常年19:到老猶似初相見 2022年08月07日


常年期第十九主日

清醒面對死亡,精明管理世物

讀經一:(智18:6-9):以民堅信得救
讀經二:(希11:1-2,8-19):信德指引人渴望天上的家鄉
福 音:(路12:32-48):真正的寶藏,醒寤的勸言
中國文化:天詔須來,咸返其本;靈魂歸去,長依厥親。

小小的羊群,你們不要害怕!因為你們的父樂意把天國賜給你們。該變賣你們所有的去賙濟窮人,為自己預備永不損壞的錢囊,在天上積蓄用不盡的寶藏;在那裡,沒有賊偷,沒有蟲蛀。你們要束上腰,點著燈,好像僕人等候主人由婚宴回來,主人一敲門,就立刻給他開門。主人進來,看見那些僕人還醒著,他們真有福了。究竟誰是那忠信而精明的管家呢?主人來到時,看見他這樣行事,那僕人真有福了。
(路12:32-43節錄)

今天的福音說了兩次「真有福了」。但誰才是真有福的呢?是那些懂得「投資」、在天上積蓄寶藏,生活清醒、辦事精明的人,他們才是真有福的。

生活清醒,就是一生保持高度的警覺,直到主召回我們的時刻;辦事精明,就是做好一切事情,盡忠職守,謹小慎微,做個好管家。

在農業社會中,人們日出而作、日入而息,晚上都把腰帶解開而把燈點亮。第二天,他們起床,束起腰,準備去田間工作,才把燈關上。

束腰是白天的警醒,點燈是黑夜的警醒。束腰、點燈,就是指一個人在白天或黑夜,都同樣保持高度的警醒。

警醒,因為要等待,等待主人的到來,即等待死亡時天主對我們的召叫。

有一個墳場,門口有一副這樣的對聯:

天詔須來,咸返其本;靈魂歸去,長依厥親。

但「天詔」何時來呢?我們不知道。我們不知道主人什麼時候要來,也不知道他什麼時候會從人間把我們召回到他身邊。他隨時都可能來。我們做僕人的,必須在主人來時仍然醒著。「無論他深夜回來或黎明前回來,如果看見他們仍然醒著,那些僕人真有福了……你們也應當準備好,因為在你們想不到的時候,人子就來了。」(路12:38-40)

在今天的福音中,似乎很強調這個「想不到」的因素,所以耶穌後來又再重複的說:「如果那個僕人心裡想:『我的主人不會很快回來』,便動手毆打男女僕人,只顧吃喝酗酒。在他料想不到的日子,也不知道的時刻,主人就回來了。」(路12:45-46)

我自九八年起,便每個月都往中國大陸,為那裡的教會作點事。我每次坐長途汽車,都會看到車禍;真不知哪一次的禍事會臨到我身上。因此我每次去大陸,都想這可能是最後一次,所以,我也要每次都準備好,不讓我在遇到意外時,留下一些應完成而未完成的事。

傳說有一天,年輕的聖類斯在打球時,有人給他開玩笑:「類斯,假如天主今天晚上就要收回你的靈魂,你現在要做什麼呢?」「我要繼續打球!」類斯平靜地說。

是的,要繼續打球!因為我們應該在天主內完成所有應該做的事,無論是吃飯、睡覺、祈禱、工作、遊戲,無論是家庭的瑣事,或者是社會的責任,都要在天主內完成。這一切都是準備我們去見天主的工作。

作為一個好管家,我們就要做好每一件事、吃好每一口飯、唸好每一句經、睡好每一個覺,而且要專注、投入、用心、付出感情,還要快快樂樂的去作。這樣,我們就可以隨時而無憾地去見天主。

有人說,人生好像是走在一條單行道上,這條路的盡頭就是死亡。我們愈老,身體就愈衰退;我們正在面對著生命的、尤其是肉身的「解體」!但我們除肉身之外,還有一個更寶貴的靈魂!這個靈魂不是肉體所能完全規範的。即使到了生命的盡頭,我們的肉體已經油盡燈枯了,但我們的心靈仍然可以十分清醒,並能以平靜、欣悅、無愧的心,去接受天主的安排。這就是「善終」。

人生的盡頭,也應是生命的頂峰。這時我們特別需要天主與我們同在。病人傅油聖事,就是基督陪我們走過人生最後一程的時刻。只要我們一生清醒地走過,忠信地作過好管家,我們將會在生命的盡頭,看到和進入那永恆的光明、真福之境。

那時,我們還會帶著我們一生的「投資」,去向天主交代。在那個天主的國裡,我們將獲得的是「永不損壞的錢囊,用之不盡的寶藏」,而且,在那裡我們的寶藏十分安全,「沒有賊偷、沒有蟲蛀」。

常年期第十九主日

清醒面对死亡,精明管理世物

读经一:(智18:6-9):以民坚信得救
读经二:(希11:1-2,8-19):信德指引人渴望天上的家乡
福 音:(路12:32-48):真正的宝藏,醒寤的劝言
中国文化:天诏须来,咸返其本;灵魂归去,长依厥亲。

小小的羊群,你们不要害怕!因为你们的父乐意把天国赐给你们。該变卖你们所有的去周济穷人,为自己预备永不损坏的钱囊,在天上积蓄用不尽的宝藏;在那里,没有贼偷,没有虫蛀。你们要束上腰,点著灯,好像仆人等候主人由婚宴回来,主人一敲门,就立刻给他開门。主人进来,看见那些仆人还醒著,他们真有福了。究竟谁是那忠信而精明的管家呢?主人来到時,看见他这样行事,那仆人真有福了。
(路12:32-43节录)

今天的福音说了两次「真有福了」。但谁才是真有福的呢?是那些懂得「投资」、在天上积蓄宝藏,生活清醒、办事精明的人,他们才是真有福的。

生活清醒,就是一生保持高度的警觉,直到主召回我们的時刻;办事精明,就是做好一切事情,尽忠职守,谨小慎微,做個好管家。

在农业社会中,人们日出而作、日入而息,晚上都把腰带解開而把灯点亮。第二天,他们起床,束起腰,准备去田间工作,才把灯关上。

束腰是白天的警醒,点灯是黑夜的警醒。束腰、点灯,就是指一個人在白天或黑夜,都同样保持高度的警醒。

警醒,因为要等待,等待主人的到来,即等待死亡時天主对我们的召叫。

有一個坟场,门口有一副这样的对联:

天诏须来,咸返其本;灵魂归去,长依厥亲。

但「天诏」何時来呢?我们不知道。我们不知道主人什么時候要来,也不知道他什么時候会从人间把我们召回到他身边。他随時都可能来。我们做仆人的,必须在主人来時仍然醒著。「无论他深夜回来或黎明前回来,如果看见他们仍然醒著,那些仆人真有福了……你们也应当准备好,因为在你们想不到的時候,人子就来了。」(路12:38-40)

在今天的福音中,似乎很强调这個「想不到」的因素,所以耶稣后来又再重复的说:「如果那個仆人心里想:『我的主人不会很快回来』,便动手殴打男女仆人,只顾吃喝酗酒。在他料想不到的日子,也不知道的時刻,主人就回来了。」(路12:45-46)

我自九八年起,便每個月都往中国大陆,为那里的教会作点事。我每次坐长途汽车,都会看到车祸;真不知哪一次的祸事会临到我身上。因此我每次去大陆,都想这可能是最后一次,所以,我也要每次都准备好,不让我在遇到意外時,留下一些应完成而未完成的事。

传说有一天,年轻的圣类斯在打球時,有人给他開玩笑:「类斯,假如天主今天晚上就要收回你的灵魂,你现在要做什么呢?」「我要继续打球!」类斯平静地说。

是的,要继续打球!因为我们应該在天主内完成所有应該做的事,无论是吃饭、睡觉、祈祷、工作、游戏,无论是家庭的琐事,或者是社会的責任,都要在天主内完成。这一切都是准备我们去见天主的工作。

作为一個好管家,我们就要做好每一件事、吃好每一口饭、念好每一句经、睡好每一個觉,而且要专注、投入、用心、付出感情,还要快快乐乐的去作。这样,我们就可以随時而无憾地去见天主。

有人说,人生好像是走在一条单行道上,这条路的尽头就是死亡。我们愈老,身体就愈衰退;我们正在面对著生命的、尤其是肉身的「解体」!但我们除肉身之外,还有一個更宝贵的灵魂!这個灵魂不是肉体所能完全规范的。即使到了生命的尽头,我们的肉体已经油尽灯枯了,但我们的心灵仍然可以十分清醒,并能以平静、欣悦、无愧的心,去接受天主的安排。这就是「善终」。

人生的尽头,也应是生命的顶峰。这時我们特别需要天主与我们同在。病人傅油圣事,就是基督陪我们走過人生最后一程的時刻。只要我们一生清醒地走過,忠信地作過好管家,我们将会在生命的尽头,看到和进入那永恒的光明、真福之境。

那時,我们还会带著我们一生的「投资」,去向天主交代。在那個天主的国里,我们将获得的是「永不损坏的钱囊,用之不尽的宝藏」,而且,在那里我们的宝藏十分安全,「没有贼偷、没有虫蛀」。

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Face Death with a Clear Mind, Shrewdly Manage Earthly Possessions

First Reading (Wis 18: 6-9): The Israelites firmly believed they would be saved
Second Reading (Heb 11: 1-2, 8-19): Faith guides us to desire a heavenly home
Gospel (Lk 12: 32-48): True treasure and astute counsel
Chinese classics:
-“The heavenly edict has come; all must return to their roots. The spirit has departed, forever to rest with its parent.”
 (1)

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes. Who then is the faithful and prudent manager? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. (Lk 12: 32-43 summarized)

Today's Gospel twice mentions ‘Blessed are they...’But who are those who are truly blessed? Those who are truly blessed are the ones who know how to ‘invest’ or store up wealth in heaven, who live prudently and with care, and are faithful stewards of the affairs of life.

A life of clear-mindedness means to always preserve a high level of vigilance until the moment the Lord calls us to Himself. It means to do all things well, to fulfill our obligations responsibly, to be prudent and careful, and be a good steward of our affairs.

In an agrarian society, people work from dawn till dusk, loosening their belts and lighting their lamps at night. The next day they rise, tie their belts and prepare to go out to the fields to work. Until once more, they extinguish the lamps.

In the day time tying their belts alerts them, at night lighting the lamps is a sign of being on their guard. To tie their belts and light their lamps really means that a person is preserving a high level of alertness at all times, both day and night.

We remain vigilant because we are waiting. We are waiting for the master to come, that is, we are waiting for death when God will call us.

At the entrance to a graveyard, there is a Chinese couplet which reads, “The heavenly edict has come, all things must return to their roots. The spirit has departed to forever rest with its parent.” (1)

But when will the “edict from heaven” come? We do not know. We do not know when the master will come or when from among others God will call us to Himself. He may come at any time. We who are servants must remain awake until the master comes. “If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves... You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” (Lk 12: 38-40)

Today's Gospel seems to emphasize the element of 'unexpectedness.' So afterwards Jesus repeated once again, If that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming’, and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know.” (Lk 12: 45-46).

Since the 1980's, I have been going to mainland China almost monthly to serve the church there. Every time I travel on the highway I see car accidents. I wonder when there will be an accident in which I am involved. So each time I go to the mainland, I think this might be the last time. So I try to prepare myself well so that if I do meet with an accident I will not have left unfinished something I should have completed.

There is a story about the young St. Aloysius Gonzaga. One day when he was playing ball, someone jokingly asked, “Aloysius, if God called you to Himself tonight, what would you do right now?” Aloysius calmly answered, “I would continue playing ball.”

Yes, continue to play ball! This is because we should finish, under God, whatever we should be doing, whether it is eating, sleeping, praying, working or playing. Whether it is a small family matter or a responsibility to society, in God we should complete them all. They are all ‘works’ that help us prepare to meet God.

To be a ‘prudent steward’ we should finish each task as well as possible, consume each meal properly, say every prayer as best we can, sleep as soundly as possible.

Moreover, we should enter fully and happily into all that we are called to do with attentiveness, energy, enthusiasm and love. In such a way we can meet God at any time without regret.

Some people say life is like walking on a one-way route the end of which is death. As we grow older our bodies grow weaker; we begin to face some deterioration, especially physical, in our lives. But apart from our bodies, we still have an even more precious soul! And these souls cannot be totally restricted by our bodies. That is to say, when the 'lamp' of physical life is about to burn out, our spirits can still be quite clear, calm, joyful, content and accepting of God's plan for us. That is what we call a 'good' or 'peaceful' end.

.The end of life should be the climax of our lives. At that moment what we especially need is that God be with us. The “Sacrament of the Sick” is a time for Christ to accompany us on our final earthly journey. If we have lived life prudently and have been faithful stewards, at the end of this life we will behold and enter into the bright eternal land of blessedness.

When that time comes, we will render an account and present our lifelong 'investment' to God. What we will receive in the Kingdom of God is “a purse that does not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven.” Furthermore, our treasure is entirely safe because “no thief and no moth can destroy it.


(1)天詔須來,咸返其本;靈魂歸去,長依厥親。

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 2021