常年廿二主日:在基督內的捨與得 2020年08月30日


常年期第廿二主日

生經白刃頭方貴

讀經一:(耶20:7-9):耶肋米亞先知無法拒絕代天主發言
讀經二:(羅12:1-2):作悅樂天主的祭品
福 音:(瑪16:21-27):首次預言受難和復活;背十字架的必要
中國文化: 俱往矣;數風流人物,還看今朝。
大江東去,浪淘盡,千古風流人物。
生經白刃頭方貴,死葬黃花骨亦香。


耶穌開始對自己的門徒說:「誰若願意跟隨我,就該捨棄自己,背著自己的十字架,跟隨我。誰若願意保存自己的生命,反而會喪失生命;但是,誰若為我的緣故,喪失自己的生命,反而會得到生命。人即使賺得了全世界,卻喪失了自己,有甚麼益處呢?人還能付出甚麼代價來換回自己呢?」(瑪16:24-26)

生命有本、有末,有重要的、有次要的,我們一定要回到本源,找到最關鍵的東西。

有許多人曾經談論過金錢能夠做到和不能夠做到的事。例如:金錢可以買到化妝品,但買不到青春;可以買到舒服的床,但買不到甜蜜的睡眠;可以買到婚姻,但買不到愛情;可以買到大屋,但買不到溫暖的家。金錢甚至可以買到一大群酒肉朋友,但買不到知己良朋,買不到生死之交、莫逆之交。

在人生的本末中,青春是本,化妝品是末;睡眠、愛情是本,那張床和婚姻是末;友情和溫暖之家都是本,而那些酒肉朋友,或者房子的大小,都不是絕對重要的。

「人即使賺得了全世界,而喪失了自己,有甚麼益處?」傳說有一位聖人聽到這句話,於是捨棄了世界的榮華富貴,跟隨耶穌、進了修道院。

生命很快完結,雖然這個生命很真實、很可愛,但到底亦不過是一個短暫的生命。近代一位詩人在縱論世間豪傑時,曾這樣描寫:不論是秦王、漢武,或唐宗、宋祖,或者是名震天下的成吉思汗,一切都「俱往矣」,而「數風流人物,還看今朝」。這首詞,充滿豪氣。它認為一切歷史上的偉人,都消逝了;今日能夠為歷史掌舵的,就只有我,只有我們這一群人。

不過,無論寫詞人當日多麼意氣風發,今日在我們再讀這首詞的時候,在芸芸「俱往矣」的人中,不是也包括了詩人自己嗎?

蘇軾另有一首詞說:「大江東去,浪淘盡,千古風流人物」,無論是甚麼風流人物,一樣會被浪花淘個淨盡。

有一次,我返回出生之地大澳。晚上,我走到海邊,看著大海,看著高山。多少年來,這個海、這個山,曾經見過多少興亡,多少悲歡離合,但青山依舊,人物已經完全不同了。如果你有機會到墳場去,你會見到無論是王侯將相,或者販夫走卒,一律都會變成荒煙野蔓,走燐飛螢。

生命很快會過去。我們如何活這個生命,如何為我們的生命留下一些寶貴的記憶,使我們回憶時也會感到開心,感到不枉此生、無悔今生,這才是最重要的。

有一副黃花崗的對聯這樣說:「生經白刃頭方貴,死葬黃花骨亦香」。若我們能夠好好地生活,甚至為了自己的理想,為了國家民族,以致連頭也曾經被利刃砍掉了,這個頭才是尊貴的。能夠葬在黃花崗裡,為革命而死,這副骨頭也會發出特殊的芳香。

有人曾經問過我:「神父,假如你活到八十歲的時候,忽然發現並沒有天主、沒有永生,你會不會後悔竟然信了八十年,並為一個不存在的天主而奉獻了自己呢?」

我當時毫不猶疑地回答:「不會後悔」。

因為這個信仰生命本身,或更具體來說,我在信仰中而度的這個生命,本身就是一個豐富、積極、有意義和多姿多采的生命。我活得比不少的人更充實、更燦爛;有沒有神,有沒有永生,並不影響,更不取消我這八十年來璀璨的生命。我會很高興沒有白白地活了這八十年,我已經可以無悔今生。

何況,在這生命道路的盡頭,我知道有永生在等著我,正如聖保祿宗徒所說:「這場好仗,我已打完,這場賽跑,我已跑到終點。從今以後,正義的冠冕已為我預備下了。」(參考弟後4:7-8)

無數聖人告訴我們,當我們在跟隨耶穌時,會遇到困難,會遇到十字架。但如果我們能夠捨棄自己,背著十字架跟隨耶穌,甚至為了耶穌基督而喪失自己的生命,我們反而會得到生命,一個更加豐盛的生命、永恆的生命。

主耶穌,求你幫助我明白甚麼叫做生命。在這個短暫的生命中,在我只能活一次的時候,求你教我如何去活這一次,怎樣好好地去活這一次。

 

 

常年期第廿二主日

生经白刃头方贵

读经一:(耶20:7-9):耶肋米亚先知无法拒绝代天主发言
读经二:(罗12:1-2):作悦乐天主的祭品
福 音:(玛16:21-27):首次预言受难和复活;背十字架的必要
中国文化: 俱往矣;数风流人物,还看今朝。
大江东去,浪淘尽,千古风流人物。
生经白刃头方贵,死葬黄花骨亦香。


耶稣開始对自己的门徒说:「谁若願意跟随我,就該舍弃自己,背著自己的十字架,跟随我。谁若願意保存自己的生命,反而会丧失生命;但是,谁若为我的缘故,丧失自己的生命,反而会得到生命。人即使赚得了全世界,却丧失了自己,有甚么益处呢?人还能付出甚么代价来换回自己呢?」(玛16:24-26)

生命有本、有末,有重要的、有次要的,我们一定要回到本源,找到最关键的东西。

有许多人曾经谈论過金钱能够做到和不能够做到的事。例如:金钱可以买到化妆品,但买不到青春;可以买到舒服的床,但买不到甜蜜的睡眠;可以买到婚姻,但买不到爱情;可以买到大屋,但买不到温暖的家。金钱甚至可以买到一大群酒肉朋友,但买不到知己良朋,买不到生死之交、莫逆之交。

在人生的本末中,青春是本,化妆品是末;睡眠、爱情是本,那张床和婚姻是末;友情和温暖之家都是本,而那些酒肉朋友,或者房子的大小,都不是绝对重要的。

「人即使赚得了全世界,而丧失了自己,有甚么益处?」传说有一位圣人听到这句话,於是舍弃了世界的荣华富贵,跟随耶稣、进了修道院。

生命很快完结,虽然这個生命很真实、很可爱,但到底亦不過是一個短暂的生命。近代一位诗人在纵论世间豪杰時,曾这样描写:不论是秦王、汉武,或唐宗、宋祖,或者是名震天下的成吉思汗,一切都「俱往矣」,而「数风流人物,还看今朝」。这首词,充满豪气。它认为一切历史上的伟人,都消逝了;今日能够为历史掌舵的,就只有我,只有我们这一群人。

不過,无论写词人当日多么意气风发,今日在我们再读这首词的時候,在芸芸「俱往矣」的人中,不是也包括了诗人自己吗?

苏轼另有一首词说:「大江东去,浪淘尽,千古风流人物」,无论是甚么风流人物,一样会被浪花淘個净尽。

有一次,我返回出生之地大澳。晚上,我走到海边,看著大海,看著高山。多少年来,这個海、这個山,曾经见過多少兴亡,多少悲欢離合,但青山依旧,人物已经完全不同了。如果你有机会到坟场去,你会见到无论是王侯将相,或者贩夫走卒,一律都会变成荒烟野蔓,走磷飞萤。

生命很快会過去。我们如何活这個生命,如何为我们的生命留下一些宝贵的记憶,使我们回憶時也会感到開心,感到不枉此生、无悔今生,这才是最重要的。

有一副黄花岗的对联这样说:「生经白刃头方贵,死葬黄花骨亦香」。若我们能够好好地生活,甚至为了自己的理想,为了国家民族,以致连头也曾经被利刃砍掉了,这個头才是尊贵的。能够葬在黄花岗里,为革命而死,这副骨头也会发出特殊的芳香。

有人曾经問過我:「神父,假如你活到八十岁的時候,忽然发现并没有天主、没有永生,你会不会后悔竟然信了八十年,并为一個不存在的天主而奉献了自己呢?」

我当時毫不犹疑地回答:「不会后悔」。

因为这個信仰生命本身,或更具体来说,我在信仰中而度的这個生命,本身就是一個丰富、积极、有意义和多姿多采的生命。我活得比不少的人更充实、更灿烂;有没有神,有没有永生,并不影响,更不取消我这八十年来璀璨的生命。我会很高兴没有白白地活了这八十年,我已经可以无悔今生。

何况,在这生命道路的尽头,我知道有永生在等著我,正如圣保禄宗徒所说:「这场好仗,我已打完,这场赛跑,我已跑到终点。从今以后,正义的冠冕已为我预备下了。」(参考弟后4:7-8)

无数圣人告诉我们,当我们在跟随耶稣時,会遇到困难,会遇到十字架。但如果我们能够舍弃自己,背著十字架跟随耶稣,甚至为了耶稣基督而丧失自己的生命,我们反而会得到生命,一個更加丰盛的生命、永恒的生命。

主耶稣,求你帮助我明白甚么叫做生命。在这個短暂的生命中,在我只能活一次的時候,求你教我如何去活这一次,怎样好好地去活这一次。

 

 

TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

By Experiencing the Naked Sword our Heads will be Venerable


First Reading (Jer 20:7-9) : Jeremiah could not resist to speak in God's name.
Second Reading (Rom 12:1-2) : Be a pleasing sacrifice to God
Gospel (Mt 16:21-27) : First prediction of the passion and resurrection the need to carry
the cross
Chinese Classics
-“All are past and gone; For truly great men, Look to this age alone.” (1)
-“The Great River eastward flows, With its waves are gone all those gallant heroes of bygone years.” (2)
-“Only by experiencing the bayonet of the naked sword will our head be venerable, To be buried in
Huang Hua, my bones would give a fragrant scent.” (3)

Then Jesus began to say to his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? ( Mt16:24-26 )

Life has a beginning and an end; the most important thing is to return to the beginning and find what links it all together.

Many people discuss what can and cannot be achieved by wealth. For example, money can buy cosmetics but not youth; it can purchase a comfortable bed but not the sweetness of sleep; it can buy marriage but not love, a large house but not a close-knit family. Money can buy one many fair-weather friends but not close ones, nor a life-long a long life or intimate friendship.

In a person's life there are ends and means to an end. The end may be youthful vigor, the means is the masquerade, sleep and love are ends, the comfortable bed and marriage are means.
Friendship and a warm family are ends, the casual friends and the size of the room are not that important.

‘What will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?’ It is said that when one of the saints heard these words he immediately gave up all this world’s possessions and wealth and followed Jesus by entering a monastery.

Life ends in no time. Even though this life is very real and very lovely, it is very short. In the discussion of the great men in history, a contemporary poet wrote: ‘Whether it were Emperor Chin, Emperor Han Wu, Emperor Tang Zhong, Emperor Song Zu or the world famous Genghis Khan, “All are past and gone; For truly great men, Look to this age alone.”(1) This is a chivalrous poem. It said that all the great men in history were dead. Today, the only ones who can take the helm and steer the course of history are you and me.’

However, no matter how emotional the poet was when he wrote these words, when we read them today we cannot help but feel that the poet was one of those who were “All are past and gone.”

Su Shi had another saying, “”The Great River eastward flows, With its waves are gone all those gallant heroes of bygone years.” (2) No matter who or what these heroes were, all were washed away by the great waves of times.

Once when I returned to Tai O where I was born I went down to the shore to look at the vast sea and the high mountains. Over the years the sea and the mountains had seen many joys and tragedies, welcomes and departures, young and old people, all different people and events. All were passed and gone, what still remain are the mountains and the seas. If you have an opportunity to visit a graveyard you will see that whether kings or generals, thieves or other, all have turned to ashes and are pitiful.

Yes, life passes by very quickly. How we live that life, what valuable record we leave behind, will cause us when we look back to be happy, ashamed or regretful - that is what is important.

This couplet was inscribed at Huang Hua Gang: “Only by experiencing the bayonet of the naked sword will our head be venerable, To be buried in Huang Hua, my bones would give a fragrant scent.”(3) If we lived meaningfully, living for our ideals and for our country and people, if we had to be beheaded by a sharp sword, this head would be worthy of honor and commendation. If we were to die for the revolution and could be buried in Huang Hua Gang, these bones would give out a fragrant scent.
.
People once asked me, ‘Father if when you are eighty years old, you find out that there is no God or no eternal life, will you regret finally that for eighty years you have believed and offered yourself to God?

At that moment, I answered without a doubt, “I would have no regrets.”

Because faith-life in itself, or more concretely, my life of faith has been a rich, active, meaningful, beautiful life. Compared to many others, my life has been richer and brighter. If there were no God or after-life, it would make no difference. It would not do away with eighty years of a full life. I still would have had gratuitously eighty years of beautiful life. I have no regrets.
Even more so, when life's journey comes to an end, I know eternal life awaits me. And with the Apostle St Paul I can say, “ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness.” (1 Tim 4: 7-8)

Numerous saints have told us that when we follow Jesus we will encounter difficulties, we will meet the cross. But if we relinquish self and follow Jesus in carrying the cross even to losing our lives, we will instead save our life, a fuller and eternal life.

O Lord Jesus, help me to understand what we mean by life. In this temporary life which we live only once, teach us how to live it this once and how to live it well.

(1)俱往矣;數風流人物,還看今朝。
(2)大江東去,浪淘盡,千古風流人物。
(3)生經白刃頭方貴,死葬黃花骨亦香。

 

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2020