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四旬期第4主日 Homily 4th Sunday Lent March 19th, 2023

 

Homily 4th Sunday of Lent

Franklin Fong, OFM

March 19, 2023

 

This weekend’s readings are a beautiful collage of ideas which are meant to help us on our faith journey . An event or certain words stand for or suggest something other than what is ordinarily understood. So the use of symbolic language to convey spiritual ideas is very obvious in today’s readings.

We hear in our readings about a visible healing suggesting an invisible reality, that is the cure of a heart open to faith. There are the words “truth” and goodness”, “light” and “darkness” “sight” and “blindness” that are in today’s readings which will take on a deeper meaning to us.

Light is a symbol for truth and goodness. God is light and no one sees as God sees ! The first reading is about the anointing of David as shepherd-king of Israel. God chooses the youngest brother in his family because of things that God saw in David’s heart. This is not surprising then if we accept the idea that Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts. God is able to see into our hearts, in contrast to how humans are able to see only the appearances of the person.

The psalm talks about God as a shepherd who anoints, and which begins with “The Lord is my shepherd”.

The second reading is about living in the light. St Paul helps the Ephesians to recognize that Christ is like the light in the world. This light shows forth the goodness, truth and righteousness in the world. This is contrasted with the darkness where competing values might be found.

Finally the gospel reading from John is about two different types of persons who respond to Jesus as light. There is the physically blind man who has “faith” sight. Then there are those pharisees who claim that they see spiritually and ‘know it all’, but who are in reality spiritually blind ! They refuse to be enlightened by God in and through Jesus who is sent in God’s name. So these ‘know it all’s’ are in sin or darkness because sin is a refusal to be open to God’s ever new ways of revealing himself. Jesus restored sight to the blind beggar, who then comes to believe in Jesus. So the main point then is accepting Jesus as the Messiah!

The three elements of the follower of Jesus is that

1) we must be heart centered,

2) be able to recognize the light of Jesus Christ, and

3) to come to believe that he is the Son of Man.

From the story of the blind man who now sees and believes in Jesus, we hear how blind man now suffers the penalty of being banned from the Temple area. Jesus seeks him out and let him know that Jesus will be with him.

For us today, we are gently reminded that our hearts are the place where Christ will dwell in us, and that we must choose to see the light of Christ in the world, and not be like the Pharisees who could see, but refused to see the Light of Christ. Finally, we are reminded that Jesus will be with us, even when we might suffer consequences of seeing the light of Christ and using it with our hearts to live our lives in our secular world.

Take some time in the coming week to reflect on your own life and how consistent you have been in seeing and following in the light of Christ as your guide for life decisions.

 Consider:

• How have you chosen to live in the light in these last few years?

• Are there situations when you have brought the light of Christ into the darkness in your life?

• Can you recall any moments in your life when you chose not to hold the light of Christ in some situation?

Remember this is a choice we have to make in following and carrying the light of Christ – as we are all given free will !

 

Brothers and Sisters of the Chinese Catholic Community,

this is the Good News for this 4th Sunday of Lent.

Amen, Amen

 


 

(中文翻譯.原文以英文為準.)

 

四旬期甲年第四主日 (03/19/2023)
鄺神父主日講道中譯本


讀經一: 撒慕爾紀上 16: 1, 6-7, 10-13
讀經二: 厄弗所書 5: 8-14
若望福音 9: 1-41
 
本週的讀經是一幅在我們信仰旅程中充滿美麗意念的拼貼畫,一件事情或某些詞語代表或暗喻與我們一般理解的事物並不一樣,所以在今天的讀經中,很明顯是以像徵性的語言來傳達靈性上的概念。
 
我們在今天的經文中聽到有形的治癒對照著那看不到的真實,那就是對信仰敞開心扉的治療。今天讀經中的“真”與“å–„”、“明”與“æš—”、“見”與“瞎”等字眼,將賦予我們更深層的意義。
 
光明是真理和善良的象徵。天主是光,沒有人能像天主所看到和理解到的一樣!讀經一是關於達味受傅為以色列的君王。天主揀選葉瑟家最小的弟弟是因為天主看到達味的內心。如果我們接受耶穌基督住在我們心中,那麼這就不足為奇了。天主能看透人心,而人只能看到外表。
 
聖詠以“上主是我的牧者”作標題,以牧羊人的身份談論上主。

 
讀經二是有關在光中生活。聖保祿宗徒幫助厄弗所人認識到基督就像世界上的光。這光顯示了世上的良善、真理和正義。這與黑暗形成鮮明對比。
 
最後,從若望福音中看到兩種不同類型的人,他們將耶穌視為光。一個天生盲人卻擁有“ä¿¡ä»°”的視力。還有一些法利塞人,自稱他們在靈命上看得見並且“無所不知”,但實際上他們在靈命上是盲目的!他們拒絕經過從上主派遣來的耶穌來接受上主的啟迪。因此,這些“無所不知”的人處於罪和黑暗中,因為罪是拒絕接受上主不斷以新的方式來揭
示自己。耶穌使瞎眼的乞丐恢復了視力,他後來相信了耶穌。所以重點是接受耶穌為默西亞!
 
跟隨耶穌的三個要素是:
1)我們必須從心出發,
2)  能夠認出耶穌基督的光,並且
3)  相信他是人子。
 
從瞎子看見耶穌而信主的故事中,我們聽到瞎子遭受被禁止進入聖殿的懲罰。耶穌尋找他,讓他知道耶穌會與他同在。

 

今天的讀經溫柔地提醒我們,我們的心是基督居住的地方,我們必須選擇在世界上看到基督的光,而不是像法利塞人一樣,能看見卻拒絕看到。最後,我們被提醒耶穌會與我們同在,即使我們可能會因看到基督的光並用心在世俗生活中運用它而遇到的後果。
 
在接下來的一週,請花點時間來反思你自己的生活,以及你是如何始終如一地看到並跟隨基督的光作為你的人生路向,並考慮以下幾個問題:
• åœ¨éŽåŽ»çš„幾年裡,你是如何選擇活於光中的?
• åœ¨æŸäº›æƒ…況下,你會把基督的光帶進你生命的黑
  暗中嗎?
• ä½ èƒ½å›žæ†¶èµ·åœ¨ä½ ç”Ÿå‘½çš„某些時刻,你曾選擇過不
  持守基督之光嗎?
 
請記住,這是我們在追隨和傳播基督之光時必須做出的選擇——因為我們都被賦予了自由意志!
 
華人天主教會的兄弟姐妹們,這是四旬期第四主日的好消息。


亞孟,亞孟!