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天主聖三節講道 Homily Trinity Sunday June 12, 2022

Homily Trinity Sunday June 12, 2022

This weekend’s readings are chosen to bring our appreciation of the Trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit from our human perspective. These last few weeks our attention has been focused on the holy Spirit coming forth on Pentecost.

In the first reading from Proverbs, we hear from the persona called the WISDOM of GOD, in other words the Holy Spirit. We hear how the wisdom of God accompanied God as the world was created – the fountains, the mountains, the hills, the fields and the clods of earth. The greatest message is that this wisdom of God found delight in the human race !

In the second reading from St Paul’s letter to the Romans, we hear about how with our faith, we face the trials and challenges of life with endurance. With this endurance we develop our character and ultimately our hope. All of this is nurtured by the love of God which flows into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

Finally in the Gospel of John, we hear how the spirit of truth will be given to us in time. This spirit of truth or the Holy Spirit will take what begins in the Father, and given to the Son, and then given to us! So we see how this unifying aspect of keeping us connected to the Father and the Son is the task of the Holy Spirit. Unity of us with God the Father is thus achieved through the Holy Spirit.

Now we can see oh my gosh, this unity was there from the beginning of the created world as we heard in the Proverbs. Remember how the Holy Spirit took delight in the human race ! In the second reading, we now can appreciate how our character is molded through the presence of the Holy Spirit working in our lives to give us patience and endurance to face the challenges of life on earth. Through these character traits of discipleship, we then receive the grace of hope in our lives.

Yes, there is a reason why something happens in our life! But that reason may not be evident nor clear to us for years.

As I find myself now ministering in an intensely multicultural ministry, I only have to look back on my own life experience to realize that I indeed have lived in a very wide range of cultural environments.

Let me give you some of the major challenges and I have faced in my life:

One of the earliest challenges I faced was being the only Chinese American family living in the Italian American neighborhood of North Beach in San Francisco. I had to walk about 10 blocks to get to Chinatown; During my childhood years I began to learn the differences being Asian American and Italian American !

Another challenge was when I graduated from high school and moved from inner city life to central California to do my undergrad studies at UC Davis. During these college years I learned the differences between inner city life and rural life.

The next challenge was moving from Davis to southern California, where I did my graduate studies at UC Riverside. During these years I learned the subtle differences of living in the commuter life of southern California.

The next challenge was moving from Riverside, CA to Waltham, Massachusetts where I spent 3 years on a research fellowship at Brandeis University. This university had mostly students of the Jewish American culture. These years gave me time to learn about the Jewish American life.

The next challenge was moving from a northeastern context to a Texan context at Texas A&M University. This switch gave me the insight from living in a monocultural neighborhood. This provided a time for me to learn of the struggles of African Americans and how the segregated lifestyle affected them.

The next challenge was to make the leap of faith from protestant life to Catholic life. This was a special time when I learned how to deepen my spiritual life to cope with the massive tensions of working towards gaining tenure in my teaching career.

The next leap of faith was to make the decision to transition from being a lay Catholic to being a member of a religious order, the Franciscan Friars. This change gave me the insight of how I could live life with perspectives of head, heart and hands! As a Franciscan friar I began teaching in Catholic colleges and began to appreciate how my teaching of biology could not ignore the role of God in the created world.

The next leap of faith was when I asked to teach during the summer in the Philippines. This was my first experience of living where Catholic Asians were the majority in their society and not the minority!

The most important spiritual lesson I learned from the Philippine culture was how important humility was in my personal identity. Becoming a priest was never a consideration in my Catholic life until I lived in the Philippines where I would be frequently asked “When are you getting ordained?”

The light bulb came on when I realized how much as a Chinese American in the USA we are taught to be humble and not presumptuous! I had been waiting to be asked! In the American culture there is a respect for the decision of friars to be a brother! So, people in the US would never ask “When are you getting ordained?” For this reason, I was never asked this in the US!

The last challenge I want to share is how I preached from a multigenerational pastoral setting in parishes to a mono-generational context when I ministered as a chaplain in a retirement home! Speaking to an audience of many age groups is so different from an audience where everyone is older than you!

So, I now see in the many different times and ways, how slowly the Holy Spirit has been working my life. Little did I know of this Chinese Catholic Community when I was walking from North Beach to Chinatown all the way to when I was preaching to a faith community in a retirement center.

So, as we heard in the Gospel reading, "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” Every moment of my life is being brought to bear on this time I am to accompany you all in this faith community here at St Leander Parish.

I come to be with you as a teacher, as well as a preacher, as well as someone who has lived and worked around the world.

I come to be with you with my analytical skills which I developed to address basic research problems in plant stress hormones are now applied to address basic pastoral challenges in a very diverse faith community.

I come to you as a fellow disciple of Jesus Christ who has shown up to give the Holy Spirit a chance to guide me and to lead me to help build the kingdom of God on Earth.

Come Holy Spirit! Come and guide all of us as find those new gifts in ourselves which are now needed with the challenges which are presented to us.

Come Holy Spirit! Come and guide us all! Come Holy Spirit!

Fr. Fong


(中文翻譯.原文以英文為準.)

 

天主聖三節講道 2022 6 12 日星期日

本週揀選的讀經的是為了讓我們從人類的角度去欣賞三位一體——聖父、聖子和聖神。在過去的幾週裏,我們的注意力一直集中在五旬節聖神降臨上。

在讀經一從箴言中,我們聽到了被稱為天主的智慧名號的,祂就是聖神。我們聽到天主的智慧如何伴隨著上主創造大地如泉、高山、丘陵、原野和大地。最偉大的信息是天主的智慧在世人中找到了喜悅!

在讀經二聖保祿宗徒寫給羅馬人的書信中,我們聽到了如何憑藉我們的信仰,以忍耐面對生活的考驗和挑戰。有了這種耐力,我們拓展了我們的品格,最終發展成為了我們的望德。所有這一切都是由上主的愛所滋養的,這愛的恩寵是通過聖神流入我們的心中。

最後,在聖若望福音中,我們聽到真理之神將如何會在適當時賜給我們。這種真理之神,即聖神,始於天父,並賜給了子,然後再賜予給我們!因此,我們看到使我們與天父和子保持著聯繫合一是聖神的工作。因此,通過聖神,我們可達至天人合一。

現在我們可以奇妙地看到,正如我們在箴言中聽到的那樣,這種合一從創造天地的開始就存在。請記住聖神是如何地喜悅於世人!在讀經二中,我們可以體會到我們的品格是如何通過聖神在我們的生活中工作而塑造的,給我們耐心和耐力來面對生活的挑戰。通過這些具有門徒般品格的特徵後,我們就可以在生活中獲得望德的恩寵。

的確,我們的生活中發生某些事情是事必有因的!但多年來,這個因對我們來可能並不明顯或不甚清楚。

當我發現自己現正在一個高度多元文化的事工中服務時,我只需回顧自己以往的生命歷程,就會意識到我確實生活在一個非常多元性的文化環境中。

此刻,讓我與你分享一些我一生中面臨的主要幾項挑戰歷程:

我面臨的最初挑戰之一是身在舊金山北岸區,意大利裔美國人社區中唯一的華裔美國人家庭。我必須步行十個街口才能到華埠。在我的童年時代,我開始意識到亞裔美國人和意大利裔美國人的區別!

另一個挑戰是當我高中畢業並從大城市搬到加州中部的郊區,在加州大學戴維斯分校修讀生物科。在這大學期間,我了解到城市生活和村生活之間的差異。

下一個挑戰是從戴維斯搬到南加州,我在加州大學河濱分校完成了博士生學習。在這些年裡,我了解到南加州交通繁忙中生活的細微差別。

下一個挑戰是從加州河濱市搬到麻省的沃爾瑟姆市,在那裡我花了年時間在布蘭代斯大學作博士後的研究。這所大學主要是由猶太裔美國人的學生所組成。這些年讓我有機會了解猶太裔美國人的生活。

下一個挑戰是在德薩斯州 A&M 大學從美國東北部環境轉向南部德州環境。這個轉變讓我從生活在單一文化社區中,洞察到並了解到非裔美國人的掙扎以及曾被隔離的生活方式下如何影響了他們一切。

下一個挑戰是從基督新教生活轉到天主教生活的信仰飛躍。這是一個特殊的時刻,我學會如何加深我的信仰精神生活,以應對在我的教學生涯中,因作為教授一職所帶來的巨大壓力。

在信仰上,下一個飛躍是決定從一個天主教平信徒變為一個修道人,成為一名方濟會修士。這飛躍讓我明瞭如何運用思想、心和行動的視角來生活!作為一名方濟會修士,我開始在天主教大學中任教,並開始體會到我的生物學教學中,絕不能忽視上主在受造世界中的聖化作用。

下一個信仰的飛躍是當我在菲律賓暑期教書時。這是我第一次生活在亞裔天主教徒佔社會人口多數而不是少數的地方!

在自我心靈層面上,我從菲律賓文化中學到最重要的是謙卑在我的自我認同中是多麼重要。成為一名神父從來不是我天主教生活中的考慮因素,直到我住在菲律賓,在那裡我經常被問到你什麼時候會晉陞為神父?

當我意識到作為一個在美國的華裔美國人,我們被教導要謙虛而不自以為是!在美國文化中,對修士成為神父的決定是一種尊重和個人選擇!所以,美國人永遠不會問“你什麼時候會晉陞為神父?出於這個原因,我在美國從來沒有被問過這個問題,但日後在反思中,我驀然發覺我一直在等待被問到這問題!

我想分享的最後一個挑戰是,當我在養老院擔任神師時,我學會如何從教區的跨代牧靈環境調節到單代環境的福傳!與不同年齡組的聽眾交談和每個人都比您年長的聽眾對話是截然不同的!

所以我現在在許多不同的時間和方式中回顧看到,聖神在我的生命中運行得多麼緩慢。我從北岸區步行到華埠一直到我在退休中心的一個信仰團體傳教時我對天主教華人團體的認知甚少

所以,正如我們在福音中讀到:我還有許多事情要告訴你們,你們現在不能承擔。” 我深信在我生命中以往的每一刻都在裝備我,為我準備這個特別時刻,我將在聖利安達堂的這個華人信仰團體陪伴,事奉您們。

我作為一名教師、一名修道人以及一名在世界各地生活和工作過的人來陪伴您們同行,成長。

我帶著我在學術上獲得的分析能力與您們一起來面對並著手解決在我們團體內非常複雜及多樣化的信仰牧靈上的挑戰。

我作為耶穌基督的門徒來到您們中間,我的出現是聖神給我一個機會來引導我本人,並帶領我幫助在世上建立上主的國度。

聖神請來吧!來引導我們所有人,以發現我們自己獲賜的恩寵,這些恩寵正是現在我們面臨的挑戰中所需要的。

聖神請來吧!來引導我們吧!聖神請來吧!

 

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