復活4:善牧為羊捨命 2021年04月25日


復活期第四主日

白首寫蒼生

讀經一:(宗4:8-12):除耶穌基督外再無救恩
讀經二:(若一3:1-2):因父的慈愛,人稱為他的兒女
福 音:(若10:11-18):耶穌是善牧
中國文化: 子墨子聞之,起於魯,行十日十夜,而至於郢,見公輸 盤。 墨子摩頂放踵,利天下而為之。
治於神者,眾不知其功;爭於明者,眾人知之。
杜甫:百姓瘡痍,詩中聖哲;民間疾苦,筆底波瀾。
杜甫:鐵肩擔道義,白首寫蒼生。

「我是善牧,善牧為羊捨命。傭工不是牧人,羊也不是他自己的,他看見狼來了,就拋棄羊群逃跑了,狼就抓住羊,把羊群趕散;因為他是傭工,對羊漠不關心。我是善牧,我認識我的羊,我的羊也認識我,正如父認識我,我也認識父一樣,並且我為羊捨命。」
(若10:11-15)

聖經多次稱天主為「牧者」,著名的聖詠廿三篇第一句話就是:「上主是我的牧者,我實在一無所缺。」依撒意亞先知也說:「上主必如牧人,牧放自己的羊群,以自己的手臂集合小羊,把牠們抱在自己的懷中。」(依40:11)

當然,並不是所有看羊的都是好牧者,耶穌就說過:「傭工不是牧人,羊也不是他自己的,他看見狼來了,就拋棄羊群逃跑了;因為他是傭工,對羊漠不關心。

這些都是偽牧者、假牧童。對他們,厄則克耳先知用十分嚴厲的話加以責斥:「禍哉以色列的牧者!你們只知牧養自己。你們吃羊奶,穿羊毛衣,宰肥羊,卻不牧養羊群。瘦弱的,你們不扶養;患病的,你們不醫治;受傷的,你們不包紮;迷路的,你們不領回。因為沒有牧人,羊都四散了;羊四散後,便成了一切野獸的食物。」(則34:2-5)

真正的善牧又是怎樣的呢?厄則克耳先知這樣形容:「我要親自去尋找我的羊,我要親自照顧我的羊。我要把那些曾在陰雲和黑暗之日四散在各地的羊,從那些地方救回來。……失落的,我要尋找;迷路的,我要領回;受傷的,我要包紮;病弱的,我要療養;肥胖和強壯的,我要看守;我要按正義牧放他們。」(則34:11-16)

在真真假假的善牧之間,耶穌是真正的善牧,而且更是善牧之最:「我是善牧,我認識我的羊,我的羊也認識我,正如父認識我,我也認識父一樣,並且我為羊捨命。」(若10:14-15)

耶穌把自己與羊的關係,比作自己與天父的關係,這是一種至高無上的極親密關係。亦因為有了這種關係,所以耶穌甘心為羊捨生。所以他說:「誰也不能奪去我的生命,是我甘心情願捨棄的。」(若10:18)

說到肯為別人而犧牲的人,在中國除了孔子外,我想到了墨子。

有一次,強大的楚國因公輸盤的幫助,要建造雲梯攻打弱小的宋國。「子墨子聞之,起於魯,行十日十夜,而至於郢,見公輸盤。」(墨子:公輸)為了幫助宋國,他行了十日十夜,可謂任勞任怨之至。終於他成功地「止楚攻宋」,讓宋國逃過了一場大災劫。

這個墨子是一個實行家,他以具體的行動去說明他對世界、對人民、對蒼生的愛。為了人民的福祉,他什麼都肯作。他是一個「摩頂放踵,利天下而為之」的人,他的精神與為羊捨生的善牧,不遑多讓。

這個止楚攻宋的故事還有一個很有趣的結尾。當墨子做了這樣的一件大好事之後,要回去,路過宋國??這個被他在無形中拯救了的宋國??宋國的守門人卻不讓他進去。墨子就感慨的說:「治於神者(無形中建立神奇功蹟的人),眾不知其功;爭於明者(表面上做了一些事,斤斤計較聲名的人),眾人知之

像墨子這樣的人,他的功勞別人都不知道;不過,即使他的功勞並非寫在史冊上,也未必被眾人知曉,但其實,一切已經是寫在他的整個生命上。

有人這樣形容詩聖杜甫:「百姓瘡痍,詩中聖哲;民間疾苦,筆底波瀾」;他的一生,就是「鐵肩擔道義,白首寫蒼生」,他寫的是別人,他寫的也是他自己。他自己就是一部書:一部畢生作人民喉舌、為人民請命的書。

耶穌是一部書;墨子、杜甫也是一部書。在今天為聖召祈禱時,讓我們也為一切獻身於事主愛人的人祈禱,期望所有的聖召追隨者,本身都是一部書,讓我們讀到:人如何可以為別人而存在,人如何可以做善牧。

我們希望所有善牧臉上的皺紋,都成為可閱讀的文字,並讓他們的白髮,寫出了他們作善牧的一生。

复活期第四主日

白首写苍生

读经一:(宗4:8-12):除耶稣基督外再无救恩
读经二:(若一3:1-2):因父的慈爱,人称为他的儿女
福 音:(若10:11-18):耶稣是善牧
中国文化: 子墨子闻之,起於鲁,行十日十夜,而至於郢,见公输 盤。墨子摩顶放踵,利天下而为之。
治於神者,众不知其功;争於明者,众人知之。
杜甫:百姓疮痍,诗中圣哲;民间疾苦,笔底波澜。
杜甫:铁肩担道义,白首写苍生。

「我是善牧,善牧为羊舍命。佣工不是牧人,羊也不是他自己的,他看见狼来了,就抛弃羊群逃跑了,狼就抓住羊,把羊群赶散;因为他是佣工,对羊漠不关心。我是善牧,我认识我的羊,我的羊也认识我,正如父认识我,我也认识父一样,并且我为羊舍命。」
(若10:11-15)

圣经多次称天主为「牧者」,著名的圣咏廿三篇第一句话就是:「上主是我的牧者,我实在一无所缺。」依撒意亚先知也说:「上主必如牧人,牧放自己的羊群,以自己的手臂集合小羊,把它们抱在自己的怀中。」(依40:11)

当然,并不是所有看羊的都是好牧者,耶稣就说過:「佣工不是牧人,羊也不是他自己的,他看见狼来了,就抛弃羊群逃跑了;因为他是佣工,对羊漠不关心。

这些都是伪牧者、假牧童。对他们,厄则克耳先知用十分严厉的话加以責斥:「祸哉以色列的牧者!你们只知牧养自己。你们吃羊奶,穿羊毛衣,宰肥羊,却不牧养羊群。瘦弱的,你们不扶养;患病的,你们不醫治;受伤的,你们不包扎;迷路的,你们不领回。因为没有牧人,羊都四散了;羊四散后,便成了一切野兽的食物。」(则34:2-5)

真正的善牧又是怎样的呢?厄则克耳先知这样形容:「我要亲自去寻找我的羊,我要亲自照顾我的羊。我要把那些曾在阴云和黑暗之日四散在各地的羊,从那些地方救回来。……失落的,我要寻找;迷路的,我要领回;受伤的,我要包扎;病弱的,我要疗养;肥胖和强壮的,我要看守;我要按正义牧放他们。」(则34:11-16)

在真真假假的善牧之间,耶稣是真正的善牧,而且更是善牧之最:「我是善牧,我认识我的羊,我的羊也认识我,正如父认识我,我也认识父一样,并且我为羊舍命。」(若10:14-15)

耶稣把自己与羊的关系,比作自己与天父的关系,这是一种至高无上的极亲密关系。亦因为有了这种关系,所以耶稣甘心为羊舍生。所以他说:「谁也不能夺去我的生命,是我甘心情願舍弃的。」(若10:18)

说到肯为别人而牺牲的人,在中国除了孔子外,我想到了墨子。

有一次,强大的楚国因公输盤的帮助,要建造云梯攻打弱小的宋国。「子墨子闻之,起於鲁,行十日十夜,而至於郢,见公输盤。」(墨子:公输)为了帮助宋国,他行了十日十夜,可谓任劳任怨之至。终於他成功地「止楚攻宋」,让宋国逃過了一场大灾劫。

这個墨子是一個实行家,他以具体的行动去说明他对世界、对人民、对苍生的爱。为了人民的福祉,他什么都肯作。他是一個「摩顶放踵,利天下而为之」的人,他的精神与为羊舍生的善牧,不遑多让。

这個止楚攻宋的故事还有一個很有趣的结尾。当墨子做了这样的一件大好事之后,要回去,路過宋国??这個被他在无形中拯救了的宋国??宋国的守门人却不让他进去。墨子就感慨的说:「治於神者(无形中建立神奇功迹的人),众不知其功;争於明者(表面上做了一些事,斤斤计较声名的人),众人知之

像墨子这样的人,他的功劳别人都不知道;不過,即使他的功劳并非写在史册上,也未必被众人知晓,但其实,一切已经是写在他的整個生命上。

有人这样形容诗圣杜甫:「百姓疮痍,诗中圣哲;民间疾苦,笔底波澜」;他的一生,就是「铁肩担道义,白首写苍生」,他写的是别人,他写的也是他自己。他自己就是一部书:一部毕生作人民喉舌、为人民请命的书。

耶稣是一部书;墨子、杜甫也是一部书。在今天为圣召祈祷時,让我们也为一切献身於事主爱人的人祈祷,期望所有的圣召追随者,本身都是一部书,让我们读到:人如何可以为别人而存在,人如何可以做善牧。

我们希望所有善牧脸上的皱纹,都成为可阅读的文字,并让他们的白发,写出了他们作善牧的一生。

Fourth Sunday of Easter

A White-haired Man Writes about Life

First Reading ( Acts 4:8-12) : Aside from Jesus there is no other salvation
Second Reading ( 1 Jn 3:1-2) :Because of the Father's love we are called God's children
Gospel ( Jn 10:11-18 ) : Jesus is the Good Shepherd

Chinese Classics:
“Mocius heard this and he started off from Lao. After walking ten days and nights, he arrived at Yep and met with Kung Shu Pun. (1)
From head to foot Mocius would do whatever is good for the world.(2)

“Those who work quietly yet perform wonders, often remain unknown by others. Those who boast loudly about what they do are known by all. (3)
-“Du Fu: “With the stroke of his pen, this white-haired man wrote about life and humankind, about the sores and disfiguration of the people, about the ills and sufferings of humankind. He spent his whole life shouldering the championship of righteousness and justice.”(4)

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, which is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away – and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.” (Jn 10:11–15)

God is frequently called 'shepherd' in the Bible. The first line of the well-known Psalm 23 says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Ps 23:1) The prophet Isaiah said, “He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom.” (Is 40:11)

Of course, not all those who look after the sheep are good shepherds. Jesus said, “The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves he sheep and runs away. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.” All of these are imitators, false shepherds.

The prophet Ezekiel chastised them sternly, “Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and scattered, they became food for all the wild animals.” (Ezek 34:2-5)

Who is the truly good shepherd? The prophet Ezekiel has this description, “I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness... I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.”(Ezek 34:11-16)_

Among genuine and false shepherds, Jesus was truly the good shepherd, certainly the best of all. “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.”(Jn. 10: 114-15)


Jesus likens the relationship between himself and the sheep to the relationship between himself and His Father. This is the greatest, the most intimate relationship. Because of this relationship, Jesus was willing to sacrifice himself for the sheep. So he said, “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” (Jn 10:18)

When we talk about a person willing to sacrifice himself for others, besides Confucius I am reminded also of Mocius. Once a strong country, Cho wanted to build a high tower to attack the much weaker country of Song, assisted by Kung Shu Pun. “Mocius heard it and started off from Lao. After walking ten days and nights, he arrived at Yep and met with Kung Shu Pun.” (Mocius, Kung Shu.)(1) To help Song, he walked ten days and nights, never complaining of the hardship. He succeeded in 'convincing Cho not to attack Song' and so helped the country of Song to escape a great calamity.

Mocius was indeed a person of action. He showed his love for the world, for humankind and for life itself, with concrete actions. For the good of the people, he was willing to do anything. He was a person who, “from head to foot, would do whatever is good for the world.”(2) His spirit was not very different from that of the good Shepherd who sacrificed his life for his sheep.

There is an interesting ending to the above story about preventing Cho from attacking Song. After Mocius had performed such a great deed, he returned home. His route took him through Song - the country which he had really saved by performing a great deed. The guards at the gate to Song refused him entry into the country. Mocius sighed deeply and said, “Those who work quietly yet perform wonders, often remain unknown to others; those who boast loudly about what they do are known by all.”(3) The accomplishments of a person like Mocius are often unknown to others. But even if the deeds were not recorded in history books, nor people understand their real meaning, Mocius' good deeds were written into the book of his life.

There is another example. This is how people spoke of the 'Sage of Poetry' Du Fu: “With the stroke of his pen, this white-haired man wrote about life ad humankind, about the sores and disfiguration of the people, about the ills and sufferings of humankind. He spent his whole life shouldering the championship of righteousness and justice.” (4) He wrote about other people, but he was also writing about himself. He himself was a book- one who throughout his life was a 'voice' for the people, a book that pleaded for the lives of the people.

Jesus too was a book, as Mocius and Du Fu were books. As we pray today for vocations, let us also pray for those who dedicate themselves to love of God and care for others. Let us hope that the lives of all who follow these vocations will be books, where we can read about how people can live for others, how they can be good shepherds.

Let us hope too that any 'wrinkles' on the faces of the good shepherds will become readable lines. And may their white hairs clearly show how they have been good shepherds throughout their lives.

(1)子墨子聞之,起於魯,行十日十夜,而至於郢,見公輸 盤。
(2) 墨子摩頂放踵,利天下而為之。
(3)治於神者,眾不知其功;爭於明者,眾人知之。
(4)杜甫:百姓瘡痍,詩中聖哲;民間疾苦,筆底波瀾。鐵肩擔道義,白首寫蒼生。

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2021