Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Wednesday of Week 16 Year 1

The Word of God is like soil, special nourishment which enables our soul to grow so that we could bear good fruit. But for us to benefit from the Word of God, we need to examine ourselves and change our ways, so that we would benefit from such special nourishment. Today's Gospel speaks about seeds falling on different types of environments with different soil conditions. Each environment could be linked to our condition and the condition of our soul.

The first environment (edge of the path) is like people who are not the least bit interested in the Word of God. They come late for Mass, or sometimes come only for certain major occasions like Christmas and Easter. These people seem more interested in other things and come to church just to fulfil the Sunday obligation (with great difficulty at times). The second environment (patches of rock with little soil) is like people who have superficial or shallow faith. They select only bits and pieces of the Word of God which suit them, while avoiding or ignoring those parts which are unpleasant or that which they think are not relevant to them. When some challenge occurs or when they face some difficulty, their faith withers away.

The third environment (among thorns) is like people who listen and accept the Word of God, but so many other things, worries, pressures and distractions cause them to lose focus. As a result, they feel as if God has abandoned them and they fall away, when in actuality, it is they who have abandoned God. They lack trust, perseverance and patience to press on and finish the race. I suppose many of us hope and pray that we will be like the fourth environment, where we gain access to rich soil. People who are in this fourth environment thrive and flourish, producing good fruit and giving glory to God.

So which environment are we presently in? Are we stuck in a particular environment? With God's Grace and providence, we can make effort and do our part to make a change and begin producing good fruit. Let us not delay or procrastinate any longer. and let the rich soil God transform us into something better, for His glory.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Saturday of Week 14 Year 1

Some people can be devious in their dealings with others. For example, they say they have put aside their differences with certain others, but in their hearts, they still hold a grudge or have not really forgiven or reconciled with the other. When opportunity strikes, they conveniently bring forth what had happened in the past to ridicule, condemn or even persecute the other, especially when the other is in an unfavourable or difficult situation. Could some of us be having such an attitude?

In today's reading, we are told: "Seeing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph intends to treat us as enemies and repay us in full for all the wrong we did him?’ So they sent this message to Joseph: ‘Before your father died he gave us this order: “You must say to Joseph: Oh forgive your brothers their crime and their sin and all the wrong they did you.” Now therefore, we beg you, forgive the crime of the servants of your father’s God.’ Joseph wept at the message they sent to him. His brothers came themselves and fell down before him. ‘We present ourselves before you’ they said ‘as your slaves.’ But Joseph answered them, ‘Do not be afraid; is it for me to put myself in God’s place? The evil you planned to do me has by God’s design been turned to good, that he might bring about, as indeed he has, the deliverance of a numerous people. So you need not be afraid; I myself will provide for you and your dependants.’ In this way he reassured them with words that touched their hearts."

Joseph's brothers were worried that Joseph would use the past as an excuse to hit back at them or to have his revenge after what they had done to him, now that their father Jacob is dead. But as we can see from the reading, Joseph chose to forgive, reconcile and be merciful towards his brothers, instead of holding a grudge or looking for an opportunity to exact revenge. If we were in Joseph's shoes, if we were in his situation, would we be humble and willing to do the same, or would we still insist in an eye for an eye? Are we able to put to practice what we say: "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us?"

Friday, 7 July 2017

Saturday of Week 13 Year 1

In some cultures, the male firstborn or older male sibling is often favoured upon and given better privileges and blessings. This is because the male firstborn was thought to be the leader and heir to the throne or family estate. We see many examples around us where the male firstborn is given special treatment and education, with the expectation that he would eventually take over from his father as patriach, leader of the tribe, or even king.

However, when it comes to God, the firstborn is not necessarily His choice to lead His people. One example of this could be found in today's reading, where Jacob, using wile and conniving ways, managed to trick his father into getting the inheritance and special blessing supposingly reserved for the firstborn. It certainly doesn’t seem fair that Jacob would get away with such trickery but he does, although the blessing certainly included a lot of suffering: He had to flee Esau who was bitter and vengeful, as a consequence of what he had done; He got married and ended up with a father-in-law who was just as bad or even worse a trickster than he was; He had to eventually face Esau. Yet, God works in mysterious ways, and even helped Jacob. Esau was the firstborn but he seemed to have no concern for spiritual matters, whereas Jacob was sneaky and a cheat, but God knew that he had within him what it took to be the leader of his people. The culture of the time said that Esau was the chosen one, but God chose Jacob instead.

This does not mean that God is encouraging any of us to become wile, crafty or tricky to achieve our ends, since His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts, and what He had allowed to take place is eventually for His purposes and His glory. May we surrender ourselves to God' plan, and let Him use our talents and abilities for His greater glory.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

耶稣圣心庆典 - 2

人体内有各种器官,心脏是其中一个比较重要的部分。一个人可能脑死,只要他的心脏还跳动,他还是活着的。在我们社会中,心被当着是爱的标记。人们在日常生活里所表达的爱和天主赐给我们那份爱,有天渊之别。

在今天的第一读经里,我们见证天主对以色列人那种宽宏大量,迟于发怒的爱,感到非常敬佩;虽然他们经常背叛和违反天主的诫命,祂还是迟于发怒,不降祸于他们因为祂是天主,祂是圣者,祂不是毁灭者。读经中提到“我的心已经转变,我的五内已经感动,我不再按我的盛怒而行事, 不再毁灭以色列,因为我是天主,而不是人, 是住在你们中的圣者, 不是来消灭你们”。由此可见天主的威能和伟大。

同样的在第二读经里,天主派遣他的圣子到世界上来拯救和坚强我们,显示祂对我们无微不致的博爱. “ 救祂依照祂丰富的光荣,藉着他的圣神, 赐以大能,坚强你们内在的人。愿基督因着你们的信德,住在你们心中,使你们的爱的扎根建基。这样你们就能同众圣徒,领悟基督的爱是怎样的长,阔,高,深,并知道基督的爱是超过人所能理解的,那么你们就会充满天主的一切富裕了”。今天的福音也提醒我们天主无限伟大的爱,尤其是当他把圣子派遣到世上,为救赎我们而在十字架上牺牲自己的奉献,令我们倾崇敬佩。

既然天主那么宠爱我们,那么, 我们如何去回应?是否也应该把这份爱传给周遭的人?请不要忘记: 天主并没有把这份爱赐给特定的人或是特定的团体;祂把爱传给每个人:好人坏人,富翁,穷人,卑微贵贱,一视同仁。耶稣把圣心献给我们正是再提醒大家千万不可戴着有色的眼镜去传爱。让我们在没有任何压力下,虚心归于天主和祂建立一个更密切的关系。让耶稣圣心引领我们,使我们也能像耶稣不分彼此去爱每个人,。建立一个美满的天主教会的大家庭。

Friday, 16 June 2017

基督聖體聖血

在日常的生活中, 我們會覺擦或聽到各種評語。假如這些話沒有后續的行動,那可不必理會。例如有個人對你說『我愛你』那麼你就要注意他是否認真或是信口齒黃罷了。其實這句話可以在很多方面聽到,電視前,廣告裡,收音機中等等﹔對人們來說已經失去了意義。因此,我們注重的不是甜言蜜語而是以實際的行動來証明一切。

今天我們歡慶耶穌聖體聖血瞻禮的同時,也記得祂曾經說過祂愛我們。耶穌沒有說謊。他的話是付諸以行的。他給了我們寶貴的聖體和聖血,甘願犧牲自己為了拯救世界,為我們贖罪。每當我們在彌撒中領聖體或是朝拜聖體時,我們應該感到很榮幸,很特別,因為受到天主恩寵 和愛的滋養。

可是,很多教友們不把主耶穌的恩寵當成寶貴的恩賜,完全沒有好好准備參加彌撒,沒有辦告解,也沒有做足一小時前的齋戒就領聖體,更不必說靜默祈禱或穿上最好的衣物到聖堂參加彌撒﹔沒有准備身心的潔淨就隨便領聖體。反而,當受邀參與皇宮或重要宴會時,大家都會好好准備,好好打扮一般后又規規矩矩地出席現場。那麼大家對參與彌撒盛宴時,是否做好同樣的准備?

今天,讓我們大家懷著感恩的心情,感謝天主的愛,因他把聖子賜給我們,好讓那些相信祂的人們都能得到永生。為報答主耶穌賜給了我們他的聖體和聖血的恩惠,讓我們每次參加彌撒前也好好地准備自己,以純潔的身心迎接主耶穌到我們心中,滋養我們的靈魂﹔也把耶穌的愛傳給別人吧!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Friday of Week 10 Year 1

These days, I notice fewer and fewer people going for confession regularly. Quite often, I observe many people going for confession only during the Advent and Lent season, where the Sacrament of Reconciliation is held from parish to parish at different days and times. But how many people actually make effort or take the trouble to go for confession regularly, perhaps at least once a fortnight, or if necessary once a week? This gives me the impression that many have become less sensitive to sin as they are influenced by the ways of the world. The irony here is that these people would have no qualms in bathing regularly or putting on expensive perfumes, but neglect to "bathe" their souls regularly.

In today's Gospel, why did Jesus tell us to “tear out your eye, or cut off your hand and throw them away if they cause you to sin?” What Jesus is trying to tell us is that He wants us to choose life and happiness by doing what is good rather than choosing death and suffering by doing evil. This also means we must find out if there is any relationship or activity or group that causes us to sin and separate us from God. If there is, we must cut it off from our life, with help and grace from God. If we have committed sin, we must cut it off by going for confession, and not allow the sin to fester and ruin our soul. Are we willing to take action by going for confession regularly so that our soul would be scrubbed clean? Let us not procrastinate further, and let our loving God cleanse our soul (through the Sacrament of Reconciliation) and heal us back to a healthy relationship with Him.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Thursday of Week 10 Year 1

Every once in a while, we come across certain persons who do church work or get involved in church activities or church ministries, but with the intention of being seen, or being heard, or being known by others, or even to receive praise or admiration from others. Such persons seek attention and would use various ways and means to appear to be invaluable, or indispensable, thinking that without them, the activity, ministry, or even the church, would collapse. Some have even gone so far as to make it a habit in taking lots of pictures of themselves being involved in such activities or ministries, to show others their abilities, accomplishments, or how capable they are. But are such attitudes or behaviour compatible to how a Christian should behave and conduct? Are such attitudes or behaviour following the ways of Christ?

In today's reading, we are reminded: "For it is not ourselves that we are preaching, but Christ Jesus as the Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake." Moreover, the reading reminds us: "And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit."This means that our efforts and involvement in various church activities or ministries, should not be to blow our own trumpet or to show off or even to feed our pride and ego, but to serve others with humility and joy, knowing that our efforts are ultimately for the glory of God. Are we willing to let go of our pride and ego, and become vessels who reflect the brightness of the Lord to others?.

Friday, 9 June 2017

圣三主日

基督徒的信仰基础就是相信天主圣三。那就是说任何自称为基督团体而又不相信天主圣三的,就是非基督徒。然而,讲解天主圣三并不是一件简单的事。而且,所谓三等于一或是一等于三,从数学和逻辑学角度看来,那是天大的笑话。无论如何我们还可以从人际间的关系来体验和了解一二。

今天的读经里, 我们可以看到天主所扮演不同的角色,来了解天主圣三的奥义。读经一提到天父创造天地万物,为了要给我们世界各种美好的事物, 有如父亲给予孩子们各种好的服务。第二读经中提到耶稣,天主圣子。祂把天主圣三揭露给我们知道。因为耶稣,我们体验到天父的慈爱和体贴。祂以天主圣子降生成人, 来到世上为了救赎犯罪累累的人类而甘愿在十子架上牺牲自己。在福音中,天主圣神降临到我们之中指引又帮助我们也和我们同住,更引领我们去认识真理。在我们领圣洗时,圣神的恩赐就不断地在我们身上运行;而在我们领坚振时更巩固了我们是天主子女的地位。

上述有关的一切对我们有什么意义?我们不须要了解天主圣三的神学奥秘, 但是要记得天主如何以个别和群体的身份揭露给我们。天主就是爱,就是圣三, 就是群体,三位一体,息息相关。让我们模仿天主圣三的好榜样,博爱为怀;在天主的大家庭里,好好地活出圣三的精神和典范。

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

复活节第二周星期五

在我们的日常生活里,很有可能会得到贵人的帮助。他们会理清一些事情, 因为他们知道生活中需要有心思的平衡点,让我们有机会以平静,无偏见且更理性的做出正确的选择。在今天的读经里,就出现了一位法利赛贵人名叫加玛里耳 。他是当时赫赫有名且备受敬仰的法学士。就是因为他的聪明和智慧,而能说服法利赛人对宗徒们的妒忌心。 他对众议会说,“目前,假如他们所做的一切事项是出自人为的,那么该事项将会最终瓦解,反之,若是该事项来自天主的,我们无论如何都无法销毁它,反而会触犯天主的圣意。”

有些人为了光荣天主而行善,那么我们是否要阻止他们?很有可能我们当中会有一些人对外人(非教友)的做法和成就起了妒忌心,他们觉得脸上无光而提出各种理由去阻止事项的发生。我们是否有想到他们的出发点并非为自己,而是为了光荣天主而为的。那么我们和被妒忌,自私和高傲蒙蔽眼睛的法利赛人,又有何区别呢?最终,我们会后悔因为自私自利,目中无人的关系。为何要阻止别人行善呢?难道我们那么高傲又自私吗?在主的葡萄园里耕耘者,难道不是为了光荣天主吗?

Sunday, 19 March 2017

圣周星期三

有时候我们会听闻一个人,为了某些理由会出卖另外一位。这些理由诸如自私自利,贪婪,钱财纠纷,妒忌心,报仇等等。可是出卖者完全没有发觉到,在最后时刻却得不到应许的酬劳,更可能导至杀身之祸。我们知道很多类似的案例:出卖者最终被雇主杀死为了消灭一切证据,因为不相信当事人会保守秘密,只相信死人才不会透露任何消息。

今天的福音中,我们知道犹达斯为了贪图三十块银钱而出卖耶稣。在星期一的福音里,我们已经知道犹达斯是个盗贼。他掌管银库而顺便盗取任何献捐的款项。三十块银钱是一笔可观的数目,当然难以抗拒。问题出在他和耶稣的友情是否那么淡薄,可以用三十块银钱去作交易?你们知道吗,当时的三十块银钱就可以买到一个奴仆。在众教友之中,有很多人就好像犹达斯那样,完全没有顾及犯罪的后果。很多教友只顾短暂满足私欲遍情的乐趣,而没想到长远的严重后果。因为这些教友已经被私欲冲昏了头脑,忘了自己在出卖自己的灵魂。为何为了满足短暂的私欲而情愿犯罪,却把天主和我们的密切关系抛在脑后?可能也因此会失去永恒的生命!难道永恒的生命不比那些短暂的罪行,给予的乐趣和满足,更珍贵和更有价值吗?

圣周星期二

天主赋予世人各种各样的生活选择。有时候我们选的很恰当,但是也有很多选择不明智。无论如何,天主都不离不去的邀请我们活在祂的爱中。可是很不幸的,有些人还是选择避开天主,因为那是自由选择的后果。但不要忘记,你要为自己所选择的负起全部责任。

今天的福音里,提到两位做了选择对象的门徒。虽然犹达斯跟随耶稣那么久,最后还是出卖了祂。伯多禄自告奋勇说:死都不会离开耶稣。可是,遇到考验时,他却否认了祂。两者之间有何区别?犹达斯根本没有后悔他出卖耶稣,但是后来他选择自尽了;但是伯多禄就不同,他非常后悔三次否认了耶稣,因而祈求主的宽恕和原谅。

到底教友们作了那项选择或者将会做决定?是否好像犹达斯那样,弃绝耶稣而我行我素?或是学习伯多禄的明智行为:知错必改,且寻求主的宽恕和原谅,更密切的跟随祂。希望大家作明智的选择,要不然,将来得享永生的美梦就会泡汤的。

圣周星期一

有些人外表看来斯斯文文,但是心里却是别有目的,而且是非常狡猾和阴险。他们对准时机抢先把机会占为己有,大捞一笔。反之,他们将影藏不漏,等待时机再出击。

今天的福音里所提到的依斯加略人犹达斯就是类似旳人物。他并没有关心其他人的福利,他只顾自己的利益。他说,“为何不把那么多的香松油以三百块银钱卖了,好把钱拿去帮助穷人?”他如此说并非是因为想帮助穷人而是为了自己。福音中还说明犹达斯是个盗贼;由于他掌管财务的方便,他更是把别人献捐的占为己有。 除此之外,那些大祭司也是类似的人物,他们只顾自己,自私自利。他们最重要的事是怕失去众人的支持,更胆敢决定谋害拉匝禄。就因为如此,很多犹太人离开他们来跟随和信从耶稣。

我们的立场是什么?是否一切只顾自己的利益而为?是否为了自己的私欲和需要而不惜撒谎,欺骗,出卖或谋害他人?请不要被自己的愚蒙冲昏了头脑而干下伤天害理的事情。记得人在做,天主在看,最终你要为你所干下勾当而负上全部的责任。( 玛窦福音16:27 )

Sunday, 15 January 2017

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

From a young age, we were constantly taught and reminded to be strong and stand up for our rights. We were exposed to an environment where we must be the best, never lose out, be aggressive so that we protect what we think is rightfully ours, and to be rough and tough to prevent others from taking advantage of us. All these things taught us to be "wise" in worldly affairs, so that we would be able to live and prosper in this world.

However, today's Gospel paints us a different set of values: the values of the Kingdom or the beatitudes. Instead of being the best, never lose out, aggressive, rough and tough; the Gospel tells us: "Happy are the poor in spirit; happy the gentle; happy those who mourn; happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right; happy the merciful, happy the pure in heart, happy the peacemakers, happy the persecuted." It seems as if it is the weak, the powerless, the gentle and the ones who patiently endure suffering or persecution that are blessed. If we were to think like the rest of the world, then of course such values seem hard or even impossible to understand or even follow. But if we look at the second reading, St Paul reminds us: "it was to shame the wise that God chose what is foolish by human reckoning, and to shame what is strong that he chose what is weak by human reckoning; those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen – those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything.” When we allow ourselves to be consumed with power, violence, hatred and revenge, we will only experience the same things – power, violence, hatred and revenge.

So how do we get ourselves out from a potential mess and a vicious circle of fear, distrust and self-preservation? Jesus gives the answer, by teaching us an alternative set of values in today's Gospel. These values will transform our world into the Kingdom of God, a kingdom of peace, joy and love. Jesus counters the values of greed with values of simplicity; values of power with values of weakness; values of seeking revenge with values of mercy and forgiveness; values of dishonesty with values of honesty; values of violence with values of peace. Some may say: "But all these values sound impossible or improbable for us humans to carry out. Jesus is different, for He is God." But we must not forget that Jesus is God who became one of us. Throughout His life and ministry, He showed us how to be humble, powerless, non-violent; living a life of poverty, being gentle, hungering for righteousness, showing mercy, being a peacemaker and finally enduring persecution, suffering and even death on the cross. It is not impossible or improbable to do, if we let Jesus be our guide and walk in His ways.

So today, as the first reading tells us, let us "Seek the Lord, all you, the humble of the earth, who obey his commands. Seek integrity, seek humility: you may perhaps find shelter on the day of the anger of the Lord." When we strive to do so and live in His ways, then we will discover that it is when we are weak, we are truly strong.