常年廿三主日:寬恕之道 2020年09月06日


常年期第廿三主日

責善與諫諍之道

讀經一:(厄33:7-9):要警告別人的錯誤行徑
讀經二:(羅13:8-10):愛是法律的滿全
福 音:(瑪18:15-20):兄弟規勸之道
中國文化: 故當不義,則子不可以不諍於父,臣不可以不諍於君,故當不義則諍之;從父之令,又焉得為孝乎! 責善,朋友之道。


如果你的弟兄得罪了你,你要趁你和他獨處時,糾正他。如果他聽從你,你便賺得了你的弟兄。」(瑪18:15)

兄弟的規勸之道,要注意的是找尋適當的時機、適當的場合,坦誠地、謙虛地向他講出你的心裡話。聖經說的「獨處時」,就是說不可在大庭廣眾中,讓他丟臉。

厄則克耳先知也說:「上主說:人子,我現在立你做以色列家的警衛;你聽了我所說的話,要代我警告他們。當我告訴惡人說:『惡人,你必會喪亡!』你若不發言,警告惡人離開他的邪道,那惡人必因自己的罪而喪亡,但是我要向你追討他的血債。你若警告惡人,叫他離開他的邪道,而他不肯改邪歸正,他必因自己的罪而喪亡,而你卻救了自己。」(則33:7-9)

我們要負責我們兄弟姊妹的得救。如果我們不作聲,不去警告,那他的喪亡,我們是要負責的。我們再不能夠好像加音對天主說:「難道我是我兄弟的看守者?」

不錯,我們都是我們兄弟的看守者,這是愛德的任務。保祿宗徒在羅馬人書這樣說:「弟兄們,除了彼此相愛外,不應對人有任何虧欠,因為誰愛別人,誰就履行了法律。其實『不可姦淫,不可殺人,不可偷盜,不可貪婪』等誡命,都包括在『愛你的近人如同你自己』這句話裡。愛不作損害別人的事,所以,愛滿全了法律。」(羅13:8-10)

在這段聖經裡,我們也很清楚看到天主教信仰,已漸漸由只著重神,轉到也著重人。

在聖經啟示的發展過程中,首先強調的是愛天主。但當人問耶穌哪一條是第一條誡命時,耶穌就已經將人和神並列:「愛天主在萬有之上、愛人如己」。人問他一條法律,他答了兩條。在耶穌心中,這兩條法律原本就是一條法律;或者說,這兩條法律,只是一條法律的兩面。

到了保祿宗徒的時代,他甚至只講一句話,即所有誡命都包含在一條誡命裡:「愛你的近人如同你自己」,而互相規勸,正是愛的一種形式。

孔子說:「責善,朋友之道」。這句話尤其值得我們中國人思考,因為中國文化特別強調含蓄,講話比較喜歡轉彎抹角。當我們要拒絕別人時,我們不會立刻拒絕,我們會講一大堆理由,使人意會到我們在拒絕。

「責善」是更加尷尬的一回事,我們很難開口說出別人的錯處。但聖經和中國文化都叫我們責善,「要趁你和他獨處的時候」,選一個適合的情況和環境,去矯正他。

其實在中國文化裡,不只朋友要互相責善,甚至子女對父母也要責善。在《孝經》裡,曾子問孔子:「老師,我想問一個問題:子女聽從父母的命令,是不是就叫做孝呢?」

孔子的答覆是:「是何言予!是何言予!」你在講些甚麼呢?以往「天子有諍臣七人,雖無道不失其天下」,即是說,以前做王帝,如果有七個肯諫他的臣子,他雖無道,仍不會失天下。「諸侯有諍臣五人,雖無道不失其國」,諸侯如果有五個諫他的人,雖然做得不好,也不會亡國。「父有諍子,則身不陷於不義」,如果做父親的,有一個能諫他的兒子,他便不會陷於不義。

孔子的結論是:「故當不義,則子不可以不諍於父,臣不可以不諍於君;故當不義,則諍之。從父之令,又焉得為孝乎!」即是說,若有不義,我們不可以不向父親提出來,臣子亦不可以不向君王提出來。有不義就要諍、要諫,光是聽話、順從,怎麼可以叫「孝」呢!

後來《大禮記》的「曾子侍父母」,就稱這種責善精神做「以正致諫」,所謂「從而不諫,非孝也」,即是說,若只順從而不懂得去諫,便不算得是孝子。而這種能諫諍父母的孝子,又叫做「諍子」。

在我們整個生活中,我們要注意的是正義,「當不義,則諍之」,有不義,就要諍,有不妥,就要諫;朋友有不對,就要責善。

當然,這一切都不應以自我為中心,不是說我覺得你不對,就罵你、指責你。而是我們每一個人都要用真理去光照自己,用信仰去判斷自己。

其實最後的判官,應該是我們的天主,是耶穌基督和他在聖經裡面的啟示。只有當我們活出信仰,時常按照真道而行的時候,我們才有資格去諫諍別人、諫諍父母。

慈愛的天父,請幫助我們時常按照你的話去生活,讓我們能彼此常用真理去互相規勸,努力活在真理的光輝中。

常年期第廿三主日

責善与谏诤之道

读经一:(厄33:7-9):要警告别人的错误行径
读经二:(罗13:8-10):爱是法律的满全
福 音:(玛18:15-20):兄弟规劝之道
中国文化: 故当不义,则子不可以不诤於父,臣不可以不诤於君,故当不义则诤之;从父之令,又焉得为孝乎! 责善,朋友之道。


如果你的弟兄得罪了你,你要趁你和他独处時,纠正他。如果他听从你,你便赚得了你的弟兄。」(玛18:15)

兄弟的规劝之道,要注意的是找寻適当的時机、適当的场合,坦诚地、谦虚地向他讲出你的心里话。圣经说的「独处時」,就是说不可在大庭广众中,让他丢脸。

厄则克耳先知也说:「上主说:人子,我现在立你做以色列家的警卫;你听了我所说的话,要代我警告他们。当我告诉恶人说:『恶人,你必会丧亡!』你若不发言,警告恶人離開他的邪道,那恶人必因自己的罪而丧亡,但是我要向你追讨他的血债。你若警告恶人,叫他離開他的邪道,而他不肯改邪归正,他必因自己的罪而丧亡,而你却救了自己。」(则33:7-9)

我们要负責我们兄弟姊妹的得救。如果我们不作声,不去警告,那他的丧亡,我们是要负責的。我们再不能够好像加音对天主说:「难道我是我兄弟的看守者?」

不错,我们都是我们兄弟的看守者,这是爱德的任务。保禄宗徒在罗马人书这样说:「弟兄们,除了彼此相爱外,不应对人有任何亏欠,因为谁爱别人,谁就履行了法律。其实『不可奸淫,不可杀人,不可偷盗,不可贪婪』等诫命,都包括在『爱你的近人如同你自己』这句话里。爱不作损害别人的事,所以,爱满全了法律。」(罗13:8-10)

在这段圣经里,我们也很清楚看到天主教信仰,已渐渐由只著重神,转到也著重人。

在圣经启示的发展過程中,首先强调的是爱天主。但当人問耶稣哪一条是第一条诫命時,耶稣就已经将人和神并列:「爱天主在万有之上、爱人如己」。人問他一条法律,他答了两条。在耶稣心中,这两条法律原本就是一条法律;或者说,这两条法律,只是一条法律的两面。

到了保禄宗徒的時代,他甚至只讲一句话,即所有诫命都包含在一条诫命里:「爱你的近人如同你自己」,而互相规劝,正是爱的一种形式。

孔子说:「責善,朋友之道」。这句话尤其值得我们中国人思考,因为中国文化特别强调含蓄,讲话比较喜欢转弯抹角。当我们要拒绝别人時,我们不会立刻拒绝,我们会讲一大堆理由,使人意会到我们在拒绝。

「責善」是更加尴尬的一回事,我们很难開口说出别人的错处。但圣经和中国文化都叫我们責善,「要趁你和他独处的時候」,选一個適合的情况和环境,去矫正他。

其实在中国文化里,不只朋友要互相責善,甚至子女对父母也要責善。在《孝经》 里,曾子問孔子:「老师,我想問一個問题:子女听从父母的命令,是不是就叫做孝呢?」

孔子的答覆是:「是何言予!是何言予!」你在讲些甚么呢?以往「天子有诤臣七人,虽无道不失其天下」,即是说,以前做王帝,如果有七個肯谏他的臣子,他虽无道,仍不会失天下。「诸侯有诤臣五人,虽无道不失其国」,诸侯如果有五個谏他的人,虽然做得不好,也不会亡国。「父有诤子,则身不陷於不义」,如果做父亲的,有一個能谏他的儿子,他便不会陷於不义。

孔子的结论是:「故当不义,则子不可以不诤於父,臣不可以不诤於君;故当不义,则诤之。从父之令,又焉得为孝乎!」即是说,若有不义,我们不可以不向父亲提出来,臣子亦不可以不向君王提出来。有不义就要诤、要谏,光是听话、顺从,怎么可以叫「孝」呢!

后来《大礼记》 的「曾子侍父母」,就称这种責善精神做「以正致谏」,所谓「从而不谏,非孝也」,即是说,若只顺从而不懂得去谏,便不算得是孝子。而这种能谏诤父母的孝子,又叫做「诤子」。

在我们整個生活中,我们要注意的是正义,「当不义,则诤之」,有不义,就要诤,有不妥,就要谏;朋友有不对,就要責善。

当然,这一切都不应以自我为中心,不是说我觉得你不对,就骂你、指責你。而是我们每一個人都要用真理去光照自己,用信仰去判断自己。

其实最后的判官,应該是我们的天主,是耶稣基督和他在圣经里面的启示。只有当我们活出信仰,時常按照真道而行的時候,我们才有资格去谏诤别人、谏诤父母。

慈爱的天父,请帮助我们時常按照你的话去生活,让我们能彼此常用真理去互相规劝,努力活在真理的光辉中。

TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Reproof for Good and Remonstration

First Reading ( Ez 33:7-9 ) : The way to warning each other of mistakes
Second Reading ( Rom 13:8-10 ) : Love is the fulfillment of the law.
Gospel ( Mt 18:15-20 ) : The path of correcting one's brothers
Chinese Classics
-“Therefore when a case of unrighteous conduct is concerned, a son must by no means keep from remonstrating with his father, nor a minister from remonstrating with his ruler. Hence, since remonstrance is required in the case of unrighteous conduct, how can obedience to the orders of a father be accounted filial piety?” (1)
-“To urge one another to what is good by reproofs is the way of friends.” (2)

If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.” ( Mt 18:15 )p.142

When treading the path of correcting each other, one must take note to find the appropriate time and place, and voice one's heartfelt concerns honestly and with humility. The Gospel passage above urges us to do this ‘when the two of you are alone’, not in a public area that might embarrass the other.

The Prophet Ezekiel also said, ‘So you, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, “O wicked ones, you shall surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but you will have saved your life.’ (Ez 33:7-9)

We must be responsible for the salvation of our brothers and sisters. If we do not speak out or warn the other, then we are responsible for the other's fall from grace. We cannot be like Cain who said to God, “Can it be that I am my brother's keeper?’

Actually it is true, we really are ‘keepers’, that is, responsible for our brothers and sisters. That is part of our duty to love one another. In the Epistle to the Romans the Apostle Paul says, “Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.’ ( Rom 13:8-10 )

In this Scripture passage we see clearly that in the Catholic faith we are to proceed from emphasizing God to gradually turn to loving other human persons.

As Biblical inspiration developed, the first emphasis was on loving God. But when people asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment of them all, Jesus placed God and human beings on the same level: “Love God above all and love your neighbor as yourself.” When they asked him “which one of the commandments?” he answered with two. In Jesus' mind, the two were really only one, that is to say, there was only one commandment with two parts.

By the time of the Apostle Paul, he said that all the commandments were contained in only one: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” And mutual correction was one of the manifestations of love.

Confucius said, “To urge one another to what is good by reproofs is the way of friends.”(2) This saying especially deserves the reflection of us Chinese people because Chinese culture puts a strong emphasis on restraint and Chinese people prefer to be indirect. When we want to refuse a person, we would not say so directly. We would give a number of reasons so that the person would understand that we were refusing him/ her.

“Reproof” is an embarrassing business. It is very difficult for us Chinese to point out others' mistakes. However, both the Bible and Chinese culture ask us to reprove each other. “When you and he are alone,” indicates that we should choose a suitable situation and environment to correct the person.

Within Chinese culture, not only should friends reprove each other, children should also reprove their parents. In The Classics of Filial Piety, Zeng Zi asked Confucius, “Teacher, I would venture to ask if obedience to the orders of one's father can be regarded as filial piety?"

Confucius replied, "What words are these! What words are these!” What are you saying? In the past, if “ the Son of Heaven had seven ministers who would remonstrate with him, although he had not right methods of government, he would not lose his possession of the kingdom”. That is to say, in ancient times, if an emperor had seven ministers who would advise and remonstrate with him, even though he could not rule the kingdom in an upright manner, he would not lose it. “If the prince of a state had five such ministers, though his measures might be equally wrong, he would not lose the state.” For a prince, if he had five ministers who would advise and remonstrate with him, even though he did not do very well, he would not lose his state. “The father who had a son that would remonstrate with him would not sink into the gulf of unrighteous deeds.”(1) If a father had a son who would advise and remonstrate with him, he would not do unrighteous things.


Confucius concluded that: “Therefore when a case of unrighteous conduct is concerned, a son must by no means keep from remonstrating with his father, nor a minister from remonstrating with his ruler. Hence, since remonstrance is required in the case of unrighteous conduct, how can obedience to the orders of a father be accounted filial piety?”(1) That is to say, if there is a case of unrighteous conduct, we must bring it to the attention of our fathers and advise them accordingly. The same goes for a minister. He should alert and advise his king. If there is a case of unrighteous conduct, we should remonstrate and advise our fathers. If we do not do this and simply listen to and obey our fathers, how can we call it “filial piety”?

Later, in the chapter “How Zeng Zi Treated His Parents” in The Great Book of Rites, this attitude of advising and reproving was called “to correct by remonstration”. The book also said, “To obey without remonstration, it is not filial piety”. That is to say if we simply obey our parents and not reprove them when they are wrong, we are not “filial sons”. Those sons who reprove and remonstrate with their parents when the latter are wrong are called “remonstrating sons”.

Throughout our whole life, we should pay close attention to righteousness. “When there is unrighteous conduct, we must remonstrate.” When there is unrighteous or unjust conduct, we should stand up and remonstrate. When something is wrong, we should voice our disapproval. When our friends have done something wrong, we should reprove and remonstrate with them.

Of course none of this should spring from self-righteousness, nor from a sense of ‘I think you are wrong and I blame you and admonish you.’ Each of us should be enlightened by Truth and in faith judge only ourselves.

Actually the ultimate Judge should be God only and Jesus Christ and his revelation as found in Scripture. Only if we live a life of faith and walk according to the Truth are we qualified to correct our parents or other people.

O Loving Heavenly Father, help us to always live according to your word so that we are able to correct each other according to Truth and live lives enlightened by Truth.

(1)故當不義,則子不可以不諍於父,臣不可以不諍於君,故當不義則諍之;從父之令,又焉得為孝乎!
(2)責善,朋友之道。

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2020