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常年期第16主日 Homily 16th Sunday OT C July 17, 2022

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Homily by Franklin Fong, OFM

 

First reading, Genesis 18:1-10a

Second Reading, Colossians 1:24-28

Gospel: Luke 10:38 -42

 

In this weekend’s three readings we really have to take some extra time to sit back and reflect a bit later in this week about how the main theme of these readings is expressed in your lives as individuals and as members of a community of faith. So what is the central theme of the three readings?   

 

In the first reading from Genesis, we have Abraham modeling for us what it means to have a relationship with total strangers who he believes are angels or representatives of God. Abraham enthusiastically invites them to rest, get some food and drink, and to relax from their long trip. He recruits his wife Sarah to help prepare the meal for these guests who just show up at their tent.

 

In the second reading, from St Paul’s letter to the Colossians about how he is bringing the hope and wisdom of the Good News. And to do that he must take up as he refers to it as the “sufferings for your sake”. So we now see Paul as the stranger in the land of Gentiles, preaching and willfully taking on the burdens of doing this ministry of building the church or the “body of Christ”.  

 

In the Gospel reading from Luke, we hear about Jesus’s visit with Martha and Mary. We hear about the two different ways that these two disciples of Jesus, have a relationship with him. For Mary this relationship is about listening and discussing with Jesus aspects of the Good News. For Martha the relationship with Jesus is about her preparing the food drink for him and preparing dinner table so that everything will be ready in good time.  

 

So what do we see in each of these readings that is in common? It is about relationship between the one with Good News and the ones who need to hear the good news. We have presented to us three perspectives of what this relationship is all about for the life of any disciple.

 

In the first reading it is about how we show hospitality to the strangers in our lives. It is about generosity, attentiveness, and interactions with the strangers. And it focuses more on the perspective of the host.

 

In the second reading, it is about the perspective of how we are the stranger in the community need to be open to accepting the challenges and demands of being the stranger in a foreign land and culture.

 

Finally in the Gospel reading from Luke, we hear of the perspective of being that person who is the guest and not a stranger to the hosts.  

 So we see that yes the central theme is about hospitality but it is from each of three different perspectives:  

the perspective of the host;

the perspective of the guest who is a stranger; and finally 

the perspective of the guest who is a respected friend of the host.  

 

In each of these situations we begin to appreciate a slightly different lesson from each of these three perspectives. Firstly, Abraham models for us what it means to be the host - to be generous, enthusiastic, inviting, persistent. Secondly, St Paul reminds us that as a stranger in a foreign culture, we must expect to take on challenges, and burdens as part of our presence in this foreign culture. 

 

Finally, Jesus reminds us that there are two distinctive ways of being that good disciple:  

to learn as best you can about what the good news is about; and 

to do something in your world as an expression of your receiving this good news in your life. 

 

The main point of Jesus tho is that we need to do both, i.e. to learn and to do some pastoral ministry. One without the other will not work in the long run. And that we have to always start with the learning piece first, followed by ministry and action steps.  

 

So how have you shown hospitality to the strangers in your midst? How have you carried the cross or the burdens of being that stranger in a foreign situation? And how have you been able to balance between the contemplative spiritual life and the active pastoral ministry life as a disciple of Jesus?

 

Reflect on how you can use these ideas to build on your family as a church. What ways have you prayed together? Or have done ministries together?  

 

Pay attention to the many ways you have already deepened your faith over the years to reach the level of prayer and ministry at this point of your life. The spiritual life is cumulative, and the Holy Spirit slowly works in each of our lives one day at a time to fulfill God’s vision for each of us as individuals and as a parish community.     

 

Let us especially give thanks to the Holy Spirit for guiding each of us to form our community of faith here at St Leander Church!  

 

Brothers and Sisters of the Chinese Catholic Community, 

that is the Good News for this 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Alleluia Alleluia !

 


 

(中文翻譯.原文以英文為準.)

常年期十六主日

讀經一:創世記 18:1-10a

讀經二:哥羅森人書 1:24-28

福音:路加福音 10:38 -42

鄺神父主日道理中譯本

 

在本週的三篇讀經中,我們真的要多花一點時間在本週內思考一下這些主題及這些經文,在你們個人及作為信仰團體的成員,如何在生活中表現出來?那麼這三篇讀經的中心思想是什麼?

在讀經一的創世記中,我們看到亞巴郎為我們展示了如何與陌生人建立關係,他深信這些陌生人就是天主的使者。亞巴郎熱情地邀請他們留下休息,拿出食物和飲品,讓他們在長途旅程中歇息。他又找了他妻子撒辣為這些剛出現在帳篷裡的客人做飯。

在第二篇讀經中,從聖保祿宗徒寫給哥羅森人的書信中,道出了他是如何為外邦人帶來福音的希望與智慧。為了達此目的,他必須承受如他所說的“為了你們甘願受苦"的苦楚。所以我們可以把保祿看作是"在外邦人土地上生活的陌生人",他甘願在建設教會或“基督奧體”時所面對的困厄中,推動他的傳教工作。

在路加福音中,耶穌在瑪爾大和瑪利亞家中作客,我們看到這兩位門徒對接待耶穌有兩種截然不同的方式,這兩種方式都是從與耶穌的關係上衍生出來的。
瑪利亞用的是聆聽和與耶穌討論天主聖言的方式。對瑪爾大來說,她最關注的卻是為耶穌準備一頓豐富的晚餐,一切都有條不紊,絲毫不能出差錯。

那麼我們在這些經文中看到了什麼共通點?它是關乎帶來天主聖言的聖者與接受聖言者之間的相互關係。我們在此展示了這三方面的觀點,這些觀點關乎每位信徒的靈性生命。

第一篇讀經關乎我們在日常生活中對我們身邊的陌生人的待客之道。是出於主人家的慷慨,關顧和與陌生人的互動關係。而且它更著重從主人家的角度來看事情。

第二篇讀經,是從陌生人的角度來看事情,來自他郷的陌生人,需要開放自己接受異地文化帶來的衝擊和滿全當地人的期望。

最後,在路加福音中,我們看到了從客人方面的觀點,這位客人,主人家是認識的,他不是陌生人。我們看到的中心思想,沒錯是關於待客之道,但它卻來自三種不同的觀點:
1. 從主人家的角度
2. 從客人,同時他也是個陌生人的角度
3. 從客人,但他卻是主人家尊敬的友人的角度

在上面的情況中,都讓我們開始體會到這三個觀點,每一個觀點都為我們帶來了學習的教訓。首先,亞巴郎為我們樹立了如何做好主人家的榜樣,要慷慨、熱情、誠邀、堅持不懈。其次,聖保祿提醒我們,作為異國文化中的陌生人,我們必須接受我們身處這種外國文化將要帶來的挑戰和重擔。最後,耶穌提醒我們,作為好門徒有兩種特質:
1. 盡力學習和了解天主聖言
2. 在你日常生活範籌中,要做一些事情,以表達你接受了天主聖言。

耶穌的重點是要我們兩者兼備,隨了學習天主聖言外,還要做一些牧靈事工。從長遠來說,兩者相輔相成,缺一不可。而且我們必須先從學習天主聖言開始,然後才是牧靈事工和實質行動。

那麼,你如何對在你們中間的陌生人展現出待客之道呢?作為一個客居異地的陌生人,你如何背負十字架的重擔?作為耶穌的門徒,你又如何在靈性生活和積極的牧靈生活之間取得平衡?

思考如何使用這些想法來建立教會大家庭。你們可有找到甚麽方法與大家一起祈禱嗎?又用了甚麽方法一起推動教會事工呢?

這些年來,從專注找出這些方法的過程中,已讓你們深化了你們的信仰,在你生命中的每個階段,都已達到祈禱和事工的一定水平。屬靈生命是累積出來的,聖神慢慢會在我們每一個人的生命中作工,每天都一點一滴的實現了上主對我們每個人作為個人和堂區的願景。

讓我們特別感謝聖神,引領我們一起建立聖利安達教堂的信仰團體!
 
華人天主教會的兄弟姐妹們,
這就是常年期十六主日帶來的喜訊。亞肋路亞,感謝天主。

 

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