基督苦難主日(聖枝主日): 空虛自己,超越正義 2021年03月28日


聖枝主日

大有若無

讀經一:(依50:4-7):上主的僕人
讀經二:(斐2:6-11):耶穌貶抑自己聽命至死
福 音:(谷14:1-15:47):耶穌基督的受難始末
中國文化: 毋聽之以耳;毋聽之以心;聽之以氣。氣者,虛而待物。
我不要成仙,蓬萊不是我的分;我只要地面,情願安分的做人。

「耶穌基督雖具有天主的形體,但並沒有堅持與天主同等的地位,反而空虛自己,取了奴僕的形體,降生成人,與人相似,形態上完全與人一樣,謙抑自下,服從至死,死在十字架上。」
(斐2:6-8)

聖枝主日,是一個在禮儀上令我們頗為困惑的主日,這個主日的主題同時兼具光榮和屈辱的內容。我們一方面紀念耶穌光榮進入耶路撒冷,受到萬眾的歡迎、歡呼、喝釆。另一方面,我們卻在群眾「賀三納」的洪亮聲音還未完全消退時,已經隱隱的聽到人們對他的咒罵聲音陸續的出現,這就是隨之而來,在今天福音中所誦讀的,耶穌的「受難始末」。

這個矛盾和不協調的調子,在上述的斐理伯書中,表現得更為清楚。基督雖是真天主,卻也是真人,就是這個真天主又是真人的基督,為我們成了十字架上的犧牲,並以自己的死亡去救贖墮落了的人類。

在這段斐理伯書經文中,我們還可以看到基督的三重面貌,今天就讓我們細心的默想一下,亦從中反省一下我們自己的信仰態度。

一、基督本有神的形體。他本來就是神,就是天主。但是他沒有在這方面死抓住不放。他本應受到尊崇,甚至有權享受人們對他的敬拜,但他的降生成人,卻是一種紆尊降貴、捨棄應有權利的行動。

在我們這個強調民主、人權、自由的時代,我們最重要學到的,甚至唯一學到的,是「爭取」。我們爭取自己的權利、爭取我們認為自己應得的東西。

這些都是對的、應該的。但這不是生命的全部,更不是信仰的全部。

我們有時要為更高的理想,為更深的信仰要求,而超越權利、放棄權利,超越自由、放棄自由。在愛人、愛教會、愛祖國的行動中,平等、自由、權利等等,未必是最關鍵的概念,也不能作為我們的唯一指導思想。

在我們基督徒的詞彙中,除了自由、人權、平等以外,應該還有奉獻、犧牲、獻身、包容、體諒、吃虧是福等等理想。

二、基督空虛自己。即是說,他自我降伏,他脫下了王者的尊榮,他將自己神性的光輝擱置一旁,他使自己寂寂無聞……直至只剩下他的孓然一身,和他那大慈大悲的愛。

不只如此,他的空虛簡直是到了極端的地步:「他服從至死,而且是死在十字架上」,即是說,不只是死,而且是一個奴隸的死,一個屈辱的死。如果說「死有重於泰山,有輕於鴻毛」,那麼基督的那種在十字架上的無辜的死,簡直就是輕到連鴻毛都不如,甚至找不到適當的詞彙來形容了。

不過,正是在他完全自我倒空的時候,他完全地充滿了;正是在他死時,他成了圓滿的他;正是在他一無所有時,「天主極其舉揚他,賜給他一個名號,超越一切名號,致使上天、下地和陰府,一聽到耶穌的名號,都無不屈膝叩拜,眾口同聲宣認耶穌基督是主,以顯耀天主聖父。」(斐2:9-11)

當一個女人放下了少女的一切時,她便變成了母親;當一個人放下了自己的一切成見,而進入另一個人的生命中時,他就成了朋友、知己。

莊子認為聆聽是一種藝術,不單要「聽之以心」,還要「聽之以氣」。他所說的氣是「虛而待物」,是完全的空虛自己,以讓對方的話、對方的一切進入自己的心中。

基督的空虛自己,比莊子的「虛而待物」更為徹底的空虛,所以天父的愛充滿了他,所有人的生命也在他內,而他的愛也充滿了所有的人。

三、「他取了奴僕的形體,降生成人,與人相似,形態上完全與人一樣」。換句話說,他甘心做人,做一個受生老病死所折磨,受成敗得失所困擾和影響的人。他以做人為榮、以做人為樂。

相反地,我們許多人都不願意做人,而只願意做神。我們不願一步一腳印地走人的路,我們要騰雲駕霧,好像那首「乘著歌聲的翅膀」的歌,要飛向永生的彼岸,避開做人的苦痛。

我想起徐志摩的話:「我不要成仙,蓬萊不是我的分;我只要地面,情願安分的做人。

你說徐志摩接近耶穌一些,還是那些天天想著要做「神」的人更接近耶穌一些呢?

圣枝主日

大有若无

读经一:(依50:4-7):上主的仆人
读经二:(斐2:6-11):耶稣贬抑自己听命至死
福 音:(谷14:1-15:47):耶稣基督的受难始末
中国文化: 毋听之以耳;毋听之以心;听之以气。气者,虚而待物。
我不要成仙,蓬莱不是我的分;我只要地面,情願安分的做人。

「耶稣基督虽具有天主的形体,但并没有坚持与天主同等的地位,反而空虚自己,取了奴仆的形体,降生成人,与人相似,形态上完全与人一样,谦抑自下,服从至死,死在十字架上。」
(斐2:6-8)

圣枝主日,是一個在礼仪上令我们颇为困惑的主日,这個主日的主题同時兼具光荣和屈辱的内容。我们一方面纪念耶稣光荣进入耶路撒冷,受到万众的欢迎、欢呼、喝采。另一方面,我们却在群众「贺三纳」的洪亮声音还未完全消退時,已经隐隐的听到人们对他的咒骂声音陆续的出现,这就是随之而来,在今天福音中所诵读的,耶稣的「受难始末」。

这個矛盾和不协调的调子,在上述的斐理伯书中,表现得更为清楚。基督虽是真天主,却也是真人,就是这個真天主又是真人的基督,为我们成了十字架上的牺牲,并以自己的死亡去救赎堕落了的人类。

在这段斐理伯书经文中,我们还可以看到基督的三重面貌,今天就让我们细心的默想一下,亦从中反省一下我们自己的信仰态度。

一、基督本有神的形体。他本来就是神,就是天主。但是他没有在这方面死抓住不放。他本应受到尊崇,甚至有权享受人们对他的敬拜,但他的降生成人,却是一种纡尊降贵、舍弃应有权利的行动。

在我们这個强调民主、人权、自由的時代,我们最重要学到的,甚至唯一学到的,是「争取」。我们争取自己的权利、争取我们认为自己应得的东西。

这些都是对的、应該的。但这不是生命的全部,更不是信仰的全部。

我们有時要为更高的理想,为更深的信仰要求,而超越权利、放弃权利,超越自由、放弃自由。在爱人、爱教会、爱祖国的行动中,平等、自由、权利等等,未必是最关键的概念,也不能作为我们的唯一指导思想。

在我们基督徒的词汇中,除了自由、人权、平等以外,应該还有奉献、牺牲、献身、包容、体谅、吃亏是福等等理想。

二、基督空虚自己。即是说,他自我降伏,他脱下了王者的尊荣,他将自己神性的光辉搁置一旁,他使自己寂寂无闻……直至只剩下他的孓然一身,和他那大慈大悲的爱。

不只如此,他的空虚简直是到了极端的地步:「他服从至死,而且是死在十字架上」,即是说,不只是死,而且是一個奴隶的死,一個屈辱的死。如果说「死有重於泰山,有轻於鸿毛」,那么基督的那种在十字架上的无辜的死,简直就是轻到连鸿毛都不如,甚至找不到適当的词汇来形容了。

不過,正是在他完全自我倒空的時候,他完全地充满了;正是在他死時,他成了圆满的他;正是在他一无所有時,「天主极其举扬他,赐给他一個名号,超越一切名号,致使上天、下地和阴府,一听到耶稣的名号,都无不屈膝叩拜,众口同声宣认耶稣基督是主,以显耀天主圣父。」(斐2:9-11)

当一個女人放下了少女的一切時,她便变成了母亲;当一個人放下了自己的一切成见,而进入另一個人的生命中時,他就成了朋友、知己。

庄子认为聆听是一种艺术,不单要「听之以心」,还要「听之以气」。他所说的气是「虚而待物」,是完全的空虚自己,以让对方的话、对方的一切进入自己的心中。

基督的空虚自己,比庄子的「虚而待物」更为彻底的空虚,所以天父的爱充满了他,所有人的生命也在他内,而他的爱也充满了所有的人。

三、「他取了奴仆的形体,降生成人,与人相似,形态上完全与人一样」。换句话说,他甘心做人,做一個受生老病死所折磨,受成败得失所困扰和影响的人。他以做人为荣、以做人为乐。

相反地,我们许多人都不願意做人,而只願意做神。我们不願一步一脚印地走人的路,我们要腾云驾雾,好像那首「乘著歌声的翅膀」的歌,要飞向永生的彼岸,避開做人的苦痛。

我想起徐志摩的话:「我不要成仙,蓬莱不是我的分;我只要地面,情願安分的做人。

你说徐志摩接近耶稣一些,还是那些天天想著要做「神」的人更接近耶稣一些呢?

PASSION SUNDAY

Having All as if Having Nothing

First Reading (Is 50: 4-7): The Servant of God
Second Reading (Phil 2: 6-11): Jesus humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death
Gospel (Mk 14: 1- 15:47): Jesus Christ's Passion and Death

Chinese Classics:
-“Do not listen with your ears; do not comprehend with your heart. Listen with your vital energy. Vital energy is an emptiness that is alert and waiting to respond to all things”(1)
-“I do not want to be a fairy. Fairyland is not for me. I just want to be down on the earth. I'd rather be a human being.”(2)

“Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross.” (Phil 2: 6-8)

The liturgy for Palm Sunday can sometimes leave us confused. The theme for this Sunday is about glory and at the same time also about humiliation. On the one hand we recall Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, receiving the welcoming, enthusiastic shouts of the crowds. On the other hand, even as the cries of Hosanna have yet to die away, as we listen to the Gospel reading of the Passion we are made aware of the continuing furtive murmur of curses.

These contradictory, inharmonious words are revealed very clearly in the passage from the Letter to the Philippians cited above. Though Christ is truly God he is also truly human; it is this true God and true human person who became the sacrifice on the cross and by his death brought salvation to fallen humankind.

In the Epistle to the Philippians we can see the three-faceted countenance of Christ. Let us meditate carefully on it today and at the same time reflect on our own attitude of faith.

1) CHRIST IS GOD. He is divine, that is, he is God. Yet he did not hold on to this. He should have received reverence, by right he was entitled to our worship. But through the Incarnation he became human and condescended, abandoning the rights which were his.

In this age when democracy, human rights and freedom are emphasized, the most important lesson we have been taught is 'holding on.' We must hold on to our own rights, we must hold on to anything we think is owed us. These are all correct. Yet we all know that sometimes for a higher ideal or for the demands of deep faith, we must let go our rights for a higher right, let go of freedom for a higher freedom. In some actions done for love of others, or for church or country, freedom, equality and rights are not necessarily the most important concepts. They cannot be our only guiding principle.

In our Christian vocabulary, besides words like freedom, human rights, equality, etc, there should also be words that express ideals like offering, sacrifice, commitment, tolerance, sympathy, joy in suffering, etc.

2) CHRIST EMPTIED HIMSELF. That is, he subjugated himself, avoided the glory due him as king and put aside the radiance of his divinity. He allowed himself to be inconspicuous and totally alone, until what remained was only his enormous merciful and compassionate love.

Not only that, he took the emptying of himself to the extreme. He became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.That is to say, not just to death but to the death of a slave, a death of humiliation and insult. We might say then that Christ, the innocent one, in his death on the cross was 'more trivial than a feather,' without the least significance, to the point that we cannot find appropriate words to express it.

But just as he emptied himself totally, so he was fulfilled totally; just as he died, he became fully himself; as he stripped himself of everything, he gained all. God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2: 9 –11).

When a woman becomes an adult and puts aside her youth, she might then become a mother. When a grown man puts aside prejudices and enters into the very life and heart of the other, he might become intimate friends of the other.

For Zhuang Zi, listening was an art. One should not just “comprehend with your heart, but listen with your vital energy.” The vital energy he talked about is “an emptiness that is alert and waiting to respond to all things.”(1) This means emptying oneself completely so that every word the other person says and everything about that person can enter into one's heart.

When Christ emptied himself, his emptiness was even more thorough than the “emptiness that is alert and waiting to respond to all things” advocated by Zhuang Zi. That was why God's love could fill him up. All life was embodied within him, and his love filled up all of humankind.

3) HE TOOK ON THE FORM OF A SLAVE, BECAME A HUMAN BEING, WAS BORN IN HUMAN LIKENESS, ENTIRELY LIKE THE REST OF THE HUMAN RACE. That is to say, Christ willingly took on our human nature. He was born a human person, could be affected by the trials that accompany aging, sickness, death, influenced by failure and loss, difficulties and afflictions. He considered it an honour and joy to be a human being.

Conversely, many of us do not wish to be human, we want to be gods. We don't want to walk step by step the road all humans must take, we want to 'sail the clouds and ride the mist' as immortals do, as the song about flying on the wings of the eagle says. We want to fly to the shores of eternity and avoid the pain of being human.

I recall Xu Zhi Mo's lines: “I don't want to be a fairy. Fairyland is not for me. I just want to be down on the earth. I'd rather be a human being.”(2)

Who do you say is closer to Christ- Xu Zhi Mo or those who dream of being god every day?

(1)毋聽之以耳;毋聽之以心;聽之以氣。氣者,虛而待物。
(2)我不要成仙,蓬萊不是我的分;我只要地面,情願安分的做人。

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