生活聖言 (2010年10月)

「你應當愛近人如你自己。」(瑪22:39)

二零一零年 十月份 生活聖言

我們在舊約聖經中也可以找到這樣的一句話(參閱肋未紀 19:18)。耶穌為了答覆一個狡猾的問題,便把自己置身於偉大的先知和法律傳統中,因為那時的人正在尋找一條能綜合整個傳統,即上主在聖經中種種訓導的原則。與耶穌同時代的一位猶太經師希里爾(Hillel)曾說:「你不應對鄰人做你所憎厭的事;這就是全部的法律。其餘的,只是註解而已。」(參閱 Shabbat 31a)
對希伯來人的師傅而言,我們對近人的愛源於對天主的愛,因為天主按照祂自己的肖像造了人。因此,愛天主而不愛祂的受造物是不可能的:這是愛近人的真正動機,而且這也是「法律中一個偉大和普遍性的原則」(猶太經師阿基巴( Akiba)對肋未紀 19:18的評論)。
耶穌除了重申這項原則外,還補充了一點,祂指出愛近人的誡命與第一條最大的誡命(即全心、全意和全靈愛天主的誡命)相似。祂肯定這兩條誡命相似之餘,也同時把它們永久地連在一起,使整個教會傳統都按照耶穌的這個意思去生活。若望宗徒稍後亦將敏銳而清楚的指出:「那不愛自己所看見的弟兄的,就不能愛自己所看不見的天主。」(若一 4:20)

「你應當愛近人如你自己。」

整部福音清楚地指出,我們的近人就是每一個人,無論是男或女、朋友或敵人,我們都應尊敬、體諒和重視他。對近人的愛既是普及性的,同時又是個別的。它環抱全人類,同時又能具體地為自己身旁的人服務。
但誰能給我們一顆如此寬大的心,並在我們心裡激起莫大的善意,以致陌生人為我們來說也變得與近人無異,使我們能超越對自我的愛,為能在他人身上認得出這個需要愛的『自己』呢?這是天主的一份恩賜。事實上,它正是天主「藉著所賜予我們的聖神,已傾注在我們心中」的愛(羅 5:5)。
因此,它不是平凡的愛或簡單的友誼,也不只是博愛精神,而是在領洗時已傾注在我們心中的愛:這份愛是天主自己的生命,也是我們能分享到的天主聖三的生活。
所以,愛包含一切,但為能好好的把愛落實,我們需要從福音和聖經上去理解它的一般特性,並歸納出其中的一些基本要素。
首先,為眾人而死的耶穌,透過愛每一個人,教導我們真正的愛是向所有人付出的。這種愛和一般人性的愛不同,因為後者只侷限在親戚、朋友和一些相熟的人之間。反之,耶穌所要求的真愛,不容許有歧視。它不注重對方是否可愛或可憎、美麗或醜陋、成人或孩童、同胞或外國人、同一教會或其他宗派、同一信仰或其他宗教人士。這份愛指向每一個人。我們必須同樣去做:去愛每一個人。
再者,真愛令人主動的去愛,而不等待其他人先來愛我們。一般而言,人性的愛只會去愛那愛自己的人。相反的,真愛叫人採取主動,如同天父那樣首先愛了我們,因為當我們還是罪人的時候,即沒有踐行愛時,天父已派遣了聖子來救贖我們。
因此,我們要愛所有人並且要率先去愛。
真愛的另一個特質是:在每個近人身上看見耶穌。耶穌在最後審判時,會對我們這樣說:「你對我做了。」(參閱瑪25:40)。這句話將同樣適用於我們對別人所做的善事和惡事上。
真愛令我們愛朋友,也愛自己的敵人,對他們施恩並為他們祈禱。
耶穌還願意祂帶到世上的愛能具有相互性,因為人與人要彼此相愛,才能達致合一。
真愛的所有這些特質,能幫助我們更加瞭解,並妥善的活出這個月的生活聖言。

「你應當愛近人如你自己。」

對!真愛令我們愛人如己。我們應嚴格按照這句話的意思把它實踐出來:我們必須真正地把他人視為另一個自己;我們怎樣看待自己,也應怎樣看待他人。真愛令我們曉得與受苦的人一起受苦,與喜樂的人一同喜樂,分擔他人的重擔。如同聖保祿所說的一樣,我們要與被愛的對象打成一片。因此,真愛並非感情用事或只是滿口美麗的言詞,而是建基於具體的行動。
其他宗教的信徒也會努力這樣做,因為在所有宗教裡都蘊藏著相同的『金科玉律』。這條規律要求我們「己欲立而立人,己欲達而達人」。甘地曾以一個非常簡單而有效的方式去解釋:「我不能在傷害你的同時,自己卻安然無恙。」(參閱 穆罕斯(Wilhelm Muhs)《心之語》(Parola del Cuore),米蘭 1996年,第82頁)
因此,這個月是個好機會讓我們再次專注對近人的愛。我們的近人具有許多不同的面孔,因為他包括了隔壁的鄰居、自己的同學、朋友和親戚,但是也包括那些透過電視帶入我們家中的,尤其那些因戰爭和自然災禍而受著痛苦煎熬的容貌。以前由於大家相距千里,我們不認識他們,現在他們也變成了我們的近人。
真愛將會在每一個情況下都提示我們該怎樣做,而且它會以耶穌聖心作準繩,逐漸的把我們的心胸擴展開來。

盧嘉勒

(本月的聖言曾於1999年10月份發表)

Word of Life – Oct 2010

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:39).
October 2010

These words can also be found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Lv 19:18). Jesus responds to a tricky question by placing himself in the context of the great prophetic and rabbinical tradition that was in search of the unifying principle of the Torah, that is, the teaching of God contained in the Bible. Rabbi Hillel once said: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is all there is in the Torah. All the rest is mere commentary.”

For the teachers of Judaism, love of neighbor derives from love of God, who created man in his image and likeness. Therefore, it is not possible to love God without loving your neighbor: this is the true motive for love of neighbor, and it is “a great and general principle in the law.” Jesus repeated this principle and added that the command to love one’s neighbor is similar to the first and greatest commandment, namely, to love God with all one’s heart, mind and soul. In affirming the likeness of the two commandments, Jesus definitively bound them together, as would all of Christian tradition. As the Apostle John said with incisive clarity: “Whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 Jn 4:20).

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Our neighbor—as the entire Gospel clearly states—is every human being, man or woman, friend or enemy. Love of neighbor is both universal and personal. It embraces all humanity, and it is expressed concretely in the person next to us. Are we capable of having such a big heart? How can we come to possess such kindness as to consider even someone who is far away as our neighbor? What can help us overcome our exaggerated love of self and recognize the “self” in others? It takes a gift of God. We have faith in this gift “because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom 5:5). Therefore, it is not ordinary love, not simple friendship, not mere philanthropy, but the love that has been poured out into our hearts at baptism: the love that is the life of God himself, of the blessed Trinity.

Thus love is everything, but in order to love in an authentic way we need to know some of love’s qualities that emerge from the Gospel and from Scripture in general. We feel that they can be summed up in a few fundamental aspects.

First of all, Jesus, who died for everyone, loving everyone, teaches us that authentic love should lead us to love everyone. Unlike the simply human love that we usually have in our hearts, which is limited to relatives, friends and a few others, the authentic love that Jesus wants does not admit discrimination. It does not look too much at whether the other person is kind or unkind, beautiful or not so beautiful, an adult or a child, a fellow countryman or a foreigner, a member of my church or of another, of my religion or of another. It is love that is directed toward everyone. And we must do the same: love everyone.

The second quality of authentic love is that it leads us to being the first to love, not waiting for the other person to love us. Generally speaking, we love because we are loved. Instead, authentic love takes the initiative, as the Father was the first to love everyone. When men and women were still sinners, and therefore were not loving, the Father sent his Son to save us.

Thus we have to love everyone and be the first to love. Another quality of authentic love is that it recognizes Jesus in every neighbor: “You did it to me” (Mt 25:40), Jesus will say to us at the final judgment. And this will apply to the good that we did and also, unfortunately, the evil. Authentic love leads us to love a friend and also an enemy: to do good to them both and to pray for them both. Jesus also wants the love that he brought on earth to become mutual: that one person loves the other and vice-versa, in order to achieve unity.
All these qualities of love help us to understand and live the Word of Life for this month.

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Yes, authentic love leads us to love the other person as we love ourselves. And this is to be followed to the letter. We must really see the other person as another self and do for the other what we would do for ourselves. Authentic love leads us to suffer with those who are suffering, rejoice with those who are rejoicing, carry the burdens of others. As Paul says, it leads us to make ourselves one with the person we love. It is a love, therefore, that is made up not only of feelings or beautiful words, but of concrete deeds.
People of other religious creeds also seek to do this by living the so-called Golden Rule, which can be found in all religions. This rule asks us to do to others what we would like others to do to us. Gandhi explains it in a very simple and effective way: “I cannot harm the other without hurting myself.”

This month could be an opportunity, then, to refocus on love of neighbor. Our neighbor has so many faces: the person next door, a classmate, the friend of a close relative. But there are also the faces of the anguished humanity that the television brings into our homes from war-torn cities and natural disasters. Once they were unknown to us and thousands of miles away. Now they too have become our neighbors.

Love will suggest what we should do in each situation, and little by little it will expand our hearts to the greatness of the heart of Jesus.

Chiara Lubich

生活聖言 (2010年9月)

「我不對你說:直到七次。而是到七十個七次。」(瑪18:22)

二零一零年九月份 生活聖言

這是耶穌給伯多祿的回答。伯多祿聽到耶穌那許多令人驚異的話之後,就問耶穌說:「主啊!若我的弟兄得罪了我,我該寛恕他多少次?直到七次嗎?」耶穌對他說:

「我不對你說:直到七次。而是到七十個七次。」

可能伯多祿受到『師傅』的勸諭所感動,以他那既善良又慷慨的個性,他決定豁出去,按照新的生活方式去生活,做一些特別的事:寛恕別人,甚至到七次……。
可是耶穌的回答『七十個七次』,表示耶穌所要求的寛恕是沒有限度的:我們該不斷的寛恕。

「我不對你說:直到七次。而是到七十個七次。」

這句聖言令人想到亞當的後裔拉默客,他曾說:「殺加音的受罰是七倍,殺拉默客的是七十七倍。」(創4 :24)。如此,憎恨在人類之間就傳佈開來,像一條暴漲的河流。
為了遏止邪惡的擴張,耶穌提出這個沒有次數限制,而且無條件的寛恕,能終止暴力的惡性循環。
惟有寛恕能阻止邪惡的浪潮,帶給人類的未來免於自我毀滅的可能。

「我不對你說:直到七次。而是到七十個七次。」

我們要寛恕,不斷的寛恕。寛恕不等於忘記,因它往往意味著不願意去面對現實。寛恕也不是軟弱,不會因為犯錯的人比我更強而忽視他的錯誤。寛恕並不表 示忽略錯誤所造成的嚴重後果,或者把壞事當成好事。寛恕並非無所謂。寛恕是一個意志清晰的行動,因此,它是一個完全自由的行動,這意味著我們完全接受一個 兄弟或姊妹,即使他對我們做了不好的事,就好像雖然我們都有缺點,天主卻接納了我們。
寛恕表示,不以傷害人的方式,來回應別人對我的傷害,相反的,要像聖保祿教導我們的去做:「你不可為惡所勝,反應以善勝惡。」(羅12:21)
寛恕表示,給予傷害你的人一個機會,與你重新和好,也就是給他,也給你自己一個機會,重新開創一個未來,在那裡,『惡』將不是最後的勝利者。

「我不對你說:直到七次。而是到七十個七次。」

我們如何生活這句聖言呢?
伯多祿曾經問耶穌:「我該寛恕我的弟兄多少次?」伯多祿說『我們弟兄』。所以,當耶穌回答他的時候,祂心中所想的主要是基督徒之間的關係,也就是在同一個團體成員之間的關係。
因此,我們首先對那些分享同一信仰的兄弟姊妹——無論在家庭、辦公室、工廠、學校或所參與的團體中的人,該懷有寛恕的態度。
我們知道在被冒犯之後,是多麽容易以同類的說話或行動來回應他人。我們也知道,由於性格的差別、緊張的情緒或其他原因,一起生活的人很容易失去愛心。因此,我們不要忘記,只有寛恕的態度,不斷重新寛恕的態度,才能保有和平與合一。
我們很容易想到他人的缺點,記起他們的過去,希望他們能夠改變……。
因此,我們要養成一種習慣,以新的眼光去看他們,好像第一次遇到他們一樣,隨時隨地,立刻而且沒有保留的接受他們,即使他們還不知悔改。
你可能會說:「喔!這真困難!」你說得沒錯。不過,這正是基督信仰美麗的地方;也是我們追隨基督要付出的代價。祂在十字架上,為那些造成祂死亡的人向天父祈求寛恕,然後,祂復活了。
拿出勇氣來,讓我們開始一個這樣的生活,我們將會體驗到從未體驗過的平安,以及從未嚐過的喜樂。

Word of Life – Sept 2010

“I say to you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Mt. 18:22)

September 2010

Jesus addressed these words to Peter, who, after listening to the marvelous things Jesus was saying, put this question to him: “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus replied: “Not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Most likely, Peter had been deeply struck by the Lord’s preaching and, being a good and generous person, he had decided to throw himself into the new course of action that Jesus was advocating. He was ready to do something he considered quite exceptional for him, to forgive “as many as seven times.” Judaism, in fact, accepted the idea of forgiving two, three, at the most four times.
But by responding, “seventy-seven times,” Jesus is saying that the kind of forgiveness he wants has no limits. We must forgive always.

“I say to you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

This phrase calls to mind the biblical song of Lamech, a descendent of Adam: “If Cain is avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy-sevenfold” (Gen 4:24). Thus hatred began to spread among the people of the world, swelling like a river at flood time into an ever-growing sea of hate.
Against this spreading of evil, Jesus proposes an unlimited and unconditional forgiveness that is capable of breaking the cycle of violence.
Only forgiveness can stem this tide of ill will and offer the human race a future that promises something other than self-destruction.

“I say to you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

We need to forgive, to forgive always. Forgiving is not the same as forgetting, which often indicates a reluctance to face the situation. Nor is forgiveness a sign of weakness; it does not mean ignoring a wrong that we might have suffered out of fear of the stronger person who committed it. Forgiveness does not consist in calling what is serious, trivial, or what is evil, good. Forgiveness is not indifference. Forgiveness is a conscious act of the will, and therefore a free act.
It means accepting our neighbors as they are, notwithstanding the wrong done to us, just as God accepts us sinners, notwithstanding our faults. Forgiveness is not passive, that is, not returning one offense for another, but puts into action what St. Paul urges us to do: “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good” (Rom 12:21).
Forgiveness consists in offering the one who has wronged you the opportunity to have a new relationship with you. It makes it possible for both of you to start life over again, and to experience a future in which evil will not have the last word.

“I say to you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

How shall we live these words.
Peter had asked Jesus: “How often must I forgive my brother?” Peter speaks of “my brother.” When answering him, then, Jesus had in mind above all the relationships among Christians, among members of the same community.
Therefore, we must act in this way first of all toward those who share our faith in our family, at work, at school, and so on.
We know that someone who is offended by some word or action is often tempted to respond with a similar word or action. And we know that even persons who live in the same house often fail in loving because of differences in personality, because they are irritable, or for some other reason. We must, therefore, never forget that we can maintain peace and unity only by constantly renewing our attitude of forgiveness.
We will always be tempted to think of the others’ imperfections, to remember their past, to wish that they were different. But we need to acquire the habit of looking at them with new eyes, and seeing them as new persons, always accepting them immediately and without reservation, even if they do not repent.
You might say, “But that’s hard!” And you are right. This is the challenge posed by Christianity. We are, after all, following a God who, as he was dying on the cross, asked his Father to forgive those who had caused his death. And he was raised from the dead.
Let’s take courage. Let’s begin to live like this. We will find a peace we have never before experienced, and a joy we have never known.

By Chiara Lubich

The Word of Life, taken from Scripture, is offered each month as a guide and inspiration for daily living. From the Focolare’s beginnings, Chiara Lubich wrote her commentaries on each Word of Life, and after her death in March 2008, her early writings are now being featured once again. This commentary, addressed to a primarily Christian audience, was originally published in September 1999.

This commentary on the Word of Life is translated into 96 different languages and dialects and reaches several million people worldwide through print, radio, TV and the Internet. On page 24 you will find experiences some of our readers shared in their efforts to live a previous month’s Word of Life.

生活聖言 (2010年5月)

「誰愛我,我父也必愛他,我也要愛他,並將我自己顯示給他。」(若14:21)

在耶穌的臨別贈言中,愛就是祂講話的重心,即有關天父對聖子的愛,以及我們對耶穌的愛,而愛耶穌的意思就是遵守祂的命令。
當時,那些聆聽耶穌的人不難察覺到,祂的言談帶有猶太人智慧文學的神韻,例如:「愛即在於遵守祂的法律」(智慧書6:18),又如:「愛慕智慧的,容易看見它。」(參閱智慧書6:12)尤其當耶穌提到祂會向愛祂的人顯示自己時,正好與舊約智慧書第一章第二節互相輝映,因為那一節指出上主會向那些信祂的人顯示自己。
現在,我們給這句聖言的解釋是:誰愛聖子,天父便愛他,聖子也會愛他,並把自己顯示給他。

「誰愛我,我父也必愛他,我也要愛他,並將我自己顯示給他。」

可是耶穌的這種顯示卻要求我們去愛。
我們不能想像一個基督徒在心中缺乏這種動力,即這種愛的能力。一個壞了的時鐘不能報時,甚至可以說它不再是個時鐘。同樣,一個不時常努力去愛的人,也不堪被稱為基督徒。
這是因為耶穌的所有誡命都綜合在這條誡命之內:愛主愛人,並在近人身上看見及愛慕耶穌。
真愛並非感情用事,卻要落實在生活中,為弟兄而服務,尤其我們身旁的弟兄。我們可以由細微的事情做起,由最卑微的服務開始。
聖人福高曾說:「當我們愛某人時,我們真實地在他內生活,藉著愛,我們生活在他內,我們不再為自己生活,不再依戀自己,並已跳出了自己。」(福高著:《神修著作》第七冊,1975年羅馬新城出版社第110頁)
因著這份愛,耶穌的真光才能在我們內照耀,這是耶穌的許諾:「誰愛我,……並將我自己顯示給他。」(參閱若14:2) 愛就是真光的泉源。我們去愛的時候便更能了解天主,認識祂就是愛。
這樣我們便更懂得去愛,並能加深與近人的關係。
所以,這道真光及這份對天主的認識就是真愛的印記和證明。我們還能以多種方式去體驗這一點,因為這道光在我們每人身上以不同的色彩及色調反映出來,同時也令大家之間具有共同的特質。這些特質包括:真光把上主的聖意明顯的呈現出來,它賜給我們平安及寧靜,並使我們不斷對天主聖言有進一步的了解。這是一道溫暖的真光,能激勵我們在生命的道路上越發堅定及迅速地向前邁進。當生命的陰影籠罩著我們,令我們步伐不穩定,甚至遇到黑暗的阻隔時,這句生活聖言能提醒我們,真光是以愛去點燃起來的,只要一個簡單而具體的愛德行動,例如一個祈禱、一個微笑、一句話,便能給我們帶來一點光明,讓我們繼續前行。
有一種腳踏車,在踩動車輪時,前照燈便會亮著。當我們在夜間騎腳踏車時,假如稍微停下,四周便會漆黑一片,但當我們再次踩動車輪時,電池便再充電,令我們又看見前路。
生命也是如此:只要我們再次把真愛,那不期待回報的愛付諸實行,我們內心的信德及希望便能重新點燃起來。

盧嘉勒

本月的生活聖言已於1999年5月份刊登

Word of Life – May 2010

“Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him” (Jn 14:21)

Love is at the center of Jesus’ farewell discourse: the love of the Father for the Son, our love for Jesus, which means keeping his commandments.
Those who were listening to Jesus could easily recognize in his words an echo of Jewish wisdom literature such as, “Love of her [i.e., Wisdom] means the keeping of her laws” (Wis 6:18; see Prov 8:15-17; Sir 24:22-23) and, “She is readily perceived by those who love her” (Wis 6:12). In particular, revealing himself to those who love finds another parallel in Book of Wisdom 1:2, where it says that the Lord will manifest himself to those who believe in him.
The point of this Word of Life is: the Father loves those who love the Son, and the Son in turn loves them and reveals himself to them.

“Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him” (Jn 14:21)

Such a revelation of Jesus, however, requires love. We cannot conceive of Christians who do not have this dynamism, this driving force of love in their hearts. A clock doesn’t work, it doesn’t tell the time – we wouldn’t even call it a clock – if its batteries are dead. It’s the same with Christians. If they are not constantly striving to love, they don’t deserve the name of Christian.
The reason for this is that all of Jesus’ commandments can be summed up in one: love of God and love of neighbor in whom we recognize and love Jesus.
Love is not just a matter of feelings. Love needs to be expressed in concrete terms, in serving our brothers and sisters, especially those who are near us, beginning with the little things, the most humble acts of service.
Charles de Foucauld once said: “When you love someone, you are really in that person through love, you live in that person through love, you no longer live in yourself, you are detached from yourself, outside of yourself.”

When we love in this way, the light of Jesus makes its way into our hearts, just as he promised: “Whoever loves me … I will … reveal myself to him” (Jn 14:21).

Love is the source of light. By loving we have a greater understanding of God who is Love.
This leads us to love even more and to deepen our relationship with our neighbor.

This light, this loving knowledge of God is therefore the seal, the proof of true love. And we can experience it in different ways, because light takes on a particular color or shade in each one of us. But it also has some common characteristics: it helps us to understand the will of God, it gives us peace, serenity, and an ever-new understanding of the word of God. It is a heart-warming light that encourages us to walk along our way of life with growing confidence and determination. When the shadows of life make our way uncertain, when darkness threatens to stop us, these words of the Gospel will remind us that a light is turned on by loving and that even one small gesture of concrete love (a prayer, a smile, a word) will give us enough light to go forward.
Some bicycles have headlights that work as long as the riders keep peddling. If they stop, they find themselves in darkness, but when they start peddling again, the dynamo will provide the light one needs to see the way to go.
We can apply this to our lives: we only need to set love in motion again — our true love, a love that gives without expecting anything in return — in order to rekindle in us faith and hope.

By Chiara Lubich

生活聖言 (2010年3月)

「我實在告訴你們:假如你們有像芥子那麼大的信德,你們向這座山說:從這邊移到那邊去!它必會移過去的;為你們沒有不可能的事。」 (瑪17:20)

在生命的際遇中,你不知多少次感到需要有人向你伸出援手,但又同時發覺別人愛莫能助。那時,你往往會不期然地投靠『一位』,希望祂能夠把不可能的事變得可能,而這『一位』便是耶穌。
且聽祂說:

「我實在告訴你們:假如你們有像芥子那麼大的信德,你們向這座山說:從這邊移到那邊去!它必會移過去的;為你們沒有不可能的事。」 (瑪17:20)

無疑,我們不應從字面去理解『移山』這個字眼。耶穌給予門徒行聖蹟的能力,目的不在於使群眾嘆為觀止。『移山』這個詞只不過是故意誇大的語法,以便門徒能明白,並要他們緊記一點,即是只要有信德,一切都是可能的。
一切奇蹟,無論是耶穌直接施行的,或是藉著祂的門徒所成就的,目的都是為了彰顯天國、傳揚福音或救贖人類。『移山』與這些目標卻沒有多大關係。
耶穌拿『芥子』的大小與信德比較,但祂的意思並非指我們的信德要有多大,而是要求我們擁有純正的信德。這種信德的特徵則在乎完全依賴上主,而不仰仗個人的力量。
假如有時你的信德或存有質疑或感到動搖,這表示你對天主的信德還未圓滿。你的信德仍然薄弱而無效,仍然倚重了個人的力量和人性的邏輯。
但那完全信任天主的人卻曉得把一切交托在祂的手中……天主是無所不能的。
耶穌對門徒所要求的信德便是一份對天主充滿信心的態度,讓祂彰顯祂的威能。
這信德並不限於某些出類拔萃的人;反之,所有的信徒都可以,並應該具備這樣的信德。

「我實在告訴你們:假如你們有像芥子那麼大的信德,你們向這座山說:從這邊移到那邊去!它必會移過去的;為你們沒有不可能的事。」

有人認為耶穌向門徒說這句話時,正在打發他們出外傳教。
假如我們意識到自己只是一群毫無準備的『小小的羊群』,既沒有任何特殊的天份,又需要在無數群眾前宣講福音的真理,的確很容易令人氣餒和顫慄。尤其要面對那些對天主的國不感興趣的人時,亦自然很容易令我們變得心灰意冷,並認為當前的任務簡直是不可能的。
所以耶穌向祂的門徒保證,只要他們有信德,就算連冷淡及漠不關心的態度都可以『移開』及徹底改變過來。
假如他們有信德,便沒有不可能的事。
事實上,在任何生活的環節中,只要是關乎推廣福音和拯救人靈的事工,都可以把這句話應用出來。
有時我們面對著幾乎無法克服的困難,很容易會受到誘惑,連天主也乾脆不加信賴。我們人性的想法會這樣說:「我受夠了!反正信賴上主也沒有用的!」就是在這時刻,耶穌勸勉我們不要氣餒,並要全心投靠上主。祂總會以某種方式去應允我們的祈求!

李儀便有過這樣的體驗。
數月前,她滿懷希望來到一個人地生疏的地方工作,但過了不久,她開始感到灰心和孤獨。她和跟她一起工作和生活的女孩子們之間,似乎隔著一堵不能攀越的圍牆。雖然她一心只想為了愛而服務他人,但在她們當中,她卻感到被孤立起來,並跟她們成了陌路人一樣。
問題在於她們彼此間溝通的語言都不是自己的母語。未到該地工作前,李儀只聽說那裡人人都講法語,於是她便進修了法文。抵達之後她才知道當地的人只在學校裡修讀法文,而平時卻大多不願意用法文與人交談的。她多次嘗試把那使她與別人分隔的『山』移開,但總是徒勞無功。她不斷自問:「我可以為她們做些什麼?」
她總發現一位同伴瑪莉心情沉重;一天晚上,她甚至沒有吃飯,只躲在自己的房間裡。李儀希望能幫助她;來到瑪莉的房間前,躊躇了一會,心裡有點害怕。她本想敲門,但又不知對她說些什麼。結果,她離開了。
翌日早上,她跪在教堂裡最後的一排,雙手掩面,怕別人看見她不斷流淚。在教堂裡完全沒有語言的阻隔,也不用作任何解釋,因為那裡有『一位』能瞭解人的內心。於是她滿懷信心,熱切地向耶穌祈求:「為什麼我不能分擔其他女孩子的十字架,使她們明白袮曾令我瞭解的一端真理,就是每一份痛苦都是愛呢?」
她在聖體櫃前期待著回音似的,因為在她過去一生中,上主曾照亮了她心靈上種種的黑暗與陰霾。她看到當天的讀經的一句福音這樣說:「你們放心(即是說,保持信德吧!),我已戰勝了世界。」(參閱若16:33) 這句話就像甘露一樣落在李儀的心田,使她感到心靈異常平安。
當她回家吃早飯時,立刻遇到打理宿舍的安妮。李儀向她打個招呼後便跟著她進入廚房,一聲不響的幫助她預備早餐。
第一個進入飯廳的是瑪莉。她急忙的來到廚房取咖啡,為的是想避免遇到其他人,但看到李儀那麼祥和的樣子卻令她呆住了:她的心靈強烈的被這份平安打動了。
那天下午在歸途中,瑪莉騎著自行車,從後面趕上李儀,用簡單的句子向她低聲說:「你不用說什麼了,今天你的榜樣已告訴了我:『你也去愛吧!』」
這座『山』已經被移開了。

盧嘉勒

註:本月聖言已於1979年9月份發表過

Word of Life – March 2010

“Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Mt 17:20)

March 2010 – Find genuine faith

The Word of Life, taken from Scripture, is offered each month as a guide and inspiration for daily living. From the Focolare’s beginnings, Chiara Lubich wrote her commentaries on each Word of Life, and after her death in March 2008, her early writings are now being featured once again. This commentary, addressed to a primarily Christian audience, was originally published in September 1979.

How often in the course of your life have you felt the need for somebody to give you a hand and at the same time realized that no one could solve your problem. Then, inadvertently, you turn to Someone who can make the impossible happen. This Someone has a name: Jesus.
Listen to what he says to you:

“Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Obviously, the expression “to move mountains” is not to be taken literally. Jesus did not promise his disciples the power to do spectacular miracles simply to amaze the crowds. In fact if you look through the whole history of the Church, you will not find one saint, as far as I know, who literally moved mountains by faith. The expression “to move mountains” is hyperbole, that is, a rhetorical exaggeration. It was intended to instill in the minds of the disciples the idea that with faith nothing is impossible.
Indeed, the purpose of every miracle of Jesus, directly or through his followers, has always been for the sake of the kingdom of God, promoting the Gospel or the salvation of humankind. Moving mountains wouldn’t serve this purpose.
The comparison with the “mustard seed” is used to show that what Jesus requires of you is not faith of a particular size, but a genuine faith. The characteristic of genuine faith is that it is rooted solely in God and not in your own strength.
If you are assailed by doubts or reservations about your faith, it means your trust in God is not yet total: your faith is weak and not very effective, and still depends on your own strength and on human ways of reasoning.
On the other hand, one who trusts in God completely lets God himself act and … for God nothing is impossible.
The faith Jesus wants from his disciples is, in fact, that attitude of total trust which allows God himself to manifest his power.
And this faith, which can therefore move mountains, is not reserved for certain exceptional people. It is possible, and it is a requirement, for all believers.

“Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

It is thought that Jesus said these words to his disciples when he was about to send them out on a mission.
It is easy to be discouraged and afraid when you know you are a little flock, with no special talents, facing crowds of people to whom you have to give the truth of the Gospel. It is easy to lose heart in front of people interested in anything but the kingdom of God. It seems an impossible task.
It is then that Jesus assures his disciples that by faith they will “move mountains” of indifference and apathy in the world. If they have faith, nothing will be impossible for them.
This expression can be applied, furthermore, to all circumstances in life, as long as they are about the progress of the Gospel and the salvation of people.
At times, when faced with difficulties we cannot overcome, we may even be tempted not to turn to God. Human reasoning tells us, “Give up; it’s no use anyway.” It is then that Jesus urges us not to be discouraged but to turn to God with trust. In one way or another, he will answer us.
Some months had passed since the day when, full of hope, Lella first reported to her new job in the Flemish-speaking area of Belgium. But then a sense of dismay and loneliness took hold of her.
It seemed as though an insurmountable barrier had gone up between her and the other young women she lived and worked with. She felt lonely and like a stranger among people she only wished to serve with love.
It was all because she had to speak a language that was neither hers nor the language of those she spoke to. She had been told that everybody spoke French in Belgium, and she had learned it. But meeting the people, she realized that the Flemish only studied French in school and generally spoke it unwillingly.
Many times she tried to move this mountain of segregation that kept her apart from the others, but in vain. What could she do for them?

One evening she noticed that Godeliève was very sad. She had gone up to her room without touching her supper. Lella tried to follow, but she stopped in front of her door, shy and hesitant. She wanted to knock… but what words could she use to make herself understood? She stood there a few seconds, then gave up and left.
The next morning she went to church and sat at the very back, her face in her hands so that no one would see her tears. It was the only place where there was no need to speak a different language, where no explanations were needed, because there was Someone who understood beyond words. This certainty of being understood gave her courage, and with her soul in anguish, she asked Jesus, “Why can’t I share the crosses of the other girls and tell them what you yourself made me understand when I found you: that every suffering is love?”
She remained in front of the tabernacle as though expecting an answer from the One who had brought light into every darkness of her life.
Then her eyes fell on the Gospel of the day, and she read, “Take courage [that is, have faith], I have conquered the world” (Jn 16:33). These words were like a healing balm on Lella’s soul, and she felt great peace.
When she went back for breakfast, she met Annj, the girl who took care of the housework. She greeted Annj and followed her into the storeroom; then, without a word she started to help her prepare breakfast.
The first to come down was Godeliève. She came to the kitchen for her coffee quickly, to avoid seeing anyone. But there, she stopped; Lella’s peace had touched her soul in a way that was stronger than any words.
That evening, on the way home, Godeliève caught up with Lella on her bicycle and, trying to speak in a way Lella would understand, she whispered: “Your words aren’t necessary. Today your life said, ‘You too should love.’” The mountain had moved!

By Chiara Lubich

生活聖言 (2010年2月)

「我就是門,誰若經過我進來,必得安全;可以進,可以出,可以找著草場。」(若10:9)

耶穌形容自己就是那要實現上主種種應許的一位,包括這個與自己的天主締結盟約,又在其歷史中見證了上主永不言悔的盟約及充滿盟約印記的民族,他們的期望耶穌也會加以滿全。
門的圖像與另一個耶穌用過的圖像相似,從而更能解釋門的含意。耶穌在福音中另一處說過:「我就是道路,誰不經過我,不能到父那裡去。」 所以祂真的是通往天父,即天主自己的道路和門扉。

「我就是門,誰若經過我進來,必得安全;可以進,可以出,可以找著草場。」(若10:9)

這句聖言在我們的生活中有什麼具體的意義呢?

其實在福音中還有其他章節與若望福音這一句有關,並且同樣可以使我們從中得到啟發,進而激發我們生活的意義,但我們只選擇其中談到要努力通過「窄門」、進入生命的這個章節。
為什麼要選擇這一節呢?因為我們認為這句話最接近耶穌談及祂自己時所指的真理,並最能啟發我們怎樣去生活。
耶穌什麼時候敞開了通往天主聖三的門呢?就是當上天之門為祂好像變得封閉時,祂為我們所有人成為了上天之門。
被捨棄的耶穌就是這道門。上主與人類通過祂而達到完美的交往,因為當祂空虛了自己時,祂把眾子女與天父連繫在一起。通過這個空虛(打開的門口),人接觸到天主,而天主也接觸到人。
因此,被捨棄的耶穌就是這道窄小而同時又是敞開的門,這種經驗,我們也可以體會。

「我就是門,誰若經過我進來,必得安全;可以進,可以出,可以找著草場。」(若10:9)

當耶穌被捨棄時,祂為我們成為了通往天父的途徑。
祂已經完成了祂的部分,但為能善用這樣大的恩寵,我們每人也要做自己的一小部分。就是要接近那道門,並跨越到另一邊去。怎樣做呢?
當我們感到失意,或受到打擊,或遇到始料不及的災禍,或患上不可思議的疾病時,我們都可以想起耶穌的痛苦,因為祂把這一切的考驗,還有其他許多的痛苦都變成祂自己。
對,祂臨在於一切令人痛苦的事情中。我們每一份痛苦都是祂的一個名字。
所以,讓我們在人生所有的悲痛、困難中,在所有個人及他人的低潮及悲劇中,在我們四周一切人的疾苦中認出耶穌。這一切都是耶穌,因為祂把這一切痛苦都容納在自己身上,成為祂的痛苦。只要我們用信德對祂說:「主,你是我唯一的幸福」,只要我們為窮人和悲哀的人身上的耶穌作一點實際的工作,去減輕「祂的」痛苦,這樣我們便能跨越到門的另一邊,並找到一份從未體驗過的喜樂,和一份新又滿全的生命。

盧嘉勒

Word of Life – February 2010

“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture” (Jn 10:9)

February 2010 – Find joy

Jesus presents himself as the one who fulfills the divine promises and the expectations of a people whose story is marked by an alliance with God that has never been revoked.
The idea of the gate is similar to and explained quite well by another image used by Jesus: “I am the way… No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6). He is truly a passageway, an open door that leads to the Father, to God himself.

“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.”

Practically speaking, what does this Word of Life mean? Other passages of the Gospel have implications similar to this phrase from John. Let us reflect on the “narrow gate,” through which we must strive to enter (see Mt 7:13) so as to enter into life.
Why did we choose this passage? We feel that perhaps it is the closest to the truth that Jesus reveals about himself, and it helps us see best how to live it.
When did he become this wide open door, completely open to the Trinity? At the moment the door of heaven seemed to be closed for him, he became the gateway to heaven for us all.
Jesus Forsaken (see Mk 15:34 and Mt 27:46) is the door through which a perfect exchange between God and humanity takes place; in his emptying, he united the children to the Father. It is through that emptiness (the opening of the door) that we come in contact with God and God with us.
So he is at the same time a narrow and wide open door, and we ourselves can experience this.

“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.”

In his abandonment, Jesus himself became our access to the Father. His part is done. But to take advantage of such a huge grace, each one of us must do his or her tiny part, which consists of approaching that door and going through it.
How? When we suffer because of disappointment or something painful, or because of unexpected misfortune or unexplained illness, we can recall the suffering of Jesus, who experienced all these trials and a thousand others.
Yes, he is present in everything that speaks of suffering. Every suffering of ours can bear his name.
Let us try to recognize Jesus in every hardship, in all life’s difficult situations, in every moment of darkness, in our personal trials and those of others, in the sufferings of humanity. All these are him, because he has taken them upon himself.
It would be enough to tell him, with faith, “You, Lord, are my only good” (See Ps 16:2). It would be enough to do something tangible in order to alleviate “his” sufferings in the poor and those who are unhappy, in order to go beyond the door and find a joy on the other side we have never experienced before, a new fullness of life.

By Chiara Lubich

The Word of Life, taken from Scripture, is offered each month as a guide and inspiration for daily living. From the Focolare’s beginnings, Chiara Lubich wrote her commentaries on each Word of Life, and after her death in March 2008, her early writings are now being featured once again. This commentary, addressed to a primarily Christian audience, was originally published in April 1999.