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常年期第四主日. Homily 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time January 29, 2023


HOMILY 4th Sunday Ordinary Time

January 29, 2023

Franklin Fong, OFM


 In today’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew, we hear how Jesus pronounces “happy” are those who we would ordinarily believe to have reason to feel miserable. Jesus focuses on the poor, the lowly, the weak and the persecuted. So WHY IS THIS?


 Jesus doesn’t wish to exclude any group of people from his care. His purpose is to challenge the values of all of us. More important than wealth and prestige is a longing for salvation and a life of holiness and justice. Very often these higher values are more evident in those who on the occasion of great stress admit their weaknesses and humbly look to God for support. Jesus assures them that God will ultimately vindicate the just and the kingdom will be theirs.


 Humility is the need of all of us, whatever our economic and social status might be in the world.  


 In today’s world, this emphasis on humility may seem to be uncalled for in our present day world of the values “getting ahead” and seeking “self-fulfillment” ! True humility does not require an inferiority complex of self-depreciation ! True humility should come from self-love , and not self-hate !


 So what is humility? In the first reading from Zephaniah we hear that humble people are those who seek “justice” and ‘speak no lies”. Humility then is about honesty. We are humble when we recognize our gifts and talents. We must learn how to be humble by keeping God’s laws in our faith journey. Do we pray that God sends us humble persons to accompany us? Clearly God works best with the humble person.


 In Psalm we are reminded that God loves the poor and helps them get out of their misery.


 In the St Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians we are warned not to despise those who are materially or intellectually poor! Rather, this may be the way that God uses to test our patience and other virtues ! Yes, they might be part of our learning curve on our faith journey ! We must be humble about the successes in our life are not so much about ourselves as about God role in our lives !


 What reason do we have to consider ourselves “happy”? Do we welcome the truth about ourselves as spoken by God? 


 Our gospel reading summarizes who is a true and happy follower of Jesus is. All of the eight beatitudes mentioned must be found in every disciple. So, to check ourselves, ask yourself: Am I poor in spirit? Am I meek? Am I a peacemaker? Meekness is the starting point to accomplish God’s plan or vision for our lives ! We cannot share in the mission of Christ if we appear arrogant or proud of our wealth, our gadgets, our communication skills! When advancing God’s kingdom, we must leave behind all those peripherals and garbage which is seen as foolishness in God’s eyes.  

 So, let’s now see how these readings help us in our faith journey. In the first reading God addressed himself to the humble and lowly to seek God, justice and humility. To summarize quickly then, In the psalm, God sides with the poor and humble. In the second reading God prefers the weak. And, In the gospel we hear of all the different ways we can be blessed. Most important though is meekness which is the starting point to accomplish God’s plan in each of us. We cannot share in the mission of Christ if we appear arrogant and proud.


 So take some time this coming week to reflect on how has meekness and humility been helpful to you in deepening your faith journey through the decades? Can you recall the first time this happened when you recognized the importance of humility?    


So brothers and sisters of the Chinese Catholic Community,

That is the good news for this 4th Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Alleluia alleluia !






讀經一: 索福尼亞書 2:3, 3:12-13
讀經二: 聖保祿宗徒致格林多人前書 1:26-31
瑪竇福音: 5:1-12


通常,我們會認為有苦難的人是有理由感到痛苦憂傷的,但在今天的瑪竇福音中,我們卻聽到耶穌評價這樣的人有“喜樂”。 耶穌關注窮苦人,卑微者,弱勢群體,和受逼迫的人。 這是為什麼呢?

沒有任何一群人會被排斥在耶穌的照顧之外。祂的目的是挑戰我們所有人的價值觀。祂強調的是,比起財富和聲望,更重要的是人對救恩的渴望和聖潔,公義的生活的嚮往。很多時候,這些更高的價值觀在那些因承受巨大的苦難與壓力而承認自己的軟弱,並謙卑地尋求天主幫助的人的身上,顯得尤為明顯。 耶穌向他們保證, 天主終會為義人申冤, 天主的國度是屬於他們的。


在當今社會中, 人們強調的是出人頭地,和尋求自我價值,說到謙卑,似乎顯得沒有這個必要了。真正的謙虛不是有自卑感而帶來的自我貶損。真正的謙虛是愛自己,而不是自怨自艾。


什麼是真正的謙虛/謙卑呢?在今天的讀經一 索福尼亞書中,我們看到,謙卑的人是那些尋求“公義”,和“不說謊”的人。 因此我們知道,謙卑與誠實是一體的。 當我們意識到自己在天主裡面的恩賜與才能都不是出於我們自己的時候,就會謙卑下來。 我們必須在
行走信仰的旅程上時謙卑地持守天主的律法。向大家提一個挑戰:我們有沒有禱告,并求天主派謙卑的人同我們在信仰的路上相伴而行? 非常清楚的一點是,最能夠被天主大大使用的人就是在祂裡面謙卑的人。

聖詠中提醒我們,天主愛貧窮的人,幫助那些受苦的人。保祿在格林多人前書中警告信徒們, 不要鄙視那些物質貧窮或智力低下的人,相反,天主是在利用如何對待這樣的人,來考驗我們的耐心和其它方面的美德。是的,這也許是我們在信仰之旅所要學習的一部分吧。 我們必須謙卑,生命中所取得的一切的成功, 其實不是有關與我們自己,而是彰顯天主在我生命所扮演的角色,和在所占的位置。



福音總結出了有真喜樂跟隨耶穌的人。瑪竇福音中的真福八端要在每一個信徒身上體現出來。 因此我們要反省,要問自己: 我是神貧的人嗎? 我溫良嗎?我饑渴慕義嗎? 我是締造和平的使者嗎? 溫良是天主對我們生命的計畫或与遠景的起點, 如果我們在生活中傲慢,炫耀財富, 為我們所擁有的物質,和人際關係的技巧而沾沾自喜,我們便無法與他人分享基督的使命。 要想彰顯天主的國度的偉大,我們必須忽略那些在天主的眼裡看為無價值的、屬世的、和虛榮的東西。

下來我們來看看今天的讀經給我們的信仰旅程帶來的幫助。在讀經一裡面,天主向那些謙卑,貧窮但尋求公義聖潔的人親自說話。 在聖詠中天主說到,祂站在貧窮又謙卑的人一邊。 讀經二中提到天主偏愛弱者。 福音中我們聽到,天主祝福人的方式不同,但祂特別強調溫良的人有福了,這是我們每個想要蒙福的起點,也是每個人都可以做到的。 傲慢或驕傲的人是無法分享基督的使命的。


華人天主教會的弟兄姊妹們, 這是我們常年期第四個主日的好消息。