公教教研中心 Catholic Institute for Religion & Society
教研主頁 | 教研簡介 | 聯絡教研 | 主日彌撒時間 | 徐神父網頁 | 捐助教研及中國福傳 | 搜尋 | 基基團聯會 |
教研資料庫
(內含書籍訂購)
慕道班
信仰與人生講座
教研主日彌撒
現場講道錄音
中國福傳/
對外聯繫
主日學/教研團體
你問我答信箱
福傳資料
搜尋
 
主日八分半  
28th Sunday of the Year
文稿(中文)
粵語講道普通話講道

TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Salvation for the World and for Every Individual

First Reading (Is 25:6-10): The Lord God bestows grace on all people
Second Reading (Phil 4:12-14,19-20): Be satisfied and be grateful.
Gospel (Mt 22:1-14): Parable of the wedding banquet.
Chinese Classics
-“To be above the power of riches and honors to make one dissipated, of poverty and mean conditions to make one swerve from principle, and of power and force to make me bend.” (1)
-“Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as floating cloud.” (2)
-“Not moved by honor or disgrace, Watch the flowers at the front yard bloom and fade; Not interested in staying or quitting, Let the clouds in the sky roll and unroll over me.” (3)

Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven to a king who prepared a banquet for his son. But those who were invited rejected the invitation, and some even killed the messengers who had brought the invitations. The king then turned around and invited everyone from the surrounding streets and lanes to the banquet.

This is the Gospel of Matthew's account: “Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, “Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.” But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. "(Mt 22: 1-14)

The Prophet Isaiah has the same story: “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth. "(Ref Is 25:6-8)

According to God's will this world is like a country and all of humankind are a big family, without boundaries or differences between you, me, I, we, or distinctions among religions, tribes, cultures, gender. Within the parable Scripture has a slight insertion. After the banquet hall was filled the king entered and noticed a guest who was not wearing festive clothing, so said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?” The guest did not answer. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness. (Ref Mt 22:11-13)

Following on this Jesus said these thought-provoking words, ‘For many are called, but few are chosen.’ (Mt 22:14)

The Lord invites everyone – that is universal salvation. But each of us must respond individually – that is individual salvation.

We can look at our Christian communities and notice that those called and receive Baptism are quite numerous. But if we continue to look carefully we notice that those who remain faithful Christians can number less and less. If we want to persevere in our faith we must be like Paul who says in today's first Reading, “I know what it is to have a little and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.’ (Ref Phil 4: 12-13)

As Christians, what we wear can be likened to the way we live. No matter what circumstances we come across, we must hold fast to our faith, as Mencius said, “To be above the power of riches and honors to make one dissipated, of poverty and mean condition to make one swerve from principle, and of power and force to make one bend.”(1)

There is a short story about a military general interested in morality who wanted to learn more about heaven and hell An ethicist said to him, ‘What is your profession?’ He said, ‘I am a general.’ The ethicist said, ‘I did not know you are a general, you look more like a slaughterhouse worker.’ On hearing this the general was very angry and raised a knife to kill the other. The ethicist said, ‘The door to hell will open at this.’ When the general heard this he immediately apologized. Once more the ethicist said, ‘The door to heaven also will open at this.’

Heaven and hell are not only part of the afterlife, they are here already. At any moment the door to heaven or hell can open to us. And at every moment we must decide whether or not to accept God’s invitation.

When Mr. Liu Hai Su was in Hong Kong, he presented this couplet to a group of reporters: “Not moved by honor or disgrace, Watch the flowers at the front yard bloom and fade; Not interested in staying or quitting, Let the clouds in the sky roll and unroll me.”(3) Some reporters edited the couplet and came up with this: “Not moved by honur or disgrace or staying or quitting, Watch the flowers and clouds in the sky at the front yard.” What the couplet means is: Whether you like me or not, I am not frightened. I would view it as the blooming and fading of the flowers at the front door. Whether you entrust me with responsibilities or not, I do not mind. I would see it as the coming and going of the floating clouds in the sky.

This is also what Confucius meant when he said, “Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness are to me as floating clouds.”(2) This elevated state is also what the Apostle Paul described in the passage quoted above.

We must be determined to accept God's invitation. Christ is the center of our lives. If Christ is the strength of my life I can face everything. In living a life like that the door to heaven is already opened wide for me to enter. That is salvation for everyone and also, the salvation prepared for me.

(1)富貴不能淫,貧賤不能移,威武不能屈。
(2)不義而富且貴,於我如浮雲。
(3)寵辱不驚,看庭前花開花落;去留無意,任天上雲捲雲舒。

 

  回頁頂