四旬4: 天主愛世界 2021年03月14日


四旬期第四主日

在光中行走

讀經一:(編下36:14-16,19-23):在義怒下人民被罰,因天主仁慈人民得到解放。
讀經二:(弗2:4-10):人因罪惡而死亡,因恩寵而得救。
福 音:(若3:14-21):履行真理的人跟隨光走
中國文化: 齊景公拒絕屬下向他諂媚逢迎。


「天主這樣愛了世人,竟賜下了他的獨生子,使凡信他的人不致喪亡,反而獲得永生。因為天主派遣聖子到世界來,不是為定世人的罪,而是要世人藉著他而得救。……他們被定罪的原因就是:真光來到世上,世人卻愛黑暗,而不愛光明,因為他們的行為是邪惡的。的確,凡作惡的都憎惡光明,也不接近光明,免得他的惡行暴露出來。然而,履行真理的,卻來接近光明,為了顯出他的行為是在天主內完成的。」(若3:16-21)

基督來到世上,本來是要拯救世界,給人類帶來救恩。可惜的是,人們不僅不接受他,還拒絕了他,把他釘在十字架上。從前的人是這樣對待了基督,今天的人也不例外。

拒絕基督不單指不相信他或不奉他為救主,更重要的是,不管信不信他,都有一些人不願在他真光的光照下,光明磊落地生活、按天主的旨意去生活。因為他們憎惡光明。

在解釋這段聖經前,讓我們先看一個《列子》所說的故事。

齊景公遊牛山時,見到河山那麼美,就傷心痛哭起來,因為他不想死,不想離開這片大好的河山。有兩位大臣史孔和梁丘據也和景公一起哭,還說出一些諂媚逢迎的話:「臣等職位低微,就已經不願死了,何況你貴為一國之君呢!」只有晏子哈哈大笑。

齊景公怪責他,問他笑的原因。晏子說:「如果人能長生不死,那麼今天做齊王的應該還是先王太公、桓公等人,那輪到你來當齊王呢?你連這麼淺顯的道理都不懂,還加上有兩個諂媚的臣子在旁加鹽加醋,不是很好笑嗎?

齊景公聽了覺得很慚愧,於是舉酒自罰,也罰了史孔和梁丘據兩人。

世上有昏庸的君王、長上,也有忙著拍馬屁的臣子、屬下。昏庸的上司也許是出於無知,而生活在無知和「黑暗中」;但拍馬屁的下屬卻多半是認識真理,卻不願或不敢履行真理。用今天若望的話,就是雖然在光中,卻「不愛光明」。

信天主、接受基督,本來是一點都不難的事;人按人的天生和內在的「本性」去生活,便已經是在接受天主、接受基督。一切本來都是那樣的自然。

天主是生命之源,人來自天主,萬物也來自天主。天主在創造人和萬物的時候,已為一切定下了達致圓滿的規律,這些規律就寫在人的本性和物的本性之中。

基督來告訴人的,不外乎也是這些規律,並希望人按這些天主所創造的規律去生活、待人處事、和管理世界。這就是對天主的順服,這也就是讓天主為王於我們的心中,為王於我們的生命和世界中。這就是天國的境界??一個天主為王的境界、他的旨意奉行於人間的境界。

人要認識、明白、接受這些人性和物性的規律,就要在光中去看,在自由中去感受,在沒有偏見和沒有私利的桎梏下去了解和實踐。而基督就是這光。

他啟示、他說明、他告訴我們人生的真理、達致幸福的金科玉律。但假如這些啟示和我們的利益相衝突時,我們便會拒絕去接受這些真理。

所以黑落德不會承認娶自己兄弟的妻子有問題;保祿在歸化前不會認為迫害基督徒有問題;香港民主派不會認為在一國兩制下而支持中國大陸本土的民運有問題;中方不會認為在政改問題上打壓彭定康有問題;袁木不會認為宣佈「六四廣場上沒死一人」有問題;而柴玲也不會認為告訴記者「廣場上死了四千人」有問題。

我們呢?我們在和人吵架時,又肯承認自己有問題嗎?連各種大小宗教在歷史上所犯的路人皆見的過失,不是也有護教學或類似護教學的東西去加以維護和粉飾嗎?

只要我們採取以下的思考模式,就可以使自己在感覺上覺得無問題了:「我雖然也有不對的地方……,但……。」而要使自己覺得別人有問題,同樣也非常簡單:「他雖然也有對的地方……,但……。」

當我們高唱「真光光照著我」這首聖歌時,希望我們能夠認真默想一下歌詞的內容,並勇敢地面對在我們生活中那些客觀真理、全部的真理。

四旬期第四主日

在光中行走

读经一:(编下36:14-16,19-23):在义怒下人民被罚,因天主仁慈人民得到解放。
读经二:(弗2:4-10):人因罪恶而死亡,因恩宠而得救。
福 音:(若3:14-21):履行真理的人跟随光走
中国文化: 齐景公拒绝属下向他谄媚逢迎。


「天主这样爱了世人,竟赐下了他的独生子,使凡信他的人不致丧亡,反而获得永生。因为天主派遣圣子到世界来,不是为定世人的罪,而是要世人藉著他而得救。……他们被定罪的原因就是:真光来到世上,世人却爱黑暗,而不爱光明,因为他们的行为是邪恶的。的确,凡作恶的都憎恶光明,也不接近光明,免得他的恶行暴露出来。然而,履行真理的,却来接近光明,为了显出他的行为是在天主内完成的。」(若3:16-21)

基督来到世上,本来是要拯救世界,给人类带来救恩。可惜的是,人们不仅不接受他,还拒绝了他,把他钉在十字架上。从前的人是这样对待了基督,今天的人也不例外。

拒绝基督不单指不相信他或不奉他为救主,更重要的是,不管信不信他,都有一些人不願在他真光的光照下,光明磊落地生活、按天主的旨意去生活。因为他们憎恶光明。

在解释这段圣经前,让我们先看一個《列子》 所说的故事。

齐景公游牛山時,见到河山那么美,就伤心痛哭起来,因为他不想死,不想離開这片大好的河山。有两位大臣史孔和梁丘据也和景公一起哭,还说出一些谄媚逢迎的话:「臣等职位低微,就已经不願死了,何况你贵为一国之君呢!」只有晏子哈哈大笑。

齐景公怪責他,問他笑的原因。晏子说:「如果人能长生不死,那么今天做齐王的应該还是先王太公、桓公等人,那轮到你来当齐王呢?你连这么浅显的道理都不懂,还加上有两個谄媚的臣子在旁加盐加醋,不是很好笑吗?

齐景公听了觉得很惭愧,於是举酒自罚,也罚了史孔和梁丘据两人。

世上有昏庸的君王、长上,也有忙著拍马屁的臣子、属下。昏庸的上司也许是出於无知,而生活在无知和「黑暗中」;但拍马屁的下属却多半是认识真理,却不願或不敢履行真理。用今天若望的话,就是虽然在光中,却「不爱光明」。

信天主、接受基督,本来是一点都不难的事;人按人的天生和内在的「本性」去生活,便已经是在接受天主、接受基督。一切本来都是那样的自然。

天主是生命之源,人来自天主,万物也来自天主。天主在创造人和万物的時候,已为一切定下了达致圆满的规律,这些规律就写在人的本性和物的本性之中。

基督来告诉人的,不外乎也是这些规律,并希望人按这些天主所创造的规律去生活、待人处事、和管理世界。这就是对天主的顺服,这也就是让天主为王於我们的心中,为王於我们的生命和世界中。这就是天国的境界??一個天主为王的境界、他的旨意奉行於人间的境界。

人要认识、明白、接受这些人性和物性的规律,就要在光中去看,在自由中去感受,在没有偏见和没有私利的桎梏下去了解和实踐。而基督就是这光。

他启示、他说明、他告诉我们人生的真理、达致幸福的金科玉律。但假如这些启示和我们的利益相冲突時,我们便会拒绝去接受这些真理。

所以黑落德不会承认娶自己兄弟的妻子有問题;保禄在归化前不会认为迫害基督徒有問题;香港民主派不会认为在一国两制下而支持中国大陆本土的民运有問题;中方不会认为在政改問题上打压彭定康有問题;袁木不会认为宣布「六四广场上没死一人」有問题;而柴玲也不会认为告诉记者「广场上死了四千人」有問题。

我们呢?我们在和人吵架時,又肯承认自己有問题吗?连各种大小宗教在历史上所犯的路人皆见的過失,不是也有护教学或类似护教学的东西去加以维护和粉饰吗?

只要我们采取以下的思考模式,就可以使自己在感觉上觉得无問题了:「我虽然也有不对的地方……,但……。」而要使自己觉得别人有問题,同样也非常简单:「他虽然也有对的地方……,但……。」

当我们高唱「真光光照著我」这首圣歌時,希望我们能够认真默想一下歌词的内容,并勇敢地面对在我们生活中那些客观真理、全部的真理。

FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT

Walking in the light

First Reading (2 Chron 36:14-16,19-23): Under God's wrath people were punished but saved through God's mercy
Second Reading (Eph 2:4-10 ): We were dead through sin but saved by God's grace
Gospel ( Jn 3:14-21 ) : Those who walk in Truth also walk in the Light.

Chinese Classics:
- “Chai King Kung refused his subordinates' attempts to please and flatter him” (1)

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.( Jn 3:16-21 )

Jesus came into the world to save the whole world and to bring salvation to all of humankind. It is sad that we human beings not only did not accept him, but rejected him and nailed him to the cross. People in the past treated Jesus in this way; at present people treat him in the same way.

Rejecting Christ not only means that people do not believe him or acknowledge him as Savior. More importantly, aside from whether they believe in him or not, there are always some people who do not wish to walk in his light. They do not want to live in him or live according to God's will. This is because they hate the light.

Before we talk about the above Scripture passage, let us read a story in Li Tze. Chai King Kung was sight-seeing on “Cow Mountain”. When he saw the beautiful mountains and rivers, he became sad and started to cry. He cried because he did not want to die and leave this beautiful scenery behind. Two officials, Sze Hung and Leung Yau Gui, cried with King Kung and tried to please him by saying, “As subordinates our positions are low. Even so, we do not want to die, let alone you, our noble lord, who is king of the country.” Only On Tze laughed loudly. Chai King Kung chided him and asked him why he laughed. On Tze replied, “If humans could live forever, then the king of Chai should be your dead ancestor or Woon Kung. Would your turn to be king of Chai ever come? Isn't it laughable that you don't even understand such a simple and obvious truth, and besides that, there are two flattering officials who 'spice it up with salt and vinegar (go even further)'”. Listening to this, Chai King Kung was ashamed. He raised his glass of wine to punish himself and also punished the two officials, Sze Hung and Leung Yau Gui.

The world is made up of superiors and kings, and subordinates who busily “pat the horse's hip”(flatter their superiors). Perhaps in ignorance, superiors who are insufficiently alert may continue to live in the “darkness” of ignorance. Most of those who try to curry favor with their superiors know the truth, and are either afraid or unwilling to walk the path of truth. In John's words in today's Scripture, light had come into the world, but they 'did not come to the light'.

To believe in God and accept Jesus is not that difficult. People who live according to innate human nature already have accepted God and Christ. It is a very natural thing. God is the source of life. We human beings and all of creation come from God. When God created human beings and the universe, all creation was orderly. This sense of orderliness, or the “laws of nature” were engraved upon our inmost beings and within all of creation.

Christ came to tell us that God desires all men and women to live according to this natural law and treat all creatures with care and kindness. This is how we obey God and let God be Lord of our hearts, ruling our lives and the world. This is the “kingdom of heaven,” where God reigns and where God's will is done on earth among all of humankind. We need to recognize, understand and accept this natural order within humanity and creation, look at it in the light and freely acknowledge it. Without prejudice or selfishness let us realize this is the truth and act accordingly.

For Christ is that light. He revealed it and spoke of it clearly. He declared to us the truth of human life and gave us the golden rule of happiness. If this revelation conflicts with what is more advantageous to ourselves, we may refuse to accept Truth.

Some examples are Herod Antipas who would not admit he was wrong when he married his sister-in-law; St. Paul who did not consider it wrong to persecute the Christians; the Hong Kong Democratic Party which does not see that it might be questionable to support popular movements against China under Hong Kong's “One Country Two Systems” political-economic structure; Chinese officials who did not find it too harsh to put political pressure on Hong Kong’s Governor, Chris Patten, at the time of the 1997 turnover; Yuan Mu who saw no problem in announcing that “Not a single person was killed at Tianamen Square”, nor did Chai Ling find it wrong to tell the press that “During the 1989 demonstrations, four thousand people were killed at Tianamen Square”.

What about us? When we are in a heated argument with neighbors, do we admit there might be discrepancies in our reasoning? Throughout history in the many religious disagreements, did not those who promoted reforms often use defensive apologetics and explanations to analyze and defend their own beliefs?

Only if we make use of a model of thinking like the following will we feel we are being truly sincere: “Although I may not be entirely correct, still I think...” Or, when I really believe the other's reasoning is quite faulty, I might simply say, “Although some of his points are correct, still I think...”

When we sing the hymn “A Light within the World”, let us hope that we can meditate deeply on the meaning of the words, and courageously face the implications for our lives of full and objective Truth.

(1)齊景公拒絕屬下向他諂媚逢迎。

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2020