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復活期第五主日講道 Homily 5th Sunday Easter May 7, 2023

 

Homily 5th Sunday Easter 2023

Franklin Fong, OFM

May 7, 2023

 

The central message of today’s readings are about Who are we? and What are we? The lived answers to these questions make us CHURCH. The greatest need in the Church today is to alert all members to who they are before God and what God calls them to do.

 

Who we are before God proclaims a precious dignity and worth in our faith journey. What God calls us to do in ministry is a validation and expression of this dignity and worth; the church needs the talents and gifts of every member!

 

In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles we hear about the occurrence of class distinction between the Greek-speaking and the Hebrew-speaking followers of Christ. We first hear about how the Hellenists who were the people of Greek heritage, language or culture complaining about the ‘Hebrews’ who were the Christian converts from Judaism. The Hebrew’s ministry was failing in providing food for the Hellenist widows in their community. The 12 apostles gathered and decided to choose 7 persons to assist them feeding these widows in their community. 

 

So, we see how there are different needs and ministries that become evident once they began the Church. Growth calls for new ministries that provided fair service to the needy while the praying and teaching roles by the apostles could continue. The newly created ‘deacons’ of the early church were assigned to wait on the tables of the ever-growing community.   

 

The author of Acts used the verb ‘diakonein’ which means to serve. It is from this verb that over time the word deacon evolved from the verb. So this verse then presents to us the earliest hints of how a new service in the church slowly evolved over time to how we understand serving as a deacon in today’s church.  

 

In the second reading from 1 Peter, we hear about the imagery of the members of the church to be ‘living stones’ that together form a temple or community of faith doing spiritual sacrifices from committed hearts. Everyone in the Church is baptized into a holy and royal priesthood. We are called to reflect God’s holiness and be active in worship of God and in service to others. This reading emphasizes that the Church is a spiritual building; a house of living stones built on Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of this Spiritual House.

The Gospel reading from John directs our attention heavenward towards another building. It is a home for all of us, whatever our form of ministry might be. This home is not so much a place but an experience of divine life with our Father. We hear of the example of two apostles Thomas and Philip who do ask questions of Jesus. They asked about:

 

  • How would the death of Jesus give us hope of being re-united after a time of separation?
  • How are we to find dwelling places with God?
  • How does Jesus reveal God?
  • How is God reflected in us and others?

 

These questions help us to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of our oneness with God and with one another. What unites God and Jesus should also unite us! We are to regard ourselves as a community that shares in the very life of Christ. We are the living stones of a spiritual edifice as we heard in the second reading.  

 

Before I close I want to share with you something I learned about the Asian American Christian leaders called the “Asian American Christian Collaborative” delegation, met with White House officials about important issues facing our community: gun violence, mental health, education, and racial solidarity. This is a beautiful example of how Asian American Christians first dialogued with each other and then took it to the next stage of doing something about the issues they felt were important to them by bringing it the attention of President Biden’s staff ! So you can see that today’s message applies to everyone on a faith journey at every level of our Christian community.

 

Take some time in the coming week to reflect on these questions:

  1. How have we made an effort thru study, reading or inquiry to deepen your understanding of what God is about in your lives?
  2. How have we shared our vision of the Chinese Catholic Community?
  3. How have we met the needs of the Chinese Catholic Community?
  4. Reflect in private prayer on the ‘oneness’ of Jesus with the heavenly Father as “the way, the truth and the life”.
  5. How is this “oneness” of Jesus found with us in our faith journey as the Chinese Catholic Community? 

 

Brothers and Sisters of the Chinese Catholic Community of St Leander’s Parish,  

that is the Good NEWs for this 5th Sunday of Easter.

Alleluia Alleluia.

 


 

(中文翻譯.原文以英文為準.)

 

四旬期甲年復活期第五主日 (05/07/2023)
鄺神父主日講道中譯本


讀經一: 宗徒大事錄 6: 1-7
讀經二: 聖伯多祿前書 2: 4-9
若望福音 14: 1-12

 

今天讀經的中心思想信息是關於我們是誰? 我們是什麼? 這些問題的活生生答案使我們成為教會。 今天教會最需要的是提醒所有成員他/她們在天主面前是一個什麼身份的誰,天主召叫他們在世上做什麼。

 

我們在天主面前的身份是宣告了我們在信仰之旅中的寶貴尊嚴和價值。 天主召叫我們在事奉中所做的,就是對這種尊嚴和價值的證實和行動的表達; 教會的生存與發展的的確確需要每個成員的才能和恩賜!

 

在宗徒大事錄的讀經一中,我們聽說到在講希臘語和講希伯來語的基督信徒之間出現了階級區別。 我們首先聽到擁有希臘傳統、語言或文化的希臘人如何抱怨從猶太教皈依天主教的“希伯來人”。 希伯來人的事工未能為團體中的操希臘語的寡婦提供食物。 十二位宗徒聚集在一起,決定選出七人來幫助他們在團體中負責這些寡婦的飲食。

 

因此,我們看到一旦他們開始教會,不同的需求和事工就會變得很明顯。 增長與發展需要新的事工,為有需要的人提供公平一致的服務,同時宗徒的祈禱和教導角色可以繼續。 早期教會新創建的“執事”被指派在不斷壯大的團體的餐桌上侍候。

 

宗徒大事錄的作者使用了動詞“diakonein”,意思是服務。 隨著時間的推移,執事這個詞就是從這個動詞演變而來的。 因此,這篇經文向我們展示了教會中一項新服務如何隨著時間慢慢演變為我們如何理解在當今教會中擔任執事的最早暗示和標記。

 

在伯多祿前書的讀經二中,我們聽到教會成員的形像是“活石”,他們一起形成一座聖殿或信仰團體,從堅定的心中做出靈性上的犧牲。 教會中的每個人都受洗成為聖潔和尊貴的司祭。 我們被召叫去反映天主的無限的聖潔,並積極恭敬天主和為他人服務,愛主愛人。 本讀經強調教會是屬靈的建築; 一座建造在耶穌基督身上的活石房屋,是這座神聖殿宇的基石。

 

若望福音的經文將我們的注意力引向天上的另一棟建築。 它是我們所有人的家,無論我們的事工形式如何。 這個家與其說是一個地方,不如說是與天父一起體驗神聖生活的地方。 我們聽說過兩位宗徒多默和斐理伯向耶穌提問的例子。 他們詢問:

 

  •  è€¶ç©Œçš„死如何給我們在分離一段時間後能再團聚的希望?
  •  æˆ‘們如何找到與天主合一的居處?
  •  è€¶ç©Œå¦‚何啟示了天父?
  •  å¤©ä¸»çš„肖像如何反映在我們和其他人的身上?

 

這些問題幫助我們更深入地理解和欣賞我們與天主以及彼此的合一。 將天主和耶穌合而為一起來的東西也應該將我們連結起來成為一體! 我們要將自己視為一個分享基督生命的團體。 正如我們在讀經二中所聽到的,我們是這座神聖殿宇的活石。

 

在結束前,我想與大家分享一些我了解到的關於亞裔美國基督徒領袖們的事情,這個領袖團名為“亞裔美國基督徒共同合作”代表團,與白宮官員就我們社區面臨的重要問題會面:槍支暴力、心理健康、教育和種族歧視下的團結等問題。 這是一個很好的例子,說明亞裔美國基督徒如何首先互相對話,然後進入下一階段,通過引起拜登總統的工作人員的注意,對他們認為為他們最重要的問題採取行動! 所以你可以看到,今天的信息適用於我們天主教團體各個層面的信仰之旅中的每個人。

 

在接下來的一週裡,請花點時間思考這些以下問題:

 

  1. 我們如何通過學習、閱讀或探究來加深您對天主在您生活中的意義的理解?
  2. 我們如何分享我們對華人天主教團體的看法?
  3. 我們如何以行動滿足華人天主教團體的需求?
  4. 在個人的祈禱中反思耶穌與天父的“合一”是指“道路、真理和生命”。
  5. 作為華人天主教團體,在我們的信仰之旅中,耶穌的這種“合一”是如何被發現的?

 

聖利安達堂區華人天主教會的兄弟姐妹們,這是復活節第五主日的好消息。

亞肋路亞, 亞肋路亞!