耶穌升天節:為福音作證 2021年05月16日


耶穌升天節

對牛彈琴

讀經一:(宗1:1-11):耶穌升天
讀經二:(弗4:1-13):應保持教會的合一
福 音:(谷16:15-20):派遣宗徒往訓萬民
中國文化: 下學而上達。 公明儀為彈清角之操,牛伏食如故。非牛不聞,不合其耳矣。轉為蚊虻之聲,孤犢之鳴,即掉尾奮耳,蝶躞而聽。

你們到世界各地去,向所有受造物宣傳福音,信而受洗的必得救;不信的必被定罪。……主耶穌對他們說了這些話後,就被接到天上,坐在天主的右邊。門徒出去,到處宣講福音,主與他們一同工作,並用神蹟證實所傳的道。
(谷16:15-20)

聖經很少說「傳教」,大多是說「傳福音」。但傳教和傳福音,這兩者是有分別的。

「教」指的是宗教,強調的是一個外在的、有形的組織;傳教最好的結果當然是導人「入教」。

「福音」指的是基督帶來的喜訊,強調的是一種內在的、使人生機蓬勃的基督精神;結果是導引人在不同層次上,按基督的精神而生活。這可以是由對基督思想的初步欣賞,到完全的追隨基督。

我們很容易把傳教和傳福音混淆起來,又多數是把傳教當作是傳福音;把人帶進了教會,就算是傳了福音。

在傳福音時,我們更重要的,是為福音作見證。我們要把福音說給外教人聽,也要活給外教人看,讓他們在我們的生命中,看到福音精神的可能性、可行性和真實性,也讓他們看到福音精神的偉大、崇高和美麗。

我們也要在外教人身上,發掘出福音的種子,讓他們看到,在他們身上也有基督的精神。天主放在他們生命中的一切,就是他們接受基督福音的起點。

一九八九年梵蒂岡公教教育部頒佈的文件《天主教學校的宗教幅度》,曾對傳教和傳福音兩者作過很好的分析。

文件認為公教學校的一切,都應該有「宗教幅度」,即是說要染上福音的精神,這包括學校的風氣、生活和工作,亦即是包括讀書、作業、考試、課外活動、師生關係、同輩關係……等等。用文件的話來說,就是「傳揚福音是指向人性的內在轉化和更新。」所以,傳福音是指生命的轉化。

文件繼續指出,公教學校中的宗教科,不是要教授教會內的東西,因為「宗教科與要理講授有顯著的分別。」(節66-70)宗教科的對象是外教人、是那些非天主教徒的學生,宗教科的目的,也不是要他們都成為教友;要理講授的對象則是教友。

這樣看來,傳福音的內容和範圍確實是比傳教大得多。傳福音是傳教的第一步,也是傳教的最後一步。

傳福音的目的,是使一切都浸染上基督的精神,讓人間和人生的一切,都能按天主的聖意而運作。我們要先展現出生命原有的及應有的意義和深度,讓人去度一個更豐盛的生命;如果是天主的聖意,他會入教。但入教的目的,也正是為了要延續這個更豐盛的生命!

明顯地,傳教可以用教會的語言去傳,因為是準備人入教;但傳福音則要用外教人能懂的、有共鳴的語言,並要能回應他們生命中的需要,提昇他們生命的層次,即孔子所說的「下學而上達」,達到生命的高峰。

曾有一位晋鐸不久的新神父感慨地說:「我們學過的東西,人家從來都不會問;人家現在問的,我們卻不會回答!」

傳福音不單是要傳我們想講的,也是要傳人們能懂的,和對他們有用的。

《牟子理惑論》說過一個故事,值得一切傳福者借鏡:「公明儀為彈清角之操,牛伏食如故。非牛不聞,不合其耳矣。轉為蚊虻之聲,孤犢之鳴,即掉尾奮耳,蝶躞而聽。

這個故事就叫做「對牛彈琴」。對著一頭牛,你即使能彈奏出最美妙的音樂,牛都不會欣賞;反而如果你能夠彈奏出牛虻的聲音、小牛的叫聲,卻能立刻引起牛的注意。

傳福音,亦必須由受眾能明白、能領受的,作為起點!

願意進教或真正進教的人不會很多;二千年來,信教的人亦從未佔過人類的半數。或許天主的聖意,也不是要讓全體人類都進教。但我們卻肯定要讓這個世界浸染上基督的精神、充滿著福音的活力,並成為一個正義、仁愛、和平的世界;不管人們信的是什麼。

這就是傳福音,而且要傳到天涯海角。

耶稣升天节

对牛弹琴

读经一:(宗1:1-11):耶稣升天
读经二:(弗4:1-13):应保持教会的合一
福 音:(谷16:15-20):派遣宗徒往训万民
中国文化: 下学而上达。公明仪为弹清角之操,牛伏食如故。非牛不闻,不合其耳矣。转为蚊虻之声,孤犊之鸣,即掉尾奋耳,蝶躞而听。

你们到世界各地去,向所有受造物宣传福音,信而受洗的必得救;不信的必被定罪。……主耶稣对他们说了这些话后,就被接到天上,坐在天主的右边。门徒出去,到处宣讲福音,主与他们一同工作,并用神迹证实所传的道。
(谷16:15-20)

圣经很少说「传教」,大多是说「传福音」。但传教和传福音,这两者是有分别的。

「教」指的是宗教,强调的是一個外在的、有形的组织;传教最好的结果当然是导人「入教」。

「福音」指的是基督带来的喜讯,强调的是一种内在的、使人生机蓬勃的基督精神;结果是导引人在不同层次上,按基督的精神而生活。这可以是由对基督思想的初步欣赏,到完全的追随基督。

我们很容易把传教和传福音混淆起来,又多数是把传教当作是传福音;把人带进了教会,就算是传了福音。

在传福音時,我们更重要的,是为福音作见证。我们要把福音说给外教人听,也要活给外教人看,让他们在我们的生命中,看到福音精神的可能性、可行性和真实性,也让他们看到福音精神的伟大、崇高和美麗。

我们也要在外教人身上,发掘出福音的种子,让他们看到,在他们身上也有基督的精神。天主放在他们生命中的一切,就是他们接受基督福音的起点。

一九八九年梵蒂冈公教教育部颁布的文件《天主教学校的宗教幅度》 ,曾对传教和传福音两者作過很好的分析。

文件认为公教学校的一切,都应該有「宗教幅度」,即是说要染上福音的精神,这包括学校的风气、生活和工作,亦即是包括读书、作业、考试、课外活动、师生关系、同辈关系……等等。用文件的话来说,就是「传扬福音是指向人性的内在转化和更新。」所以,传福音是指生命的转化。

文件继续指出,公教学校中的宗教科,不是要教授教会内的东西,因为「宗教科与要理讲授有显著的分别。」(节66-70)宗教科的对象是外教人、是那些非天主教徒的学生,宗教科的目的,也不是要他们都成为教友;要理讲授的对象则是教友。

这样看来,传福音的内容和范围确实是比传教大得多。传福音是传教的第一步,也是传教的最后一步。

传福音的目的,是使一切都浸染上基督的精神,让人间和人生的一切,都能按天主的圣意而运作。我们要先展现出生命原有的及应有的意义和深度,让人去度一個更丰盛的生命;如果是天主的圣意,他会入教。但入教的目的,也正是为了要延续这個更丰盛的生命!

明显地,传教可以用教会的语言去传,因为是准备人入教;但传福音则要用外教人能懂的、有共鸣的语言,并要能回应他们生命中的需要,提升他们生命的层次,即孔子所说的「下学而上达」,达到生命的高峰。

曾有一位晋铎不久的新神父感慨地说:「我们学過的东西,人家从来都不会問;人家现在問的,我们却不会回答!」

传福音不单是要传我们想讲的,也是要传人们能懂的,和对他们有用的。

《牟子理惑论》 说過一個故事,值得一切传福者借镜:「公明仪为弹清角之操,牛伏食如故。非牛不闻,不合其耳矣。转为蚊虻之声,孤犊之鸣,即掉尾奋耳,蝶躞而听。

这個故事就叫做「对牛弹琴」。对著一头牛,你即使能弹奏出最美妙的音乐,牛都不会欣赏;反而如果你能够弹奏出牛虻的声音、小牛的叫声,却能立刻引起牛的注意。

传福音,亦必须由受众能明白、能领受的,作为起点!

願意进教或真正进教的人不会很多;二千年来,信教的人亦从未占過人类的半数。或许天主的圣意,也不是要让全体人类都进教。但我们却肯定要让这個世界浸染上基督的精神、充满著福音的活力,并成为一個正义、仁爱、和平的世界;不管人们信的是什么。

这就是传福音,而且要传到天涯海角。

FEAST OF THE ASCENSION

Playing Music to the Ox

First Reading : ( Acts 1:1-11 ): The Ascension of the Lord
Second Reading : ( Eph 4:1-13 ) : We should maintain the Church's unity
Gospel : ( Mk 16:15-20 ) : Jesus sent the apostles to preach to all peoples

Chinese Classics:
- “My studies lie low and my penetration rises high.”(1)

“Gong Ming Yi played a piece of beautiful music on the horn for the ox. The ox paid no attention to him and just kept eating. It was not that the ox couldn't hear it, it was just that the music did not attract it. Gong Ming Yi changed the tune and made it sound like mosquitoes and insects and the moos of young calves. The ox immediately wagged its tail and twirled its ears, and listened attentively to the sound.”(2)

Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned... So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it. (Mk 16:15-20 )

The Scriptures seldom mention ‘preaching’, it more often talks about ‘proclaiming the gospel’. There is a difference between preaching and proclaiming the gospel. ‘Preaching’ or ‘teaching’ refers to religion; it emphasizes an external, visible organization. The best result of preaching of course is to lead people to ‘enter a religion’. The ‘Gospel’ refers to the good news of Jesus Christ. This emphasizes an interior, motivational spirit which is Christ’s spirit. The result leads people to live according to the spirit of Christ on different levels. It means that starting with an appreciation of the thinking of Christ, one proceeds to becoming a full-fledged follower of Christ.

We easily confuse preaching and proclamation of the gospel, most often equating preaching with proclaiming or evangelizing, thinking that to lead people to enter the Christian religion is the same as proclaiming the Gospel or evangelizing.

When we proclaim the Gospel, it is even more important that we witness to the Gospel. If we want to proclaim the gospel to those who are not Christian, they must be able to see it, to see in our lives the possibility and practicality, the beauty and loftiness, the greatness of the spirit of the Gospel.

We need, too, to discover seeds of the gospel in the lives of those who are not Christian, so that they can see in their own lives the spirit of Christ. All that God has put into their lives is the beginning of accepting Christ's gospel.

In the 1989 document issued by the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, “The Religious Dimension of Catholic Schools,” there is a very good analysis of the difference between preaching/teaching or catechesis, and proclaiming the Gospel or evangelization. The document states that everything in a Catholic school should relate to the Gospel and be imbued with the spirit of the Gospel. That includes the school atmosphere, life, work, study, homework, examinations, extra-curricular activities, student-teacher relations, peer relationships, and so on. In the words of the document, “Proclaiming the Gospel aims at an internal commitment and renewal of the person.” Therefore, evangelization means changing one's life.

The document continues by pointing out that the religious studies programme in a Catholic school does not mean that one must teach all of the church's doctrine because “religious studies is quite different from catechesis.” (#66-70). 95% of those being taught in the Religious Studies programme (in Hong Kong) are non-Catholic students, and it is not the main purpose that they become Catholics. For Catholic students, or for those who really want it, full catechesis is needed. From this point of view, the content for proclaiming the gospel is much broader than preaching/teaching. Proclaiming the gospel is the first and also the last step of preaching.

The purpose of proclaiming the gospel, i.e. evangelization, is so that everything will be permeated with the spirit of Christ, so that all that is part of humanity and human life will be in accordance with the will of God. We first must extend the meaning and depth of what life is and should be, so that people can have life in its fullness; if it is God’s will, they may become Christian one day. But the purpose of becoming Christian, then, is to continue this fullness of life!

Obviously, when we preach we can use formal religious language, because we are preaching to those preparing to be Christians. But when we ‘proclaim’ or ‘evangelize’, we must use language non-believers can understand and with which they can identify, that responds to the needs of their lives and at the same time raises the caliber of their lives. That is what Confucius meant by “my studies lie low and my penetration rises high” (1) –reaching the climax of life.

Once a newly-ordained priest rather emotionally said, ‘What we have learned are not the questions people ever ask; what people now ask, we are not able to answer!’ When we proclaim the gospel we not only teach what we wish to say, but what people ask and what they can understand, and what is of use to them.

There is a story in Mou Tze's Book of Reason and Perplexity, which is worthwhile for all preachers to heed. “Gong Ming Yi played a piece of beautiful music on the horn for the ox. The ox paid no attention to him and just kept eating. Not that the ox couldn't hear, it was just that the music did not appeal to it. Gong Ming Yi changed the tune and made it sound like mosquitoes and insects and the moos of young calves. The ox immediately wagged its tail and twirled its ears, and listened attentively to the sound.”(2)

This story is known as “Playing Music to the Ox.” When you play music for an animal, no matter how beautifully you play, it does not know how to appreciate it. On the other hand, if you can produce the moos of the ox or the calls of its young, you immediately will attract its attention. When proclaiming the gospel, the starting point also must be what people can understand and what they can accept at that moment!

There are not that many people who want to be or really are Christian; in the last 2000 years Christians have never been a majority of the world's population. Perhaps it is not God's will, that all humanity should be Christian. But we are certain that God wants the whole world to be filled with the spirit of Christ, full of the vitality of the gospel, and no matter what each one's belief, together to create a world of justice, compassion and peace.

This is evangelization which we must carry on even to the ‘four corners’ of the earth.

(1)下學而上達。
(2)公明儀為彈清角之操,牛伏食如故。非牛不聞,不合其耳矣。轉為蚊虻之聲,孤犢之鳴,即掉尾奮耳,蝶躞而聽。

 

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徐錦堯@fr.luketsui.idv.hk 2021