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常年期第18主日 Homily 18th Sunday OT C July 31, 2022

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time C

Homily by Franklin Fong, OFM

 

In this weekend’s readings we have the central theme which is addressed in each of the three readings…. What is it that is the center of your life?

In the first reading from Ecclesiastes, it challenges us if we place our own desires as the center of our life - Vanity of vanities !

In the Psalm 33, we hear that time is fleeting, and so is human life.

When we come to realize that we are not immortal, we then become wise! We make most of our remaining years, months and days, doing God’s works. And we pray for God’s mercy to assist us to be productive.

In the second reading from Colossians, we are reminded not to forget the heavenly values and to avoid the earthly values…

It becomes so clear to us now that our earthly values center upon on our individualism and the earthly trinity: “Me, Myself and I” , this is the vanity of vanities. The new self has higher values and focuses its attention on spiritual things, not earthly things! This contrasts with the old self which is worldly and where material possessions take precedence over good relationships.

Finally in the Gospel reading from Luke, we have the story of the farmer who has an abundant harvest and decides to build a bigger barn to store “my harvest!” It is about his farm. This farmer forgets about our common heritage.  

What happened to our earth, our air, our water, our ecosystem? One of the greatest insights of recent decades has been the growing ecological awareness that we are part of an intricate web of life that no one species exists in isolation. We are all part of this intricate web of life.

Once we recognize this web of life, then it is then possible to begin to recognize how God has been there for this web of life from the very beginning and continues to this very moment.   

For some it takes a whole lifetime to come to this awareness. For others this awareness comes on at an early age.  

So once we acknowledge “what matters to God”, we are then able to modify and change our habits through daily activities and practices that celebrate, nurture, cultivate and strengthen our relationships with 

the created world, 

the human world, and 

the spiritual world  

As we repeat these habits, we slowly build basic character traits within ourselves. So slowly, it might begin with being more at one with creation. Then it might develop into being more at one with humanity.

Finally it might develop in being more at one with God.  

These is no preferred way of how we may mature in faith over the decades. For some it may be in this sequence.  

For others, it might begin with a strong relationship with God and from that flows a growing closeness to the created world, and to human society.

There is no preferred sequence in how this happens. This is what we then call the FAITH COMMUNITY. People of all types - as we heard who are Greek or Jew, slave or free ! Our task is not to judge each other, but to learn how to walk with each other, how to love one another.

And so, I invite you to take some time in these coming days to reflect on how you’re your journey of faith has unfolded over these past decades.   

How have you come to recognize the presence of Christ in your life’s decisions and spiritual habits?  

So we can deepen our faith in each of these three perspectives:  

the created world; the world of our fellow human beings; and the spiritual world.

Our God our Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are present in each of these worlds ! When was that moment when you realized that you changed some habit because of your realization that this is about Christ and God in your world? Each perspective is important and fortunately we have our entire life to work on them !  

End your reflection with a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s patient presence in your spiritual life as you became aware of God’s love for you !

Then pray for our entire faith community as we walk with each other regardless of being Christian, Muslim, Jew, or homeless.    

Let God be the judge as we walk with each other !

So, Brothers and Sisters of the Chinese Catholic Community,

that is the wonderful Good News

for this 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time !

Alleluia Alleluia !

Fr. Fong


 

(中文翻譯.原文以英文為準.)


常年期十八主日


讀經一:訓道篇 1:2, 2:21-23
讀經二:哥羅森人書 3:1-5,9-11
福音:路加福音 12:13-21


鄺神父主日道理中譯本

本主日的三篇讀經中,每一篇都分享著同一個中心主題:你生活的中心是什麼?

在讀經一訓道篇中,如果我們將自己的私慾作為生活的中心,它會不斷地挑戰我們——猶如虛榮心中之虛榮(虛中之虛)!

在聖詠33篇中,我們聽到了時間轉瞬即逝,人的生命也是如此。

當一天我們意識到我們不是永存不朽的,我們就要變得聰明! 我們要務求將餘生的年,月,日的絕大部分時間都用來做天主喜悅的工作。 我們更需祈求天主的憐憫,幫助我們有好成績,豐盛的收獲。

在讀經二哥羅森人書中,它提醒我們不要忘記屬於天上的價值觀,避免屬世的價值觀...

現在我們很清楚,我們的世俗價值觀集中在我們的個人主義和世俗的三位一體上:如“我、自己和自我”,這就是剛才指的虛中之虛。 新的我須具有更高的價值觀,需把注意力集中在精神的事上,而不是世俗物質的事情上! 這與舊的我形成鮮明對比,舊我是世俗的,物質財富優先於良好的精神關係。

最後,在路加福音中,我們看到了一個富農的故事,他收穫頗豐,決定建造一個更大的穀倉來儲存“我的收成!” 這是關於他自己個人農場的。 這個富農忘記了人類共同擁有的資源。

我們的地球、我們的空氣、我們的雨水、我們的生態系統與環境發生了什麼變化? 近幾十年來人類最偉大的認知改善之一是日益增長的生態環境意識,即覺察到全人類,是錯綜複雜的生命網絡中的一部分,沒有一個生命體是可以孤立地存在的。 我們人類都是這個錯綜複雜的生命網絡中息息相關的一部分。

當我們認識到這個生命網絡之際,那麼就有可能開始認識到天主是如何從太初就存在於這個生命之網,並一直持續到今天這一刻。

對某些人來說,需要窮一生的時間才能意識到這一點。 對於其他人,這種意識可能在小的時候就察覺了。

因此,一旦我們承認“什麼對天主很重要”,我們就可以通過我們的行為和每天的日常活動去改善我們的生活習慣,這些實在的活動和行為可以慶祝、培育、培養和加強(改善)我們與他人的關係予以下幾個範籌中:

-在天主創造的世界中,

-在人類世界中,和

-在精神世界中

當我們重複這些生活習慣時,我們會慢慢地在自己內部建立基本的性格特徵。 如此緩慢地,它可能從與受造物更加合一開始。 然後它可能會發展成與人類更為合一。

最後,它可能會發展為與天主更加合一(天人合一)。

這些不是我們幾十年來如何在信仰上成熟的首選方式。 對於某些人來說,它可能是這個發展次序。

對於其他人來說,它可能始於與天主的牢固關係,並由此與受造物世界和人類社會越來越親近。

這種情況如何發生並沒有任可優先次序。 這就是我們所稱的信仰團體。 各種類型的人——正如我們所聽到的,他們是希臘人還是猶太人,是奴隸還是自由人! 我們的任務不是互相批判,而是學習如何彼此同行,學習如何彼此相愛。

因此,我邀請您在接下來的幾天裡花一些時間來反思一下您在過去幾十年中的信仰歷程是如何展開的。

你是如何在你的生活方式中和信仰精神中認識到基督的存在?

因此,我們可以加深對以下三個方面的信心:

被受造的世界; 我們人類同胞的世界; 和精神世界。

天主,我們的聖父,聖子耶穌和聖神都確實地存在於這些世界中! 你有否在什麼時候意識到當你改變了一些生活上的習慣原為你察覺到這是出於耶穌基督和上主的影響? 每人的每個觀點都很重要,幸運的是,我們一生都在努力地在改善中!

當您意識到天主對您的大愛時,請以感恩的祈禱結束您的反思,感謝天主在您的精神生活世界中耐心地存在著!

然後為我們整個全球的信仰團體祈禱,無論是基督徒、回教徒、猶太教徒還是無家可歸者,我們都彼此並肩同行。

當我們彼此同行時,就讓天主來評判吧!

所以,華人天主教會的兄弟姐妹們,在這個常年期的第 18 主日中的美妙好消息!

阿肋路亞, 阿肋路亞!

 

 

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