常年卅二主日:假智慧,真糊塗 2020年11月08日


常年期第三十二主日

善生安死

讀經一:(智6:13-17):尋求智慧的,必找著
讀經二:(得前4:13-18):信主的人必得復活
福 音:(瑪25:1-13):十童女的比喻
中國文化: 臥薪嘗膽。


耶穌把天國比作十個拿著燈去迎接新郎的童女,其中有五個是糊塗的,五個是明智的。她們有不同的人生態度,也就遇上了不同的命運。

故事接著說:「糊塗的拿了燈,卻沒有隨身帶油;而明智的拿著燈,也把油裝在瓶裡帶來。因為新郎遲遲未來,她們都睡著了。半夜,有人高呼:『新郎來了,你們出來迎接罷!』那些童女就起來,整理她們的燈。糊塗的對明智的說:『把你們的油分一些給我們罷!因為我們的燈快要熄滅了!』明智的答道:『這些油恐怕不夠我們大家用,不如你們自己去買罷!』她們去買油的時候,新郎來了;那些準備好的童女,就和他進去參加婚宴,門就關上了。後來,其餘的童女回來了,說:『主啊!主啊!給我們開門罷!』新郎卻回答說:『我實在告訴你們:我不認識你們。』」

耶穌說完這個故事,就作了一個結語:「所以,你們該醒寤,因為你們不知道,那日子和那時間何時來到。」(瑪25:13)

生命可以說很悠長,也可以說很短促。在我有限的鐸職生涯中,我已曾看過很多不同類型的人,以不同的方式離開了世界。

我曾經為一個小朋友送葬,為一個十多歲的學生舉行追悼儀式,為一個患了癌症的中學生行傅油禮。在我剛做神父的時候,我曾有過在兩年內為一個新家庭舉行了三件聖事的紀錄:新人的婚禮、新生嬰兒的洗禮、剛做爸爸者的葬禮。我最感悽愴的一次送葬經驗,是在非洲的坦桑尼亞,為一個舉目無親的寡婦的獨生子舉行葬禮。

有一次我參加一位神父的百歲壽辰,他大概太過高興吧,生日後過了幾天就被天主召回去了。

香港曾有兩位年富力強的神父,一位是四十多歲的瑪利諾神父,忽然就去世了;另一位是五十多歲的米蘭會神父,他是剛做完身體檢查不久,一切正常,但在回國後一次的郊遊中,突然就離開了塵世。

天主甚麼時候召叫我們?新郎何時到來?我們都不知道。千萬不要說我們有很多時間,千萬不要說我們有的是青春。剛才我說的都是自然的死亡,如果再加上意外的死亡,我們更不能預料到,我們將於何時、何地離開人間。

台灣有位主教,在打電話時突然伏在電話旁,便去世了。有些人一睡下,便再沒有再醒起來的明天。

我們真的要時常醒悟、不斷準備!

《史記》有一個「臥薪嚐膽」的故事:吳王夫差時常睡在柴上(臥薪),不斷提醒自己要報仇;越王勾踐,則將一個苦膽放在身邊,不時舐一舐(嚐膽),提醒自己要復國、雪恥。在這裡,我們的注意點不是仇恨,而是讓我們知道,有些人為了提醒自己不忘記去做最重要的事,而長久的臥薪嚐膽、默默奮鬥。

「臥薪嚐膽」是幫助我們時常警醒的好方法。我們也要時常醒覺到生命和時間,都不是在我們的手中,而是在天主手中。他甚麼時候來,我們不清楚。但我們只知道一件事,就是他一定要來。

記得我讀中學時,有一個很好的傳統,就是「習練善終」,即是每一個月拿出半天的時間來練習,例如默想、告解、作一些熱心神功等,去準備自己如何面對死亡,以獲得「善終」??死得好、死得安樂。

台灣有一位修士,他在自己的房間裡擺放了一個死人的頭骨,因為他要學習教會內的某位聖人,不斷的提醒自己:「昨天的他,就是今天的我;明天的我,就是今天的他。

我們不知道生命甚麼時候完結,「習練善終」會不斷幫助我們,讓我們隨時可以安心地去見天主。

有一次,小聖類斯在玩得興高采烈時,有人和他開玩笑說:「類斯,假如天主今晚就要收回你的靈魂,你現在會做甚麼呢?」類斯說:「我會繼續打球。」

對小類斯來說,盡心盡性的去做每一件事,把每件事做到最好,就可以在任何時間去見天主了。

如果我們能夠連吃飯、讀書、遊戲,都是為了天主的緣故而盡力去做,我們甚麼時候不可以去見天主呢?

常年期第三十二主日

善生安死

读经一:(智6:13-17):寻求智慧的,必找著
读经二:(得前4:13-18):信主的人必得复活
福 音:(玛25:1-13):十童女的比喻
中国文化: 卧薪尝胆。


耶稣把天国比作十個拿著灯去迎接新郎的童女,其中有五個是糊涂的,五個是明智的。她们有不同的人生态度,也就遇上了不同的命运。

故事接著说:「糊涂的拿了灯,却没有随身带油;而明智的拿著灯,也把油装在瓶里带来。因为新郎迟迟未来,她们都睡著了。半夜,有人高呼:『新郎来了,你们出来迎接罢!』那些童女就起来,整理她们的灯。糊涂的对明智的说:『把你们的油分一些给我们罢!因为我们的灯快要熄灭了!』明智的答道:『这些油恐怕不够我们大家用,不如你们自己去买罢!』她们去买油的時候,新郎来了;那些准备好的童女,就和他进去参加婚宴,门就关上了。后来,其余的童女回来了,说:『主啊!主啊!给我们開门罢!』新郎却回答说:『我实在告诉你们:我不认识你们。』」

耶稣说完这個故事,就作了一個结语:「所以,你们該醒寤,因为你们不知道,那日子和那時间何時来到。」(玛25:13)

生命可以说很悠长,也可以说很短促。在我有限的铎职生涯中,我已曾看過很多不同类型的人,以不同的方式離開了世界。

我曾经为一個小朋友送葬,为一個十多岁的学生举行追悼仪式,为一個患了癌症的中学生行傅油礼。在我刚做神父的時候,我曾有過在两年内为一個新家庭举行了三件圣事的纪录:新人的婚礼、新生婴儿的洗礼、刚做爸爸者的葬礼。我最感凄怆的一次送葬经验,是在非洲的坦桑尼亚,为一個举目无亲的寡妇的独生子举行葬礼。

有一次我参加一位神父的百岁寿辰,他大概太過高兴吧,生日后過了幾天就被天主召回去了。

香港曾有两位年富力强的神父,一位是四十多岁的玛利诺神父,忽然就去世了;另一位是五十多岁的米蘭会神父,他是刚做完身体检查不久,一切正常,但在回国后一次的郊游中,突然就離開了尘世。

天主甚么時候召叫我们?新郎何時到来?我们都不知道。千万不要说我们有很多時间,千万不要说我们有的是青春。刚才我说的都是自然的死亡,如果再加上意外的死亡,我们更不能预料到,我们将於何時、何地離開人间。

台湾有位主教,在打电话時突然伏在电话旁,便去世了。有些人一睡下,便再没有再醒起来的明天。

我们真的要時常醒悟、不断准备!

《史记》 有一個「卧薪尝胆」的故事:吴王夫差時常睡在柴上(卧薪),不断提醒自己要报仇;越王勾踐,则将一個苦胆放在身边,不時舐一舐(尝胆),提醒自己要复国、雪耻。在这里,我们的注意点不是仇恨,而是让我们知道,有些人为了提醒自己不忘记去做最重要的事,而长久的卧薪尝胆、默默奋斗。

「卧薪尝胆」是帮助我们時常警醒的好方法。我们也要時常醒觉到生命和時间,都不是在我们的手中,而是在天主手中。他甚么時候来,我们不清楚。但我们只知道一件事,就是他一定要来。

记得我读中学時,有一個很好的传统,就是「习练善终」,即是每一個月拿出半天的時间来练习,例如默想、告解、作一些热心神功等,去准备自己如何面对死亡,以获得「善终」??死得好、死得安乐。

台湾有一位修士,他在自己的房间里摆放了一個死人的头骨,因为他要学习教会内的某位圣人,不断的提醒自己:「昨天的他,就是今天的我;明天的我,就是今天的他。

我们不知道生命甚么時候完结,「习练善终」会不断帮助我们,让我们随時可以安心地去见天主。

有一次,小圣类斯在玩得兴高采烈時,有人和他開玩笑说:「类斯,假如天主今晚就要收回你的灵魂,你现在会做甚么呢?」类斯说:「我会继续打球。」

对小类斯来说,尽心尽性的去做每一件事,把每件事做到最好,就可以在任何時间去见天主了。

如果我们能够连吃饭、读书、游戏,都是为了天主的缘故而尽力去做,我们甚么時候不可以去见天主呢?

THIRTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

A Good Life and a Peaceful Death

First Reading (Wis 6:13-17): Seek wisdom and you will find it
Second Reading (1 Thess 4:13-18): Those who believe in God will rise from the dead
Gospel (Mt 25:1-13) : Parable of the ten bridesmaids
Chinese Classics
The story of “Sleeping on firewood and tasting the bitter gall” (1)

Jesus once compared the Kingdom of Heaven to ten bridesmaids carrying lamps who went out to meet the bridegroom. Five were foolish, five were wise. Their attitudes towards life were different and resulted in different fates.

The story went like this. “When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! There will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.”

When Jesus ended the story he drew this conclusion: “Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Mt 25:13)

We can say life is long or we may say life is short. In my limited life as a priest, I have seen many kinds of people and many kinds of death.

I have presided at the funeral of a child, attended the wake of a teenage student, and anointed a student dying of cancer. Shortly after I was ordained, within two years I administered three Sacraments to a new family: their new marriage, the Baptism of their newborn child and the funeral of the new father.

Once I attended the one-hundredth birthday of a fellow-priest. Perhaps there was too much happy excitement – a few days afterwards God called him to the next life.

In Hong Kong there were two very energetic priests, one an over- forty-year-old Maryknoll priest who died suddenly. Separately, there was a PIME priest a little over fifty who had just undergone a physical examination with excellent results. Shortly after he returned to his own country, he was out in a rural area and died suddenly.

The saddest funeral I ever had was the one in Tanzania where the only son of a widow was drowned at a beautiful beach.

When will God call us? When will the bridegroom come? We do not know. Never, never say ‘I still have a great deal of time’, or ‘I am still in my youth.’ The examples I cited above were all natural deaths. If we add to them the many accidental deaths, it would be beyond counting. We have no way of knowing when and where we will leave this world.

There was a Bishop in Taiwan who was talking on the phone when he suddenly dropped the phone and died right there. Some people go to sleep at night and never wake up the next morning.

We truly must always be alert and be prepared at all times!

In The Historical Records, there is a story about a king sleeping on firewood and tasting bitter gall. The King of Yue, Fu Cha, often slept on firewood as a constant reminder that he should avenge the loss of his country. He also hung gall beside his bed and licked it regularly to remind himself that he must wipe out the shame of his defeat. Here, our attention is not on revenge. The lesson is that some people spend a long time lying on firewood and tasting bitter gall, struggling quietly in order to remind themselves not to forget to do important things.

The story of “Sleeps on firewood and tasting the bitter gall” (1) serves as a constant warning to us. We should always be aware that life and time are not within our grasp but are in the hands of God. We can never be sure when God will come. But we can be certain of one thing and that is that God will definitely come.

I remember when I was in secondary school there was a very good tradition, ‘practicing for a good death.’ For a half-day every month we would practice, for example, meditating, go to Confession, do some good works of mercy, etc. to prepare ourselves how to face death, how to attain a ‘good death’ die peacefully and joyfully.

There was a seminarian in Taiwan who placed a skull in his room. He had studied about one of the church's saints who had done this to constantly remind himself: “Yesterday this was he, today it is I; tomorrow I will be what he is today.”

We do not know when this life of ours will end. ‘Practicing for a good death’ will help us continually to prepare to see God peacefully at any time and place.

Once the young St. Aloysius was energetically playing ball and someone asked him jokingly, “Aloysius, if you knew God would call you tonight, what would you do now?” Aloysius answered, “I would continue playing ball.”

For Aloysius, to do each assigned task as well as possible was the way one would be able to eventually see God.

If we can eat, study, play as well as possible for the sake of God would there be any time that we would not be ready to go and see God?

(1)臥薪嘗膽。

現場講道(粵語)

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