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常年期第17主日 Homily 17th Sunday OT C July 24, 2022

Homily for 17th Sunday Ordinary Time C

Homily by Franklin Fong, OFM

 

Genesis 18: 20 – 32; 2 Colossians 2:12-14; Gospel: LUKE 11: 10 13

 

 In this weekend’s readings, we hear two main points:

1.  About prayer and 

2.  About how we are united in baptism thru Christ to our heavenly Father.

In the first reading, Abraham models for us two important aspects of prayer:

  • State your hopes and dreams;
  • Be persistent in stating your hopes and dreams.

You might be wondering why is Abraham so concerned about Sodom and Gomorrah? We know from earlier chapters that Abraham’s relatives -- Lot and his family who live in Sodom.  

Abraham also models for us that often times we start our prayer to be very general. But then as you go deeper into prayer, you begin to make it more specific. For instance, we can be praying for the victims of violence around the world, or we can pray more specifically for the ones who have suffered in our nation or neighborhood.

The second reading from 2nd letter to the Colossians, focuses our attention on how Christ is our mediator to our heavenly Father. All this begins with our baptism, and then implicitly on all the other sacraments. It is through this intimate relationship with Jesus Christ that yes our sins as well will be nailed to the cross when we return to our heavenly Father.  

In the Gospel of Luke reading, we are reminded to use a prayer that begins with a series of petitions to or requests of our Father. And Jesus reminds us again to be persistent. This is captured in the beautiful imagery of 

  • Ask and you will receive,
  • Seek and you will find,
  • Knock and the door will be opened for you.  

So we now see the complete picture of how prayer is the action steps which we do throughout our lives of discipleship. It is thru our prayers done persistently over our entire lives, that we are dependent on Christ’s mediation for us to our Heavenly Father. We begin this with our baptism, and sustained through our practice of all of the sacraments.  

I distinctly remember praying as a college undergraduate at the side pew Old St Mary’s Church on Grant Avenue. Whenever I came home for the weekend, I would always take a few moments to sit and pray for guidance in finding what my major in college should be and what I should do after graduation.  

 

I had always focused on some goal. Yet my prayers were answered not in some goal, but in some processes. And this method of how God intervened in my life was not apparent to me until I could look back retrospectively in my life.  

Our vision is very short ranged and immediate. While God’s vision for each of us is 30 to 40 years in a span at the shortest. It was only when I was about 45 that upon looking back on my life decisions, I now could see that God was preparing me through learning and developing various talents and skills in my life.  

My life in becoming a research biologist was not about becoming a professor, but it was about learning how to think analytically, and to appreciate and understand the long-term basis for how life gradually adapts to an ecosystem. It was not about doing teaching and research in Texas, but it was about being in Texas to have a Franciscan inspiration by the Poor Clares in Navasota TX. It was not about being a teaching brother in the Franciscans and being a missionary in the Philippines, but it was to experience a totally different cultural way of being Catholic. 

Finally, it was not about making leaps of faith in my life, but it was about trusting more deeply in God’s love for me regardless of what was presented to me in my friar life. We start for one reason, and God’s reason is not apparent to us until years later. And so you see, it all begins in prayer. We pray for what we think is the reason for doing this - some petition, some request, some hope or dream.

God will answer our prayers with the intent of bringing us closer to fulfilling God’s vision for us.

Take some time in the coming week to reflect on your life. 

 Consider reviewing some of the things you have prayed about in past decades.  

  • How was your prayer answered?  
  • How did God answer your prayers?  
  • Did it happen in the way you thought it would be?  
  • Or was there some other aspect of God’s love which revealed itself to you over time because of this prayer?

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

This is the good news for this 17th Ordinary Sunday,

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Fr. Fong

 


 

 

(中文翻譯.原文以英文為準.)


常年期十七主日


讀經一:創世記 18:20-32
讀經二:哥羅森人書 2:12-14
福音:路加福音 11:10,13


鄺神父主日道理中譯本


本週的讀經中,我們聽到兩個要點:
1) 關於祈禱,和
2) 關於我們如何在通過基督的洗禮中和天父結合。

 

在讀經一中,亞巴郎為我們示範,祈禱包括兩點要素。
● 說出你的希望和夢想;
● 堅持表達你的希望和夢想

您可能想知道為什麼亞巴郎如此關心索多瑪和哈摩辣?這是因為我們從前面的章節中知道,亞巴郎的親戚羅特和他一家都是住在索多瑪的。

亞巴郎還給了我們一個祈禱的模式,我們常常開始祈禱時是非常籠統的。但是當你更深入地祈禱時,你開始把它變得更具體。例如,我們可以為世界各地的暴力受害者祈禱,但或者我們可以更具體地為在我們國家或鄰里遭受苦難的人祈禱。
 

讀經二的哥羅森人書第二章教我們注意基督如何作為我們與天父之間的中保,這一切都從我們的洗禮開始,然後隱含在所有其他聖事上。正是通過與耶穌基督的這種親密關係,當我們回到天父身邊時,我們的罪也將被釘在十字架上。


在路加福音的閱讀中,我們被提醒使用以一系列向天父的祈求或請求,開始我們的祈禱。耶穌再次提醒我們要堅持不懈。這在美麗的圖像中被捕捉到:

● 你們求,必要給你們

● 你們找,必要找著
● 你們敲,必要給你們開

 

因此整個門徒生涯中所作的每一以行動作出的步驟,其全貌就是祈禱。正是通過我們一生堅持不懈的祈禱,我們才能依靠基督為我們向天父作中保。我們從我們的洗禮開始,跟著通過實踐所有的聖事來維持。


我清楚地記得作為一名大學本科生,我在三藩市都板街上的舊聖瑪利教堂側旁的座位上祈禱。每當我周末回家時,我總是會花點時間坐下來祈禱,以尋求指導,尋找應修大學專業,以及畢業後應該做什麼。


我一直專注於某個目標。然而,我的祈禱不是在某個目標中得到回應,而是在某些過程中得到回應。直到我回顧已往,我才明白天主是如何工干預了我的一生。


我們的願景是非常短距離和直接的。而天主對我們每個人的願景最短是 30 到 40 年。直
到我大約 45 歲的時候,回顧我的人生決定,我現在才看到天主一直藉著我學習和發展我
生活中的各種才能和技能,以此方式來準備我。


我成為研究生物學者不是爲了當一名教授,而是學習如何進行分析思考,以及了解和理解生命如何逐漸適應生態系統的長期基礎。這不是關於在德薩斯州進行教學和研究,而是關於在德薩斯州時,從德薩斯州的 Poor Clare’s in Navasota 那裡獲得方濟會士的感召。這不是為要成為方濟會內的教職修道士及在菲律賓做傳教士,而是為要體驗一種完全不同的天主教文化方式。


最後,這不是為要在我的生活中實現信仰的飛躍,而是要更深地相信天主對我的愛,無論在我的修道士生活中呈現給我的是什麼。我們開始有一個原因,直到多年後我們才明白天主的原因。所以你看,這一切都始於祈禱。我們祈禱,因為有一些請願,一些要求,一些希望或夢想。


天主會回應我們的祈禱,目的是讓我們更接近實現天主對我們的願景。
 

在接下來的一周里請你花一些時間來反思你的生活。
 

考慮回顧一下你在過去幾十年裡祈禱過的一些事情。
● 你的禱告得到什麼回應?

● 天主如何回應你的禱告?
● 是否以你想像的方式發生?
● 還是,由於這個禱告,天主隨着時間的推移,以其他層面顯示出祂的愛呢?

 

華人天主教會的兄弟姐妹們,這就是常年期十七主日帶來的喜訊。

亞肋路亞,感謝天主

 

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