2022虎年春节弥撒正道


簡介:今年是虎年, 我想用虎字-成语及谚语来分享今年的春节道理。在圣经里,很少有提到‘虎’字,只有狮子而已


故事:老虎与基督徒的嘴唇

有一位天主的仆人,为主劳苦努力。某天他经过一片深山老林时,被一只老虎给吃了。这人离世后觉得很委屈,就去问天主:“天主啊,我为你劳苦,你怎么能让老虎把我给吃了呢?”天主说:“老虎为什么吃你,这件事还是问问老虎吧。”于是,他们就去问老虎。天主说:“老虎啊,我不是命令你,凡是属于我的,都不许你吃吗?”老虎说:“天主啊,我是遵守你的命令的。”说着,老虎拿出了两片人的嘴唇,它说,“天主啊,我仔细的观察过,这个人身上只有这两片嘴唇是属于你的,我看见除了这两片嘴唇之外,他身上没有任何一处地方是属于你的,所以我就把他给吃了。” 天主问人:“你还有什么话说呢?”人羞惭满面,低下了头。亲爱的肢体,我们要问问自己:我们身上有哪些是属于天主的呢?是否还保留着某些地方不属于天主呢?哦,那样真是太危险了,为着我们自己的信德,祈祷。为着我们自己的虔诚,圣洁,祈祷。使我们的虔诚不要只停留在教堂里,或者只在主日。多么简单的一个故事,但却值得深思。亲爱的弟兄姊妹啊,我们不能只做主日天的基督徒,我们要在生活中为主工作,很多人不明白,以为只有在教堂里侍奉才是为主工作,其实不完全对,我们在工作时,在家庭里,在生活中,在各种环境下,活出基督的样子,彰显天主的爱,让世人看到基督徒应有的样子,为主做那美好的见证,使更多人因此来到教会,那样的话,更是为主做工,基督教不是宗教,基督教其实就是基督;我们不是信宗教而是信基督;不是传教而是传基督,不是学教义而是学基督!参加宗教活动并不代表与基督有关系,有基督的生命才有永生!因为基督就是生命、道路、真理,不借着主基督,没有人可以到父那里去。所以弟兄姊妹,不要只有嘴上信,而是发自内心的信,并且活出新的生命!


真福八段:我们新年的祝贺词是:虎年納福蒙恩,那么就要从耶稣所教导的真福八段里學習,才能享受天主的福和祂的喜樂了!


老虎的本性

1. 老虎都本性是凶孟的-而天主的本性是愛,是憐憫,仁慈,我们的主耶稣教导我們相似天主,仁爱无量,宽恕为怀!祂称呼我们是朋友,平以近人。圣咏关於天主写道:“上主对祂的一切受造物仁爱慈祥”(参阅:咏一四五9)。《依撒意亚先知书》也描绘道,天主像爸爸对待婴儿那样与我们交谈,尽可能模仿婴孩的语气发出稚嫩的声音。祂首先以安抚的口吻保证道:“不要害怕,有我协助你。”(依四一13)祂的慈爱就是这样的,好似父亲、母亲。祂常说:‘纵然母亲能忘掉自己的儿子,我也不能忘掉你啊!’(依四九15)。祂把我们放在祂的心里。天主以这样的对话做了小孩子,为叫我们明白,好让我们信赖祂。我们可以像圣保禄那样勇敢地对祂说话,以一种不同的语气对天主说:‘爸爸,阿爸’。父亲,这就是天主的慈爱。”


2. 老虎都本性是勇敢- 五旬节圣神降临后,伯铎满得从上头来的能力,不再惧怕,勇敢地在公会、官长、大祭司等人面前见证耶稣从死里复活,向众人证明耶稣是基督。这是何等的勇敢。勇氣去傳福音,不要害怕被拒絕,拒絕魔鬼的誘惑。


3. 虎是掠食性肉食動物,它的本性有敏锐的听力、夜视力,我们要敏锐聆听天主的圣言,及好的视力去辨别是非,那个是天主的旨意,还是个人的私欲谝情-私心杂念意。

从虎的成语看生活信息1:一山不能容二虎。意思是同一山不藏二虎,比喻在一个地方两个强者不能相容。【玛6:24;「没有人能事奉两个主人:他或是要恨这一个而爱那一个,或是依附这一个而轻忽那一个。你们不能事奉天主而又事奉钱财。】在信仰生活當中不能侍奉兩個主人,天主還是錢財重要!

从虎成语看生活信息2:不可以馬馬虎虎:指做得一般。形容做事不認真,不仔細。

讀經之人該有的性情和習慣其二,不要馬虎。讀聖經的時候不可馬虎。所以我們要謹慎。做事情要認真確實、有始有終,不可以馬馬虎虎、虎頭蛇尾,才會成功。

从虎成语看生活信息3:生龍活虎:由此看來,在虎年開始之際,我們可以學習老虎的矯捷身手而活出的生命,鍛鍊灵修生活及身體強健而有虎背熊腰的碩壯。對於我們想要得到的目標,要有不入虎穴、焉得虎子的勇氣,這表示要冒險、付代價才得到寶貴的東西。【申民记Deuteronomy 34:1-12】「Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 沒有勞苦,沒有收成。)同樣的道理,在基督信仰裏,人若不願意走進教會,怎能瞭解那是每一個人互稱弟兄姊妹的屬天主之家?人若不打開天主啟示給人類的聖經,怎能進入智慧的寶庫?」但是不可以有勇無謀,像一隻初生之犢不怕虎。吃東西要細嚼慢嚥,不要狼吞虎嚥,才不會消化不良。人若不立志作明白人,新年走新路,又怎能進入天主寶貴的應許?就是「所以谁若在基督内,他就是一个新受造物,旧的已成过去,看,都成了新的。」(哥林多後書五章17節) 因此,在年終歲首,謹以對聯一副與讀者朋友共勉:新造的人過新年,萬能的主賜萬福。橫批:天主祝福滿滿。恭祝各位朋友:虎驾虎威,蒙恩蒙福 (虎), 虎虎风生,虎气冲天,事事如主意!如虎添翼!

蔡钊发神父笔于2022虎年春节中文弥撒道理

Chinese New Year Homily 2022

The illustrative story shared by Fr Philip has a ghastly slant to it. So, spoiler alert, before I translate. The title of the story is the Tiger and the lips of a Christian. I know that this sounds peculiarly strange in English, but you would soon understand the reason for this not so innocuous title.  The protagonist of our story is a Christian who strived to serve the Lord.

One day, as he was passing through the forest, he was eaten by a tiger. This is not the ending but only the start of the story. Feeling that his death was untimely and unjust, the man demanded an answer from God: "God, I had been faithfully serving you, how can you allow the tiger to eat me?" God said, "Why did the tiger eat you? Let’s ask the tiger." So, they went to ask the tiger. God questioned the animal, "O tiger, did I not command you to refrain from eating anything which belongs to me?" The tiger replied, "O God, I obeyed your command to the letter." With that, the tiger produced two fleshy pieces of meat which happened to be the man's lips, and he said, "God, I have observed carefully that the only part of this man which belongs to you are his lips and I have carefully set these aside and not consumed them. As for the rest of his body, nothing belongs to you, so I ate him." God turned to the man, "What else do you have to say?" The man bowed his head in shame.

And so, the story begs this question: which part of us belongs to God? Are there still areas in our lives which do not belong to Him? Is our faith merely confined to lip-service, to external acts of piety? Dear brothers and sisters, we can't be merely content in being nominal or Sunday Catholics. Being a Christian requires a life-time of service to the Lord, and it is certainly not confined to what we do in Church on a Sunday. In whatever situation we may find ourselves in, we should always strive to imitate Christ, witnessing God’s love to others, so that the testimony of our lives, and not just our words, would be a source of attraction to others to lead them to Christ. Christianity is not just a matter of performing religious practises. Christianity is fundamentally about Christ. It is Christ who is the content of our faith and the subject of our preaching. No amount of pious acts can guarantee eternal life. It is Christ who guarantees it because He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

The Year of the Tiger is a year of blessings and grace, such as the beatitudes which we had just heard in the gospel. Let us take a close look at the nature of this zodiac animal. The characteristics of the tiger both reflect and stand in contrast to the nature of God.

1. While tigers are known to be fierce creatures by nature, God's nature is loving and merciful. Our Lord Jesus teaches us to be like God, to love unconditionally and to forgive unceasingly! He calls us friends and in fact, He treats us as His most intimate friends. The Psalmist tells us, “The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made” (Psalm 145:9). The Prophet Isaiah also portrays God as a doting father, who would even condescend to speak in the language of an infant. He tells us not to be afraid and reassures us that He will not forget us, even should a mother forget her child.

2.  Everyone knows that tigers are courageous animals. After the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we see a wondrous change in Peter – he is no longer afraid as he bravely gives witness to the resurrection of Christ when he is brought before the religious and civil authorities. The Peter who feared arrest when our Lord was dragged off for trial is no longer afraid of being rejected or even executed.

3.  Thirdly, the tiger is a predatory carnivore who has keen hearing and sharp night vision. We must similarly listen attentively to the Word of God and be able to discern right from wrong, and distinguish God's will from our own egoistic agendas.

Lastly, Fr Philip would like to draw several lessons from a collection of Chinese idioms which contain the word “tiger.” 

The first idiom is “a mountain cannot accommodate two tigers.” The metaphor is obvious: any situation cannot accommodate two strong personalities. Two strong personalities would always be at loggerheads and incompatible. Our Lord Himself tells us in Mt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters: he either hates the one and loves the other, or he clings to the one and despises the other." You cannot serve God and serve money. As people of faith, it is not possible to serve two masters. God should always be our greatest treasure and that which we most value in life.

The second idiom is a play of words: “不可以馬馬虎虎,”which literally translates as “you can’t be a horse and a tiger.” The real meaning of the saying is you cannot be sloppy, doing things callously. When reading the Word of God, we should not take a sloppy and care-less attitude. We must approach everything diligently and carefully.

The third idiom in conjunction with this year of the Tiger is: “生龙活虎”which literally means “live dragon living tiger.” Bear with us. I know this weird saying sounds similar to the English title of the wushu blockbuster, “Crouching Tiger and Hidden Dragon.” I can assure you that the meaning of this saying is more coherent than how it sounds in Chinese. The idiom suggests that one should live a life of vigour and vitality. A rigorous spiritual life should be matched by a healthy body full of vitality. I could say that Fr Philip is living and walking proof of this – He ensures that His personal spiritual life is matched by a healthy mind as well as healthy body. Both Fr Bona and I require more work in this area. We console ourselves with the reassurance that we are “works in progress.”

The final idiom sums up the whole process of spiritual progress, “if we do not enter the tiger’s den, how can we hope to catch the tiger cub.” The English equivalent is simple: “No pain no gain” or its scriptural parallelism in Deuteronomy 34:1-12 “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” If we are unwilling to take risks, how could we attain anything of value? The same could be said of the Christian faith. If a person is not ready to come to Church, how can he discover that this is the family where all are brothers and sisters? Or how could a man discover the treasury of wisdom which God has revealed to mankind without first opening scriptures and reading the Word of God therein? If all these things sound daunting and even overwhelming, you can take the cue from the advice given by a mother tigress to her newborn cub: chew slowly, do not gobble down your food to avoid having indigestion. If one is unwilling to grow in understanding and take new paths for this year, how could he possibly experience God’s choicest blessings? As St Paul writes: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Lastly, Fr Philip offers this New Year couplet as a blessing for the whole community. I hope that it is not lost in translation: “As the man who is a new creation celebrates the new year, Almighty God grants His abundant Blessings!”

Homily in Mandarin by Father Philip Chua
Translated by Father Michael Chua
Tuesday, 1st February 2022

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