復活5: 血濃於水,水濃於血 2021年05月02日


復活期第五主日

一個大生命

讀經一:(宗9:26-31):掃祿加入門徒的行列
讀經二:(若一3:18-24):在天主內守誡命
福 音:(若15:1-8):葡萄樹的比喻
中國文化: 天人合一。民胞物與。風簷展書讀,古道照顏色。

我是葡萄樹,你們是枝條;誰住在我內,我也住在他內,他就結許多果實,因為離開了我,你們什麼也做不成……。只要你們多結果實,成為我的門徒,我父便受到光榮。
(若15:5-8)

我很想構思一下、想像一下,耶穌在我們所有人之內,我們所有人又都在耶穌之內,那是一幅什麼樣的圖畫?一種什麼樣的境界?我們所有人的關係,又會是怎樣的呢?

我認為耶穌在這裡說的「葡萄樹」,並不只是一個比喻;他也不只是要藉此而誇張地描寫人類友愛的深度和廣度。他說的也是一種實實在在的、生命的真實境況,一種全人類的大聯繫,一個大生命。

當然,這個大生命的泉源就是天父,而中心就是基督耶穌:「我是真葡萄樹,我父是園丁。」(若15:1)

如果我們要生活在這個大生命中,就必須和耶穌連結在一起:「枝條若不連接著葡萄樹,靠自己就不能結果實;同樣,你們若不住在我內,也不能結果實。」(若15:4)

這種連結不只是對耶穌有表面的「信」,因為耶穌說過:「不是凡向我說主啊!主啊!的人,就能進天國;而是那承行我在天之父旨意的人,才能進天國。」(瑪7:21)耶穌說得很明白,單單倚靠外表的「信」,並不能和耶穌連結在一起,也不能和他一起共享這個大生命。

今天的讀經若望一書也說:「我們要以行動和真誠去愛人,不可只用言語和口舌。……天主的命令,是要我們信他聖子耶穌基督的名,並按照他的吩咐,彼此相愛。誰遵守天主的命令,就住在天主內,天主也住在他內。」(若一3:18-24)

若望的意思是,在「信耶穌」的同時,還要加上「按照他的吩咐,彼此相愛」。這才是基督徒的信仰。

耶穌的吩咐、天主的命令、整本聖經的最重要精神,都可以歸結在一個「愛」字之內。若望一書甚至說:「天主就是愛」,而存留在愛內的人,就存留在天主內。(若一4:7)

愛不是基督徒的專利,天主也不只是基督徒的天主。

天主在創造人時,已在他心中植下了生命的、愛的種子;天主在創造人時,已決定了要救贖人,救贖一切的人;當然,這是全靠基督的救贖之功。有些人的得救是在信仰上回應了上主,有些人的得救是在生活上和良心上回應了上主。但上述兩種人都要用愛去回應,以真實的行動去愛人,「按天主的命令、照天主的吩咐」去愛人。

是愛把我們和耶穌這株真葡萄樹連在一起,也是這個愛使我們彼此之間連在一起。

我們有理由相信,一切「懷善意的人」,無論他們是否基督徒,都可以連在耶穌這株葡萄樹上,而大家也可以在耶穌內彼此相連、共融、團結。

中國的古聖先賢追求天人合一,嚮往民胞物與,他們認為人可以超越時空的限制,和古人神交,「風簷展書讀,古道照顏色」,就是其中的一種境界。

在葡萄樹的意象中,我們要同時想到兩件事。首先當然是耶穌,以及我們和耶穌的聯繫。但我們還應想到在耶穌內,我們和所有人的聯繫,以致整個世界中宇宙萬物間彼此的聯繫。

所以基督徒在大自然和在人群中,要感受到天地萬物和所有人,都是同屬一個大生命。人在宇宙中,宇宙在人內;自己在別人中,別人在自己內。在天主內、在基督內,人人都有一種生命的、血緣的、唇亡齒寒的、憂戚與共的關係。因此人人都是我們愛的對象。我們要張開懷抱、打開心窗,把手伸向旁人,讓我們的心,關愛一切。

如果我們有機會站在高山頂上,我們要嘗試深情地注視一切,環顧周圍、眺望遠方,並在肅穆靜默的凝視中,深深地感受到這個世界就是自己的家,是天主給我們的禮物。在和風輕拂裡,我們可以感受到天主在我們身旁噓氣如蘭,而我們正陶醉在天主的、人類的、宇宙大生命的大愛懷抱中。

复活期第五主日

一個大生命

读经一:(宗9:26-31):扫禄加入门徒的行列
读经二:(若一3:18-24):在天主内守诫命
福 音:(若15:1-8):葡萄树的比喻
中国文化: 天人合一。民胞物与。风檐展书读,古道照颜色。

我是葡萄树,你们是枝条;谁住在我内,我也住在他内,他就结许多果实,因为離開了我,你们什么也做不成……。只要你们多结果实,成为我的门徒,我父便受到光荣。
(若15:5-8)

我很想构思一下、想像一下,耶稣在我们所有人之内,我们所有人又都在耶稣之内,那是一幅什么样的图画?一种什么样的境界?我们所有人的关系,又会是怎样的呢?

我认为耶稣在这里说的「葡萄树」,并不只是一個比喻;他也不只是要藉此而夸张地描写人类友爱的深度和广度。他说的也是一种实实在在的、生命的真实境况,一种全人类的大联系,一個大生命。

当然,这個大生命的泉源就是天父,而中心就是基督耶稣:「我是真葡萄树,我父是园丁。」(若15:1)

如果我们要生活在这個大生命中,就必须和耶稣连结在一起:「枝条若不连接著葡萄树,靠自己就不能结果实;同样,你们若不住在我内,也不能结果实。」(若15:4)

这种连结不只是对耶稣有表面的「信」,因为耶稣说過:「不是凡向我说主啊!主啊!的人,就能进天国;而是那承行我在天之父旨意的人,才能进天国。」(玛7:21)耶稣说得很明白,单单倚靠外表的「信」,并不能和耶稣连结在一起,也不能和他一起共享这個大生命。

今天的读经若望一书也说:「我们要以行动和真诚去爱人,不可只用言语和口舌。……天主的命令,是要我们信他圣子耶稣基督的名,并按照他的吩咐,彼此相爱。谁遵守天主的命令,就住在天主内,天主也住在他内。」(若一3:18-24)

若望的意思是,在「信耶稣」的同時,还要加上「按照他的吩咐,彼此相爱」。这才是基督徒的信仰。

耶稣的吩咐、天主的命令、整本圣经的最重要精神,都可以归结在一個「爱」字之内。若望一书甚至说:「天主就是爱」,而存留在爱内的人,就存留在天主内。(若一4:7)

爱不是基督徒的专利,天主也不只是基督徒的天主。

天主在创造人時,已在他心中植下了生命的、爱的种子;天主在创造人時,已决定了要救赎人,救赎一切的人;当然,这是全靠基督的救赎之功。有些人的得救是在信仰上回应了上主,有些人的得救是在生活上和良心上回应了上主。但上述两种人都要用爱去回应,以真实的行动去爱人,「按天主的命令、照天主的吩咐」去爱人。

是爱把我们和耶稣这株真葡萄树连在一起,也是这個爱使我们彼此之间连在一起。

我们有理由相信,一切「怀善意的人」,无论他们是否基督徒,都可以连在耶稣这株葡萄树上,而大家也可以在耶稣内彼此相连、共融、团结。

中国的古圣先贤追求天人合一,向往民胞物与,他们认为人可以超越時空的限制,和古人神交,「风檐展书读,古道照颜色」,就是其中的一种境界。

在葡萄树的意象中,我们要同時想到两件事。首先当然是耶稣,以及我们和耶稣的联系。但我们还应想到在耶稣内,我们和所有人的联系,以致整個世界中宇宙万物间彼此的联系。

所以基督徒在大自然和在人群中,要感受到天地万物和所有人,都是同属一個大生命。人在宇宙中,宇宙在人内;自己在别人中,别人在自己内。在天主内、在基督内,人人都有一种生命的、血缘的、唇亡齿寒的、忧戚与共的关系。因此人人都是我们爱的对象。我们要张開怀抱、打開心窗,把手伸向旁人,让我们的心,关爱一切。

如果我们有机会站在高山顶上,我们要尝试深情地注视一切,环顾周围、眺望遠方,并在肃穆静默的凝视中,深深地感受到这個世界就是自己的家,是天主给我们的礼物。在和风轻拂里,我们可以感受到天主在我们身旁嘘气如蘭,而我们正陶醉在天主的、人类的、宇宙大生命的大爱怀抱中。

Fifth Sunday of Easter

A Great Life

First Reading ( Acts 9:26-31 ) : Paul became one of the apostles
Second Reading ( 1 Jn 3:18-24 ) : In God we keep God's commandments
Gospel ( Jn 15:1-8 ) : The parable of the vine and branches

Chinese classics:
“Heaven and humans are united as one.”(1)
“All people are my brothers and sisters; all created things are my companions.”(2)
“When I am reading passages from the sages, their wisdom enlightens my mind.” (3)

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing... My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” (Jn 15: 5-8)

I try to imagine what kind of a picture we could draw to show that Jesus is in us all and we are all in Jesus. What kind of a situation would that be? What would our relationship with each other be?

I think that when Jesus spoke of the 'vine and branches' it wasn't just a parable. Nor was he just depicting the depth of human love in an exaggerated manner. What he said was real. He was revealing a real life situation, a GREAT LIFE in which the whole of humanity is tied. Of course the source of this great life is the Father and its center is Christ Jesus “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.” (Jn 15:1)

If we want to live within this one Great Life, we must be united closely to Jesus: “As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.”(Jn 15:4) This union is not just 'superficial faith' in Jesus, for he said, “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”(Mt 7:21) Jesus made it very clear that if we rely only on 'superficial faith,' we cannot be united closely to him, nor with him be part of that one GREAT LIFE.

In today's second Reading from 1 John, the author says, “Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action... this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them.” (1 Jn 3:18-24). John's meaning is that at the same time as we 'believe in Jesus' we must add, 'do as Jesus told us, love one another'. Only that is Christian faith.

Jesus' entire message, God's commandment, the most important spirit of the entire Bible, can be summarized in the one word, “Love.” 1 John says simply, “God is love”(1 Jn 4:7). Those who abide in love, abide in God. Love is not the prerogative of Christians alone, nor is God the God of Christians only.

When God created human beings, he placed within each one of us the seed of life and love. At the time of creation God had already determined to save all of humankind; of course this depends entirely on the merits of Christ. Some people are saved through their faith in the Lord, some through the response of their life and conscience. But both groups respond by love which shows in their actions and by their willingness to 'abide by God's command' to love others. It is love that makes us one with Jesus as the vine with the branches, and it is this same love that unites us one with the other. We have reason to believe that 'all persons of good will,' whether Christian or not, can be united to Jesus, the vine, and that in Jesus all people can be united with each other.

The Chinese sages sought earnestly for “Heaven and humankind united as one.”(1) The concept that “all people are my brothers and sisters and all created things are my companions,”(2) appealed to them. They believed that we human beings could transcend the limitations of space and time and commune in spirit with the sages of ancient times. “When I am reading passages from the sages, their wisdom enlightens my mind.” (3)

In the image of the vine and branches, we should think of two concepts simultaneously. First of course is Jesus and our union with him. But we also should think that in our union with Jesus we are also united with all peoples and created matter in the universe. Therefore, Christians should be aware that nature and all peoples and created matter are part of that one GREAT LIFE. Human beings within the universe, the universe united with human beings; ourselves united with other people and they with us. In God and in Christ, we all partake of the one Life, “blood and teeth,” body and soul, joy and suffering. All people, then, are the object of our love. We must open our hearts and our lives, reach out to all in love.

If we have an opportunity to stand at the top of a high mountain, we can look all around and see far off. We can almost 'taste' the great expanse and appreciate anew that this earth is our home and that it is a gift from God. And in the soft blowing of the breeze we can feel we are being touched by the breath of God. And in God and all peoples and created things we are being taken up into the bosom of the boundless love of this one GREAT LIFE.

(1)天人合一。
(2)民胞物與。
(3)風簷展書讀,古道照顏色。

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


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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2021