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常年期第33主日 HOMILY 33rd Sunday OT A Nov 19, 2023

 

常年期第三十三主日

Fr. Anson Antony

 

親愛基督內的弟兄姊妹: 有一個古老的故事,關於兩個農夫在一個初春的日子在欄杆上的對話。

「傑克,」第一個說:「你今年打算種什麼,粟米?」

「不,」傑克回答道,「害怕粟米蛀蟲。」

「那麼,薯仔呢?」他的鄰居問。

「不,薯仔蟲的危險太大了,」傑克回答。

鄰居追問:「那麼,你要種什麼?」

傑克回答:「我會謹慎行事,什麼都不種!」

在今天的福音,耶穌講了一個像傑克這樣懶惰的僕人的故事,他埋了自己的才能,而不是利用它來做生意。三編讀經的主題是邀請我們充分利用天主賦予我們的才能,以便在我們臨終時,上主會說:「做得好!你這又好又可靠的僕人。。。進來享受你主人的福樂吧!(瑪25:21)。

讀經一提議,我們應該像一個忠誠、堅貞的妻子一樣勤苦、勤奮,懷著「敬畏天主」的心,運用天主所賜的恩賜和才幹。與領了一個金元寶的僕人不同,她接受自己的天賦並「帶來幸福,而不是煩惱」;「她隨手賙濟困苦的人,她伸手扶助貧窮的人。」

在今日的答唱詠,聖詠第 128編,作者呼應忠心上主的僕人蒙受祝福的觀念。聖詠確認敬畏天主是人類幸福和成功的關鍵。

在讀經二,聖保祿建議我們在等候「主的日子」的時候,要保持警醒謹慎,互相鼓勵、互相扶持。他挑戰得撒洛尼人將對主的敬畏轉化為積極、建設性和肯定生命的行動。

今天的福音挑戰我們提出以下問題:我們是否利用我們的才能和恩賜主要為事奉天主?我們是否竭盡全力遵行天主的旨意?金元寶的比喻挑戰我們此時此地利用我們的人才做一些積極的、建設性的和肯定生命的事情。

親愛的弟兄姊妹,首先,我們需要相信天主來使用所賜予我們的恩賜和能力。在我們中有些人顯然非常具有寶貴的能力,但沒有人,絕對沒有人可以說他一無所有。我們可能在教導兒童、煮飯、修理房屋或電腦程式設計方面特別有天賦。因此,我們應該問自己,我們怎樣利用我們特殊的恩賜來為我們的天主教團體和更廣泛的社會服務?為什麼不效仿那些以最好的方式利用天主賦予的才能的人?例如,護理助理為保持病人的清潔和舒適而感到自豪,或者木匠從建造優質房屋中獲得巨大的滿足感,或者那些發現在課室找到樂趣的老師,或是那些實踐正義目標的律師?

其次,我們需要在堂區發揮我們的才能。天主召叫我們透過冒險和慷慨來生活在一個富裕的世界。除了我們的家和家人之外,最好的地方就是我們的堂區。這表示著我們應該時常願意分享我們在教會內創造性崇拜和在主日學進行創新教育活動的能力。我們可以滿足堂區的需求:為飢餓者提供食物、探望病人或老人、為無家可歸者提供住屋以及歡迎陌生人來到我們身邊。我們需要做出大膽的假設,即是我們的堂區團體需要我們每個人的才能。我們應該滿懷信心地走出去,相信天主給我們的每一份恩賜都將非常有用且富有成果!

最後,我們需要用我們的信德才能進行「交易」:今天教會中的所有人都至少獲得了一個才能。我們已經收到了信仰的恩賜。身為信仰的男女,我們的責任不單止是維護和「保持」信仰。我們需要與它合作。我們需要將它提供給我們這個時代的男人和女人。除非我們這樣做,否則我們就會面臨失去信仰的危險,就像第三個僕人失去才能一樣。保存天主給我們的信仰或任何其他才能最好的方法就是將其付諸實踐並結出果實。

總之,讓我們勇敢地運用我們的才能,相信天主的恩賜注定會結出果實。願我們積極參與我們的信仰,慷慨地在我們的堂區內外分享我們的能力,願上主在我們臨終時,對我們說:「做得好!你這又好又可靠的僕人,進來享受你主人的福樂吧!(瑪25:21)。亞孟。

 

 


 

Nov 19, 2023, Sunday homily

Fr. Anson Antony

 

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ,

There is an old story about two farmers visiting over a fence in early Spring. “Jake,” the first one said, “What are you going to plant this year, corn?” “Nope,” Jake replied, “scared of the corn borer.” “Well, what about potatoes?” his neighbor asked. “Nope, too much danger of potato bugs,” announced Jake. The neighbor pressed on, “Well, then, what are you going to plant?” Jake answered, “Nothing! I’m going to play it safe.” — In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the story of a lazy servant like Jake, who buried his talent instead of doing business with it.

The main theme of the three readings is an invitation to live in such a way that we make the best use of the talents God has given us, so that at the hour of our death Our Lord will say: “Well done, my good and faithful servant!… Come and share the joy of your master” Mt 25: 21).

The first reading suggests that we should be as diligent and industrious as a loyal and faithful wife, in the use of our God-given gifts and talents with “the fear of the Lord.” Unlike the one-talent man, she takes her gifts and “brings forth good, not evil”; she “reaches her hands to the poor and extends her arms to the needy.” In today’s Responsorial Psalm, Ps 128, the Psalmist echoes the concept of the blessedness of the faithful servant of the Lord. The Psalm affirms that the fear of the Lord is the key to human happiness and success. In the second reading, Paul advises us to keep awake and be sober, encouraging and building each other up as we wait for the “Day of the Lord.” He challenges the Thessalonians to turn fear of the Lord into positive, constructive and life-affirming action. Today’s Gospel challenges us to ask the questions: Are we using our talents and gifts primarily to serve God? Are we doing everything we can to carry out God’s will? The parable of the talents challenges us to do something positive, constructive and life-affirming with our talents here and now

Dear Brothers and sisters, first of all, we need to trust God enough to use the gifts and abilities we have been given. Some of us are clearly very gifted with valuable abilities, but there is no one, absolutely no one, who can say he has been gifted with nothing. We may be especially talented in teaching children or cooking meals or repairing homes or programming computers. So, we should ask ourselves how we are using our particular gifts in the service of our Christian community and the wider society. Why not follow the example of people who use their God-given talents the best way possible, like, for instance, nursing assistants who take great pride in keeping their patients clean and comfortable, or carpenters who gain enormous satisfaction from building quality homes, or teachers who find joy in the discoveries of the classroom, or attorneys who keep the goal of justice at the very center of their practices?

Secondly, we need to make use of our talents in our parish. God calls us to live in a world of abundance by taking risks and being generous. In addition to our homes and families, the best place to do this is in our parish. This means that we should be always willing to share our abilities in creative worship in the Church and innovative educational events in the Sunday school. We can fulfill needs we will find right in our parish: feeding the hungry, visiting the sick or the elderly, housing the homeless, and welcoming strangers in our midst. We need to make the bold assumption that there will be a demand for every one of our talents in our parish community. We should step out, with confidence, believing that every God-given gift we have is going to be exceedingly useful and fruitful!

Finally, we need to “trade” with our talent of Christian Faith: All of us in the Church today have received at least one talent. We have received the gift of Faith. Our responsibility as men and women of Faith is not just to preserve and “keep” the Faith. We need to work with it. We need to offer it to the men and women of our times. Unless we do this, we stand in danger of losing the Faith just as the third servant lost his talent. The way to preserve the faith or any other talent that God has given us is to put it to work and make it bear fruit.

In conclusion, let us be courageous in using our talents, trusting that God's gifts are meant to be fruitful. May we actively engage with our faith, generously sharing our abilities in our parish and beyond, and may the Lord, at the hour of our death, say to us, "Well done, my good and faithful servant! Come and share the joy of your master" (Matthew 25:21). Amen.