们都应有信心離開那条安全的船,跳到惊涛骇浪之中,因为耶稣就在海面上行走。在那里,只要我们怀著信心、懂得依靠,懂得大叫「主!救命呀!」主一定会及時伸出救援之手。

NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

To Trust – To Risk – To entrust

First Reading ( 1 Kings 19:9,11-13 ): The Prophet Elijah recognized God in the wind.
Second Reading (Rom 9:1-5): Paul willingly endured curses for the sake of his people
Gospel (Mt 14:22-33) : Jesus walked on the water
Chinese Classics:
-“Jumping over adverse circumstances” (1)
-“The story of: Ci Fei killed the dragon”(2)

By this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ (Mt 14:22-33)

When the apostles saw Jesus walking on the water they mistook him for a ghost. Do we sometimes mistake God for a ghost, or a ghost for God?

The reason the apostles thought Jesus was a ghost was because it was very dark. In the darkness we cannot always distinguish right from wrong, good from bad. Christ is the Light and only from the light that shines from him are we able to distinguish good and evil, righteousness and wickedness.

When Peter saw Jesus he said, “Lord, if it is you…”

‘If it is you…’ shows that he was not yet sure. In doubtful circumstances such as that he continued, ‘Lord if it is you, command me to walk towards you on the water!’ One of Peter's characteristics was that he was willing and dared to try.

‘If it is you…’ In life it is not always necessary to have complete proof or hundred percent safety. Faith itself is our guarantee. Though we cannot see clearly, actually God is always with us.

When Peter heard Jesus say, “Come!” he immediately jumped into the water and walked towards Jesus. This was what “jumping over adverse circumstances” is about.

There are many “adverse circumstances” in our lives, many crises we do not understand and cannot control. We need to jump over them. We need to “jump” with faith.

When we have had an argument with someone, do we need to seek reconciliation or not? Should we be the first to stretch out our hand and speak? We have no proof that the other will accept it. If the other person rejects it we will be very embarrassed. But if we put aside this possibility of failure we will have done what we should and have had the courage to be the first to stretch out our hand. That is to ‘jump’ with faith.

When parents raise their children they do not know if they will turn out to be good or bad, will they repay their early efforts, or are the parents ‘preparing for a rainy day’ and looking for some insurance of security in their old age? They do not need assurance or proof that this will happen. They love their children and want to give them their time and love. That also is being willing to ‘jump’ into the future.

When people are preparing to marry they will promise before God, “My dear, I solemnly take you for my wife/husband and promise that from this moment on, in good and bad times, in sickness and in health, I will love and respect you, until death do us part. May God be witness to my oath.”

I will love and respect you ‘forever,’ ‘no matter’ whether sick or healthy, in good or bad times. What guarantee is there, what proof? None whatsoever! It is a ‘jumping’. It is a ‘permanent commitment.’

In the church, in school, in society, when we accept a responsibility or take on a public office, or perform an important task, I cannot promise I will have the ability or strength to achieve success, but I think I am able to be a responsible citizen or student, so I “jump” into the unknown.

There is a story called “Ci Fei Killed the Dragon” in The Spring and Autumn Annals of Lu. Ci Fei was a man with a treasured sword. He was traveling in a boat one day when two dragon-like aquatic animals entangled themselves around his boat. The people on the boat all thought that they were going to die. Ci Fei picked up the sword and said, “If I could not use this treasured sword to kill these animals, what good is this sword to me?” Having said that, he jumped into the river and fought with the animals. He killed the animals and saved all the people on the boat. For Ci Fei, it was a jump over adverse circumstances.

Peter did this also. He said, ‘Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’

He was almost sure it was Jesus but not totally. But though he was not absolutely sure he was willing to ‘jump,’ and from the safety of the boat he jumped into the churning waves. It was a jump of faith.

But Scripture continues that when Peter saw the strength of the waves he became afraid.

Our faith must be tried over and over again in order to become strong and activated in the midst of the turbulent waves, carried over into the churning water.

When Peter saw himself sinking he called out loudly, ‘Lord, save me!’ When we ‘sink’ or meet difficulties we should never, never forget to call out, ‘O Lord, save me.’

God is within our hearts and actually all around us, but we do not see Him. God is truly the God who is everywhere.

Let us always have faith and live and walk with God. And let us have the faith to leave the safe boat and jump into the churning waters, because Jesus will walk to us on the water. There we need only to have faith and know how to rely on him and call out, ‘Lord, save me.’ And for sure God will stretch out a hand to help us.

(1)邊際境遇的跳躍。
(2)次非斬蛟

現場講道(粵語)

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2020