生活聖言 2014年4月份

二零一四年 生活聖言 四月份
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「我給你們一條新命令:你們該彼此相愛,如同我愛了你們。」(若 13:34)

你一定想知道耶穌甚麼時候說了這句話:那是祂在受難之前所說的。這是祂的臨別贈言中的一句話,也就是祂的遺言。因此,你可以想像這句話是多麼的重要!

假如我們不能忘記父親臨死前的遺言,那麼我們對於「一位天主」所留下的贈言,更應怎樣加以重視呢?我們要非常珍惜這句話,並一起設法去瞭解其中的含意。

「我給你們一條新命令:你們該彼此相愛,如同我愛了你們。」

既然耶穌快將要死,所以祂說的話也反映著那即將發生的事。事實上,祂那近在眉睫的死亡要求祂解決一個問題:祂怎樣才能存留于門徒中間,使得教會能不斷發展?當然你也知道耶穌臨在於聖事性的禮儀中,例如在彌撒中,祂親臨在聖體內。不但如此,當我們「彼此相愛」時,祂也親臨我們中間,因為祂說過:「那裏有兩或三個人,因我的名字聚在一起(而這必有賴於互愛) ,我就在他們中間。」(瑪 18:20) 為此,當團體中有互愛存在時,耶穌便有效地臨現團體中。祂還能透過這團體向世界顯示自己,並繼續影響世界。

這不是一件令人嚮往的事嗎?難道你不切望立即與你身旁的基督徒一起生活出這份愛嗎?這一句我們正在探討的聖言是聖若望宗徒所記載的。他認為這條互愛的命令是聖教會至高的誡命。教會的聖召就是要成為共融合一的團體。

「我給你們一條新命令:你們該彼此相愛,如同我愛了你們。」

事實上,耶穌接著說:「如果你們之間彼此相愛,世人因此就可認出你們是我的門徒。」(若 13:35) 所以,如果你想分辨出基督門徒的真正身份,假如你要知道他們的標記,你便要看看他們有沒有實踐這「彼此相愛」的命令。基督徒與別不同的地方,就在於這標記。要是缺少了這份愛,世人就不能在教會中認出耶穌了。

「我給你們一條新命令:你們該彼此相愛,如同我愛了你們。」

互愛能滋長合一。那麼,合一又能做些甚麼呢?耶穌接著說:「願他們合而為一,好叫世界相信。」(若 17:21)合一把基督的臨在昭示出來,吸引世人去追隨基督。世人看見合一,看見互愛,便會相信祂。

「我給你們一條新命令:你們該彼此相愛,如同我愛了你們。」

在那臨別贈言中,耶穌說:這是「他的」命令。是「他的」,所以也是祂所特別喜歡的命令。你不可以單單把它看作一條規則、律例或命令。其實耶穌想向你展示一種新的生活方式,並告訴你怎樣去令你的生存變得有意義。初期的基督徒就以這條命令作為他們生活的基礎。伯多祿說:「最重要的是:你們應該彼此熱切相愛。」(伯前 4:8)那麼,在工作之前、讀書之前,或參與彌撒之前,你都要檢討一下在你和與你一起生活的人之間,互愛是否成了維繫彼此關係的主要原則。假如有這個基礎的話,你所做的一切便有價值。否則,一切都不會被上主所悅納。

「我給你們一條新命令:你們該彼此相愛,如同我愛了你們。」

此外,耶穌也告訴你這條誡命是「新的」。

這有甚麼意思?難道從來沒有人認識過這條命令?不!「新的」意思是指適合於「新的時代」。那又是指甚麼而言呢?且聽,耶穌為了我們而死。所以,祂實在愛我們愛到極點。那麼祂的愛是怎樣的呢?當然不像我們的愛。祂的愛是「神聖的」,因為祂說:「正如父愛了我,同樣我也愛了你們。」(若 15:9)因此,祂對我們的那一份愛,就是聖父與聖子之間同一的愛。我們現在就該以相同的愛去彼此相愛,好能實現這一條「新的誡命」。

可是,單以人的身份我們並不擁有所存在的愛。可是我們該慶倖,因為身為基督徒,我們已領受了這份愛。是誰賜給我們呢?是聖神把它灌注到我們心中和所有的信徒的心坎裏。透過擁有這份唯一和神聖的愛,在聖父、聖子和我們基督徒之間便有一份親情存在。這份愛引導我們進入聖三奧秘的生活中,使我們成為天主的子女。這份愛彷佛一股強流,把天和地串連在一起,既將基督徒的團體納入天主的神聖境界,又讓天上的生活透過那懂得互愛的信徒而臨現於人間。

你不覺得這樁事實既神聖而又美妙嗎?你不覺得基督徒的生活異常令人心怡神往嗎?

盧嘉勒

生活聖言 (2014年2月)

「心裡潔淨的人是有福的,因為他們要看見天主。」(瑪5:8)

耶穌以山中聖訓作為祂宣講的開始。按照一般以色列師傅的做法,耶穌坐在葛法翁附近的山崗上,面對著提比利亞湖,向群眾宣佈真福八端。在舊約書中「有福」這個詞語已經出現過多次,用來讚揚那些以不同方式實踐上主話語的人。
關於耶穌的「真福」,門徒雖然已經有所認識,但他們還是第一次聽到心裡潔淨的人,不單只像聖詠中所頌唱的,能登上上主的聖山(參閱聖詠 24:4),他甚至還可以看見天主。究竟這麼卓越的潔淨是怎樣的,以致能得到這麼大的賞報?耶穌在以後的宣講中亦多次有所解釋。因此,讓我們按部就班去探討,使能從潔淨的泉源中找出它真正的含意。

「心裡潔淨的人是有福的,因為他們要看見天主。」

首先,按照耶穌的指示,有一種得到「潔淨」的最佳方法:「你們因我對你們所講的話,已是清潔的了。」(若15:3)因此,使人心靈得到潔淨的,最重要的不在於儀式,而在於祂所說的話。祂的話和人的言詞不同。這些「話」中有基督的臨在,就如同祂用另一個方式臨在於聖體內一樣。透過祂的話語,基督進入我們的內心。假如我們讓這些「話」產生效果,它便會把我們從罪惡中解放出來,使我們心靈純潔。
因此,心靈潔淨源於活出耶穌的「話語」,因為耶穌的一切教訓都能令人從種種依戀中擺脫出來。但假如人的心不歸向天主,而他又不遵守天主的教導,這些依戀必然使他跌倒。我們所依戀的可以包括世物、人,以及自己。可是,如果我們全心歸向天主,其他一切必會消失,再不會構成不良的影響。
為了得到一些成效,我們可以每天多次對耶穌、對天主重複聖詠的呼求,說:「唯有祢是我的上主,唯有祢是我的幸福。」(聖詠 24:4)讓我們嘗試重複這樣做:當我們的心被各種依戀牽引到一些影像,或某種感覺和情慾,因而令我們的善念受到蒙蔽,使我們失去自由的時候,我們更需要這樣做。
我們會傾向於瀏覽某些商業招牌及廣告、或依戀某些電視節目嗎?那麼,我們要說:不,「唯有祢是我的上主,唯有祢是我的幸福」,以重新宣示我們對天主的愛,作為走出自我的第一步。如此,我們必會達到心靈潔淨。
我們可曾發覺某人或某些活動,會成為我們和天主之間的一種障礙,因而破壞我們和祂的關係嗎?這時我們應向祂重複說:「唯有祢是我的上主,唯有祢是我的幸福。」這能幫助我們煉淨內心的意向,並再次尋獲內在的自由。

「心裡潔淨的人是有福的,因為他們要看見天主。」

實踐耶穌的話會令我們獲得自由和潔淨,因為祂的話就是愛。愛有潔淨的功效,因為它的神聖火焰能潔淨我們的意念和整個內心。按照聖經所載,人的「心」就是理智和意志最深的居處。
但還有一種愛是耶穌命令我們去實踐,並能使我們活出這種真福的,那就是互愛,即以耶穌為例,能隨時準備為別人付出性命的愛。互愛能創造一股新思潮、帶出交流和營造氣氛,令人體驗到一種清澈和純潔的氣質,因為它具有天主的臨在,而只有祂的臨在才能夠在我們內締造一顆潔淨的心(參閱聖詠 50:12)。藉著活出互愛,天主的話自然會產生潔淨和聖化的效果。
孤獨地生活的人,沒有能力長期抗拒世俗的誘惑,但生活在互愛中的人卻能夠找到健康的環境,可以保持自己心靈潔淨和真實的基督徒生活品質。

「心裡潔淨的人是有福的,因為他們要看見天主。」

這種經過不斷努力而獲得的潔淨能產生以下的果實:它使我們能夠「看見」天主,也就是明白祂在我們的生命和歷史中的工作,能聆聽祂在我們內心的聲音,能夠體驗祂在窮人身上、在聖體及聖言中的臨在,而祂又臨現於弟兄的共融中以及教會內。
雖然,我們在現世生活中對天主的體驗,「只是憑信德往來,並非憑目睹」(格前5:7),但我們已經確實地預嚐到祂的臨現,直到我們將來能永遠「面對面的觀看」祂(格後13:12)。

盧嘉勒

生活聖言 (2012年8月)

「凡在人前承認我的,我在天上的父前也必承認他,但誰若在人前否認我,我在我天上的父前也必否認他。」(瑪10:32- 33 )

這句話能為所有基督徒帶來極大的安慰與鼓勵。

耶穌以這句話來勸勉我們,要貫徹始終地活出我們對祂的信仰,因為我們永生的目標將取決於我們在今世以怎樣的態度去對待基督。如果我們在人前承認祂,祂曾經說過,這種行動將會成為祂在天父面前承認我們的條件。但是,如果我們在人前否認祂,祂亦會在天父前否認我們。

「凡在人前承認我的,我在天上的父前也必承認他,但誰若在人前否認我,我在我天上的父前也必否認他。」

耶穌在這裡提醒我們,今世終結時將要獲得的償報或懲罰,因為祂的確愛著我們。一位教父曾說過,有時候,對懲罰的恐懼比對償報的嚮往為我們更有效果。因此,祂一方面吸引我們嚮往那無窮的褔樂,但同時,為了拯救我們,祂也令我們對永罰產生畏懼。

其實,耶穌所關心的,只是我們能否與天主永遠在一起,這是唯一重要的事,更是我們生存的主要目的。事實上,唯獨與天主一起,我們才能達到自我滿全的實現,才能滿足我們的一切願望。所以,耶穌勸勉我們在今世就要『承認祂』。但如果在現世我們拒絕與祂建立任何關係,即假如我們否認祂的話,當我們離開這個世界時,我們便會發覺自己將永遠與上主隔絕。

耶穌在我們人生旅程終結時,在天父面前所做的,只是去肯定每一個人在世上所作的抉擇,及由這個抉擇帶來的一切後果。透過公審判的描述,耶穌給我們指出在世上的每個抉擇的重要性與嚴重性,因為牽涉到我們是否能得到永生的問題。

「凡在人前承認我的,我在天上的父前也必承認他,但誰若在人前否認我,我在我天上的父前也必否認他。」

我們怎樣汲取耶穌這句勸言的教訓呢?怎樣按照這句話生活呢?

耶穌自己親口說:「凡在人前承認我的……」。

讓我們下定決心,以純樸及坦誠的態度在人面前承認祂。

我們要克服人性上的羞怯,並且擺脫那庸俗及妥協的生活,因為這種態度只會破壞我們基督徒真正的本質和形像。

要記得我們被召叫是為基督作證。祂願意透過我們去接觸所有的人,並將和平、正義與愛的訊息帶給他們。

因此,我們無論在甚麼環境中,例如學校、家庭,與朋友交往或讀書時,都要為祂作證。

當然,首先我們要以自己的言行作見證的基礎。這包括誠實的生活、純潔的品德、不貪戀錢財,並且分享別人的喜悅和分擔他人的痛苦。

讓我們特別以彼此互愛及合一的生活為主作證,為使耶穌讓每一個願意與祂結合的人所預許的真正平安及喜樂,能夠在今世已經充滿他的心靈,甚至滿溢出來,惠及四周的人。

然後,當那些見到我們這樣生活的人問到:為什麼我們能夠在這艱苦的世界上生活得這麼安祥?這時候,我們應以謙虛和誠懇的態度,按照天主聖神給予我們的啟發而說話,這樣我們也能夠以言語及思想方式為基督作見證。

如此,也許很多正在尋找基督的人將可以找到祂。

然而有時候,我們會被別人誤解及反駁,甚至成為別人譏諷的對象,被人惱恨或迫害。不過關於這點,耶穌已經對我們說過:「如果人們迫害了我,也要迫害你們。」(若15:20)

在這情況下,要知道,我們仍然站在正確的道路上。所以,就算是處於種種考驗中,讓我們繼續以堅毅的精神為祂作證,甚至為祂捨棄生命。因為我們所等待的最終目標,值得我們付出這樣的代價。那時在天上,我們所敬愛的耶穌將會在天父面前永遠承認我們。

盧嘉勒

Word of Life – August 2012

“Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
(Mt 10:32–33)

This word of life is a source of great joy and encouragement for all Christians. With this passage, Jesus calls us to be consistent in living out our faith in him, because our eternal destiny depends on the attitude we have assumed toward him during our lifetime. If we declare ourselves for him before others, he says, he will have reason to declare himself for us before his Father. If instead we have disowned him before others, he will disown us before his Father.

“Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

Jesus reminds us of the reward or the punishment that awaits us after this life because he loves us. He knows, as one Father of the Church put it, that at times fear of punishment is more effective than a beautiful promise. For this reason he increases in us the hope of endless happiness while at the same time, in order to save us, he awakens in us a fear of being condemned.
His aim is that we may live forever with God. This is all that matters. It is the goal for which we have been called into existence. Only with him, in fact, will we reach our complete self-fulfillment, the full realization of all our aspirations. This is why Jesus urges us to “acknowledge” him here and now. If instead we choose not to have anything to do with Jesus, if we disown him now, when we reach the next life we will find ourselves cut off from him forever.
At the end of our lives Jesus will therefore simply confirm before the Father the choice that each one of us has made while here on earth — with all its consequences. By referring to the final judgment, he emphasizes the tremendous importance and seriousness of the decision we make here. Our eternity is at stake.

“Whoever acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven. Whoever denies me before others I will deny before my Father in heaven.”

How can we best take advantage of this warning Jesus has given us? How can we live his Word?
He himself said it: “Everyone who acknowledges me…”
Let us decide to declare ourselves for him before others with simplicity and openness, overcoming our need for mere human respect. Let’s get out of a state of mediocrity and compromise that empties our lives as Christians.
Remember that we have been called to bear witness to Christ: through us he wants to reach all people with his message of peace, justice and love.
We can bear witness to him wherever we are, whether in our family, at work, among friends, at school or in the many different circumstances of our lives. We can do it first of all, through our behavior, through the integrity of our lives, through our purity, through our detachment from money, through our participation in the joys and sufferings of others.
Furthermore, we can express it through our mutual love, our unity, so that the peace and joy promised by Jesus to those united to him will fill our soul even now and overflow onto others.
Perhaps someone will ask us why we act the way we do, why we are so serene in a world that is so fraught with tension. We will then answer with humility and sincerity using those words that the Holy Spirit will suggest to us. In this way we will bear witness to Christ with our words, too, on the level of ideas.
Then perhaps many of those who are searching for him will find him.
At other times we may be misunderstood, contradicted, made the object of derision, hatred and persecution. Jesus alerted us to this possibility: “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (Jn. 15:20).
We are still on the right path, however, so let’s go ahead to bear witness to him with courage even in the midst of trials, even at the cost of our lives. The reward that awaits us is well worth it; it is heaven, where Jesus whom we love will declare himself for us in front of his Father for all eternity.

Chiara Lubich

生活聖言 (2012年6月)

「你們不要為那可損壞的食糧勞碌,而要為那存留到永生的食糧勞碌,即人子所要賜給你們的。」(若6 :27)

在提庇黎雅海的岸邊,耶穌藉著增餅飽飫了大批群眾。由於祂看出他們要立祂為王,故此退避到對岸,即葛法翁境內。很多人卻仍然去追尋祂,而最後亦找到了祂。可是,耶穌卻不接納他們那份帶有私心的熱情。他們吃了神跡的餅,但只著重物質上的利益,而沒有領會到其中的深奧含義。那餅暗示出,耶穌是被父所派遣,給世界帶來真正的生命。他們卻把祂僅僅看成一個行奇跡的人,一個屬於現世的默西亞,有能力供給他們大量和便宜的食糧。就是在這種情況之下,耶穌向他們說:

 「你們不要為那可損壞的食糧勞碌,而要為那存留到永生的食糧勞碌,即人子所要賜給你們的。」(若6 :27)[1]

那『不會損壞的食糧』就是耶穌自己,同時也是祂的教導,因為祂所教導的與祂本人根本就是一體。我們再細讀下去的話會見到,這個『不會損壞的食糧』亦即是耶穌聖體。於是,我們可以說,那『不會損壞的食糧』就是耶穌本身,在祂的聖言之內及在聖體中,祂將自己賜給我們。.

 「你們不要為那可損壞的食糧勞碌,而要為那存留到永生的食糧勞碌,即人子所要賜給你們的。」

食糧的形象,跟水的形像一樣,經常在聖經中出現。食糧和水代表最基本的養料,是眾人生存的必需品。耶穌以食糧比喻自己,就是想我們知道,祂本身及祂的教導對於我們屬靈的生活來說是不可缺少的,正如我們的肉身生活不能缺少食糧一樣。

物質的食糧固然必須,耶穌也親自以奇跡給群眾提供,可是僅僅物質的食糧並不足夠。可能我們沒有注意到,在我們內還有另外一種飢渴,即對真理、公義、愛情、純潔、光明、平安、喜樂、無限、永恆的飢渴。世界上沒有任何事物能給我們帶來滿足。耶穌向我們推薦祂自己,只有祂才能夠滿足人的內在渴求。

 「你們不要為那可損壞的食糧勞碌,而要為那存留到永生的食糧勞碌,即人子所要賜給你們的。」

耶穌自稱為『生命之糧』,祂不但告訴我們要以祂作為養料,相信祂的話以得永恆的生命,祂更加鼓勵我們跟祂一起去體驗。耶穌藉著『要為那存留到永生的食糧勞碌』這句話,其實是極力邀請我們盡己所能,運用一切資源去爭取這食糧。耶穌並不想強迫我們去接受祂,只希望我們去發現祂,感受與祂一起的經驗。

當然,單憑人性薄弱的力量,我們沒有能力到達耶穌那裡。唯有依賴天主的恩寵,我們才能做得到。不管怎樣,耶穌不斷地邀請我們,要開放自我以接受那份恩賜,即祂自己。也就是透過盡力實踐祂的話,我們才可以對祂懷有圓滿的信德,才可以品嚐祂的聖言,好像品嚐一份芳香的美食一樣。

 「你們不要為那可損壞的食糧勞碌,而要為那存留到永生的食糧勞碌,即人子所要賜給你們的。」

本月的生活聖言並沒有把焦點集中於基督所訓示的某一點(例如:寬恕那些得罪我們的人;不要依戀財富等),卻引領我們重新回到基督徒生活的根源,即我們與耶穌的個人關係。

我相信那些已經開始致力把祂的話實踐,尤其是注重那條集聖言及誡命於大成的『愛的誡命』的人,或多或少都會發覺到,耶穌就是他們生命的食糧。祂可以實現他們心中的願望,是他們的喜樂及光明的泉源。透過實踐這句生活聖言,他們起碼會開始體驗到,天主聖言為全世界及每一個人的問題都能提供一個真確的答案。由於耶穌這『生命食糧』在聖體內作出自我最大的奉獻,基督徒會自然地以愛去領受耶穌聖體。在基督徒的生活中,耶穌聖體佔有一個很重要的位置。

那些曾經體驗過這個美妙經驗的人,不可以僅僅為自己保留,卻要以耶穌同樣熱切的心來催促自己去尋找那『生命之糧』,跟其他人分享這份發現,讓很多人能在祂內找到他們心中一直尋找的東西。對於其他的人來說,這是一份很大的愛德行動,使他們在今世已可以認識到真正的生命,並獲得永恆的生命。除此之外,我們尚有何求呢?

盧嘉勒

[1]  本月的生活聖言已在1985年8月份發表過

Word of Life – June 2012

“Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” (Jn.6:27)

After Jesus had fed the multitude by multiplying the bread near the Sea of Tiberias, he slipped away to Capernaum on the other shore, to get away from the crowd that wished to make him king. Even so, many went to look for him and caught up with him. He, however, did not accept their overly self-interested enthusiasm. They had eaten miraculous bread, but they had stopped short at the material advantage without grasping the deep meaning of that bread which showed Jesus to be sent by the Father to give true life to the world. They saw him merely as a wonder worker, an earthly Messiah, able to get them material bread in abundance and on the cheap. In this context Jesus says to them these words:

“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.”

The ‘food that endures’ is the person of Jesus himself and it is also his teaching, since Jesus’ teaching is one and the same with his person. When we read Jesus’ other words later on, we see that this ‘bread that endures’ is also identified with Jesus’ Eucharistic body. So, we can say the ‘bread that endures’ is Jesus in person, who gives himself to us in his Word and in the Eucharist.

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.

The image of bread is often used in the Bible, as is the image of water. Bread and water represent the basic foods indispensable for human life. Now, by applying the image of bread to himself, Jesus means that his person, his teaching are indispensable for the spiritual life of human beings, just as bread is for the life of the body. Material bread is certainly necessary. Jesus himself provides it miraculously for the crowds. But on its own it is not enough. Human beings bear in themselves, perhaps without fully knowing it, a hunger for truth, justice, goodness, love, purity, light, peace, joy, infinity, eternity, that nothing in the world can satisfy. Jesus offers himself as the only one capable of satisfying the inner hunger of humanity.

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.

In presenting himself as the ‘bread of life’, however, Jesus is not limiting himself to affirming the need to feed on him, and so believe in his word, in order to have eternal life. But he wants to encourage us to have an experience of him. Indeed, when he says, ‘work for the food that does not perish,’ he gives us an urgent invitation. He means that we must be involved seriously, do every possible thing needed to have this food. Jesus does not impose himself, but he wants to be discovered, he wants to be experienced.

Certainly by their own strength alone human beings cannot reach Jesus. They can do it as a gift from God. Nonetheless, Jesus continually invites people to put themselves in a position to receive the gift of himself, which he wishes to give. And it is precisely by striving to put the Word into practice that human beings come to full faith in him, to taste his Word as one would taste sweet-smelling and flavoursome bread.

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.

The Word of Life is not about a specific point of Jesus’ teaching (such as forgiving offences, detachment from riches and so on), but it brings us back to the very root of Christian life, which is our personal relationship with Jesus.

I think that those who have started living the Word with commitment, and especially the commandment of love for our neighbour (the summary of all the words of God and of all the commandments) sense at least in some small way that Jesus is the ‘bread’ of their lives, able to satisfy the desires of their hearts, the source of their joy, of their light. By putting the Word into practice they have at least begun to taste it as the true answer to the problems of humanity and of the world. And, since Jesus, the ‘bread of life’, gives the supreme gift of himself in the Eucharist, they go spontaneously to receive the Eucharist with love, and it has an important place in their lives.

Those of us who have had this amazing experience must not keep it for ourselves. With the same concern that Jesus urges us to work for the ‘bread of life’, we should communicate it to others so that they may find in Jesus what their hearts have always sought. It is an enormous act of love for our neighbours because already from this earth they can know what true life is and they will have the life that does not die. And what more could anyone want?

Chiara Lubich

First published in August 1985

生活聖言 (2012年3月)

「主!惟袮有永生的話,我們去投奔誰呢?」 (若6:68)

耶穌對那些跟隨祂的群眾講論天主的國。祂的言談顯淺易明,並喜歡用日常生活的例子做比喻,但祂所說的話卻有一股特別的吸引力。群眾都驚奇祂的教訓,因為祂教訓他們,正像有權威的人,不像他們的經師。同樣地,當司祭長和法利塞人質問那些被派去捉拿耶穌的差役,為甚麼沒有把耶穌帶來時,差役回答說:「從來沒有一個人如此講話,像這人講話一樣。」(若7:46)
若望福音也記述耶穌跟個別人士展開富啟發性的交談,例如尼苛德摩和撒瑪黎雅婦人。但耶穌與門徒的談話更為深入。祂清楚地講論天父和天上的事物,而不再用甚麼比喻。祂的言談說服了他們,即使他們並不完全了解祂所講的話,或當祂對門徒的要求很高時,他們也不會退縮。
但是當門徒中有些人,聽說祂要把自己的肉賜給他們吃,把祂的血給他們喝時,便說:「這話生硬,有誰能聽得下去呢?」 (若6:60)
耶穌看見祂的門徒中有許多人退下去,不再同祂往來,於是向十二宗徒說:「難道你們也願走嗎?」 (若6:67)
自從伯多祿遇見耶穌的那天,便已經深深被祂的話所吸引,如今已決意永遠追隨耶穌,他於是代表每個人回答說:

「主!惟袮有永生的話,我們去投奔誰呢?」

伯多祿知道他的師傅所說的話,與其他的師傅不同。來自世俗的言論屬於此世,而目標也只會指向世俗的事。耶穌的言論卻是屬神的,並富有生命,因為它們來自天上:它們就像一道從天而降的光,且包含來自天上的力量。祂的言論既豐富又具有深度,這是其他人的講話,包括哲學思想、政治言論或詩詞等所沒有的。耶穌的言談就是「永生的話」(若6:68),因為它們包含、流露並傳遞那份永恆圓滿的生命。為甚麼?因為那就是天主本身的生命。
復活了並仍然活著的耶穌,祂的聖言雖然是在過去說的,卻不祇是一份回憶。這些聖言也是針對今天的我們,以及對每個世代及不同文化背景的人而說的。它們是普世性及永恆的聖言。
耶穌的話何其偉大!它們可以說是祂最高的藝術。聖言用了人類的語言表達出來。啊!這是何等的內容,何等的強度,何等的語調,何等的聲音!
例如聖大巴西略(註一)憶述說:「有一天,我彷彿從長久的睡夢中醒來,看見那包含在福音中奇妙的真理之光,並發覺世俗準則裡的智慧虛幻不實。」 (Ep. CCXXIII, 2)
在1897年五月九日的一封信中,聖女小德蘭寫道:「有時,當我研讀某些神修的論文時……,我那貧乏而微弱的心神很容易便感到疲累。於是我闔上使我頭昏腦脹、心靈枯乾的智者們的著作,然後翻開聖經,於是一切都為我變得光亮起來,只要其中的一個字就足以在我的靈魂展示無窮的視野,令我感到達致全德的境界是非常容易的。」(註二)
是的,聖言令心神感到滿足,因為靈魂要奔向無限;聖言不但照亮人的心思,還包括整個人,因為聖經的話就是光明、愛和生命。聖言把平安帶給人,那就是耶穌所說的:「我的平安」;就算在困惑及苦悶的時刻,就算當靈魂受困苦折磨時,聖言也能把圓滿的喜樂賜給人,尤其在沮喪和氣餒的時刻,聖言給心靈賜下力量。它能使人自由,因為聖言打開真理的道路。

「主!惟袮有永生的話,我們去投奔誰呢?」

這個月的生活聖言提醒我們唯一要跟隨的師傅是耶穌,即使祂所說的話可能有點嚴格並要求甚高。它意味著我們在工作中要誠實、要懂得寬恕、為他人服務而不是自私地只顧及自己、要忠於自己的家庭、協助病危的人,而不屈服於安樂死的想法……。
許多導師會指引我們去尋找容易的解決方法和謀求妥協。但我們卻要聽從我們唯一的師傅,並且跟隨祂,因為唯有祂能說出真理並擁有『永生的話』。這樣我們也能重複伯多祿講的這句話。
在這四旬期內,我們正為隆重慶祝耶穌的復活而作準備,我們必須聆聽唯一師傅的教誨並成為祂的真正門徒。在我們心中必須對天主聖言孕育一份熱愛。讓我們以專注的心神去歡迎在教堂內宣讀出來的聖言,細心地去誦讀它,研究它,默想它……。
但是最重要的是我們被召喚,按照聖經的教導去將它生活出來:「你們應按這聖言來實行,不要只聽,自己欺騙自己。」(雅1:22)為此,每個月我們都特別專注一句聖言,讓它深入我們內心,陶冶我們,讓它在我們內『生活』。透過實踐耶穌的一句話,我們就能把全部福音生活出來,因為在祂的每句聖言中,祂把自己全部給予我們,祂還親自來居住在我們的心中。這樣,復活的主耶穌的神聖智慧,便一點一滴地慢慢滲入我們的心靈深處,並取代我們在每個生活境況中的思考、渴求和行動的方式。

盧嘉勒

註一:公元330-379年,教會偉大教父之一,曾任凱撒利亞的主教

註二:“Scritti, Postulazione generale dei Carmelitani Scalzi”第22封信,第734頁,1967年羅馬出版

Word of Life – Mar 2012

“Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”
(Jn 6:68)

Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God to the crowds that followed him (see Lk 9:11). He used simple words, parables taken from everyday life, and yet his words held a special fascination. The crowds were spellbound by his teaching, “for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes” (Mt 7:29). Likewise, when the temple guards sent to arrest him were asked by the chief priest and Pharisees why they did not bring him in, they replied: “Never before has anyone spoken like this one” (Jn 7:46).

The Gospel of John also speaks about the conversations filled with light that Jesus had with individuals like Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman. He explained matters in depth to his apostles. He spoke openly of the Father and of the things of Heaven, and with them he no longer used figures of speech (see Jn 16:25–29). His words were convincing, and the apostles did not retreat even when they did not fully understand his words or when those words seemed too demanding.

Some of his disciples remarked, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” (Jn 6:60) when they heard him say that he would give them his body to eat and his blood to drink. Seeing that “many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him,” Jesus said to the Twelve: “Do you also want to leave?” (Jn 6:66-67)

Peter, now bound to him forever — having been fascinated by the words he had heard spoken from the day he first met Jesus — answered on behalf of everyone: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Peter had understood that the words of his teacher were different from those of other teachers. Their words were coming from an earthly source, belonging to and having their destiny on earth. The words of Jesus are spirit and life because they come from Heaven: they are a light that descends from above, and their power comes from above. His words have a wealth and depth that other words do not have, no matter how philosophical, political or poetic they are. His are “words of eternal life” because they contain, express and communicate the fullness of that life that never ends, since it is the very life of God.

Jesus is risen and lives, and his words, although spoken in the past, are not mere memories. They are words addressed to all of us today and to every person of every time and culture. They are universal, eternal words.

The words of Jesus! They must have been his greatest “art.” The Word who spoke in human words — what content, what intensity, what expression, what a voice!

Basil, one of the great Fathers of the Church, recounted how “one day, almost as if waking up from a long sleep, I beheld the marvelous light of the truth contained in the Gospel and discovered the vanity of the wisdom of this world.”‘

In a letter of May 9, 1897, Therese of Lisieux wrote: “At times, when I read certain spiritual treatises … my poor little spirit tires easily. I close the scholarly book that breaks my head to pieces and dries up my heart and take in my hands the sacred Scriptures. Then everything lights up: just one word opens my soul to infinite horizons, and reaching perfection seems easy.”‘

Yes, divine words fully satisfy a spirit that is made for the infinite; they illuminate the mind and one’s whole being as well because they are light, love and life. They impart peace — that peace that Jesus calls his own: “my peace” — even in moments of bewilderment and anguish. They give full joy even in the midst of suffering that at times can torment the soul. They give strength, especially in the face of dismay and discouragement. They give a sense of freedom because they open the path to the truth.

“Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

The Word of Life this month reminds us that the only teacher we want to follow is Jesus, even when his words might seem to be hard or too demanding. This means, among other things, to be honest at work, forgive, put ourselves at the service of the others rather than to think only of ourselves, remain faithful to our families, assist terminally ill persons without giving in to thoughts of euthanasia.

There are many “teachers” around, inviting us to adopt easy solutions, to make compromises. We want to listen to our only Teacher and to follow him, the only one who speaks the truth and who has “words of eternal life.” In this way we too can repeat Peter’s words.

During this Lenten season, as we prepare for the great celebration of the Resurrection, we should really enroll in the school of the one Teacher and become his disciples. What should come to life in us is a passionate love for the word of God. Let us be ready to welcome the word when we hear it proclaimed; let us read it, study it, meditate on it.

But above all we are called to put it into practice as Scripture itself teaches: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves” (Jas 1:22). That is why each month we focus on one word in particular, letting it enter us, form us, act in us. By living out one word of Jesus we live out the whole Gospel, because in each of his words he gives all of himself, he himself comes to live in us.

It is like a drop of divine wisdom from the Risen one that slowly sinks in and replaces our ways of thinking, choosing and acting in all the circumstances of our lives.

Chiara Lubich

生活聖言 (2012年2月)

「你們悔改,信從福音罷!」(谷1:15)

你們悔改信從福音罷!」 (谷1:15)[1] 馬爾谷福音記載,當耶穌開始向世界宣講救恩的訊息時這樣說:「時期已滿,天主的國臨近了。你們悔改,信從福音罷!」 耶穌的來臨開始了一個新時代,這是一個恩寵及救恩的時代。耶穌一開始宣講就邀請我們接受這個偉大的訊息——天國。這是祂令所有人都能接近的事實。 同時,祂立刻指出大家應走的途徑,就是要悔改並信從福音,也就是要徹底地改變生活,並在耶穌內接受天主透過祂向每個時代的人所講的話。 這裡有兩件事是並行不悖的:悔改及信德,而且缺一不可,但兩者都是我們透過生活的聖言,即耶穌的臨在接觸後所產生的效果。這位耶穌今天仍然重複地向群眾 說:

你們悔改信從福音罷

」 當人接受了天主聖言,並把它生活出來時,聖言的效果就是令人完全改變自己的思想(這等於悔改)。聖言把耶穌的情懷傾注在所有人的心中,無論他是歐洲人、澳 洲人、美洲人、非洲人或亞洲人,聖言都能叫人帶著耶穌的心情去應付不同的環境、接待個別的人或面對社會。 但福音怎樣才能在人心裡產生有深度的皈依,引發新的及燦爛的信德呢?其中的秘密就在於耶穌的聖言所蘊藏的奧蹟。它們不僅僅是一些勸諭、建議、提示、指引、 律例或命令。在耶穌的教訓中隱藏著耶穌自己,所以是祂親自向我們講話,祂說的話就是祂自己。 這樣,我們在聖言中與祂相遇。當我們按照祂的意願把祂的話迎接到自己心中時(即是說隨時準備好把聖言在生活中實踐出來),我們就與祂合而為一,而祂也會在 我們心中誕生或成長。因此,面對耶穌這麼迫切,以及極高的要求,我們都能夠而且應該接受祂的邀請。

你們悔改信從福音罷!」

有 人會認為褔音的教訓太高超及艱難,離大眾的生活及思想方式太遠,有人甚至會充耳不聞或灰心喪志。當然,假如人以為要單憑自己的力量,去改變自己沒有信德 的缺點,一切都會很吃力。但只要人肯努力實踐聖言,那怕只是一句話,也會從中找到一種意想不到的助力;一種獨特的力量;一盞照亮前路的明燈[2]。這是因 為那句聖言被人接受之後,由於它是天主的一種臨在,它使人能獲得自由、潔淨、皈依,並給人帶來安慰、喜樂及智慧。

你們悔改信從福音罷!」

這 句聖言能在一整天中為我們多次帶來那照亮心靈的光!每當我們發現自己或他人的軟弱;每當我們感到跟隨耶穌實在太困難及荒謬;每當種種困難令我們感到快要失 敗;這句聖言能助我們一臂之力,為我們帶來一股清新的空氣,而且激勵我們重新開始。 只要一個小小而爽快的『悔改』,我們便能擺脫那封閉了的自我,並向上主開放自己,去體驗另一種生活,即真正的生命。 假如你能做到這一點,就不妨把這份體驗跟另一位已經把褔音作為生活方針的朋友分享,這樣,我們會看到一個基督徒團體在自己的周圍再次出現及發展起來。 把上主的聖言生活出來並與他人分享後會帶來一個奇妙的效果:使一個可見的團體興起,這個團體將成為社會的酵母及地上之鹽,在世上每一角落為基督作見證。 盧嘉勒


[1] 本月聖言已於1997年2月份發表
[2] 參閱聖詠119:105

Word of Life – Feb 2012

Repent, and believe in the gospel. (Mk 1:15)

In Mark’s gospel, Jesus begins his proclamation to the world, his message of salvation, with these words: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the gospel.’

The coming of Jesus marks the beginning of a new era, the era of grace and salvation. His first words are an invitation to embrace this great novelty, the actual reality of the kingdom of God which he brings within reach of all people, close to every person.

He immediately shows the way, which is to repent and believe in the gospel. This means changing one’s life radically and accepting the word that God, in and through Jesus, speaks to humanity of all times.

Repentance and faith must go hand in hand. There cannot be one without the other. Rather, both spring from contact with the living word, from the presence of Jesus who, today too, says to the crowds:Repent, and believe in the gospel

When the word of God is accepted and lived, it brings about a complete change of mentality (and that means ‘conversion’). It instils in the hearts of all – Europeans, Asians, Australians, Americans, Africans – Christ’s feelings in relation to circumstances, individuals and society.

But how can the gospel work the miracle of a profound conversion, of a new and light-giving faith? The secret lies in the mystery contained in the words of Jesus. They are not simply exhortations, suggestions, indications, directives, orders, or commands. In his words Jesus himself is present as he speaks, as he speaks to us. His Words are himself; they are Jesus.

And so in the Word, we meet him. By welcoming the Word into our hearts, as he wants it to be welcomed (that is, being ready to translate it into life), we are one with him and he is born or grows in us. This is why each one of us can and must welcome Jesus’ urgent and demanding invitation.

Repent, and believe in the gospel

Some people might consider the words of the gospel to be too high and difficult, too distant from the normal way of living and thinking. They might feel tempted not to listen and to be discouraged. But this happens if they think that they have to move the mountain of their disbelief on their own. Instead it would be enough to try and live just one Word of the gospel to find in it unexpected help, special strength, a light for their path (see Psalm 119:105). Since that Word is a presence of God, communicating with it makes people free; it purifies, converts, brings comfort and joy, and gives wisdom.

Repent, and believe in the gospel

How often this Word of Life can give light to us each day! Every time we come up against our own weakness or that of others, every time following Jesus seems to be impossible or absurd, every time problems threaten to overwhelm us, this Word can give us wings, be like a breath of fresh air, an encouragement to start again.

It would be enough to make a small, quick ‘conversion’ of our route to come out from the confines of our ego and open ourselves to God, and so experience another life, the true one.

And if it is possible for us to share this experience with friends who have also taken the gospel as their code of life, then we will see the Christian community bud or blossom again around us.

For when the Word of God is lived out and shared, it works this miracle too. It gives rise to a visible community, which becomes yeast and salt for society, witnessing to Christ in every corner of the earth.

Chiara Lubich