2023
五月

05

448

【英汉主日分享】| 同一生命,不同使命(复活期第5主日)

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5th Sunday of Easter – Year A

甲年-复活期第5主日

Fr. Jijo Kandamkulathy CMF

甘天霖神父

Gospel: John 14:1-12 (若14:1-12)

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where (I) am going you know the way." Thomas said to him, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.

Homily: Only One Life but Many Services

 “In my Father’s house there are many rooms... Yet you know the way where I am going” (vv. 2-4). Jesus means to say that he has to go through a difficult “path.” He adds that his disciples would have to know very well that “way” because he often spoke of it.

Thomas replies on behalf of all, “We do not know this ‘way’ and we cannot guess where you want to go.” Jesus explains: he himself will be the first to run the “way.” Once his mission is accomplished, he will be back and will take the disciples with him. He will infuse them with his courage and strength, so they will be enabled to follow in his footsteps.

The “way” is the difficult path toward Easter. It demands the sacrifice of life. Jesus talked about it many times, but the disciples were always reluctant to understand. When he insisted on the “gift of life,” they preferred to be distracted, thinking about something else.

In this perspective, the question about “the seats in the Father’s house” becomes clear. Whoever has agreed to follow the “way” traveled by Jesus finds themselves immediately in the kingdom of God, in the Father’s house! This house is not paradise but the Christian community. There are many places,  that is, many services, many tasks to be performed in it. The “many places” are nothing but the “various ministries,” the different situations in which everyone is required to make available to the brethren one’s own capacity, the many gifts received from God.

The second part of today’s Gospel is centered on the question of Philip, “Lord, show us the Father and that is enough.” Philip seems to be an interpreter of this intimate yearning of the human heart. He knows that “no one has ever seen God” (Jn 1:18), because “he lives in unapproachable light and whom no one has seen or can see” (1 Tim 6:16); but also recalls the bliss reserved for the pure of heart, “for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8), and thinks that Jesus can satisfy his secret aspiration. He presents such a demand that seems to echo those expressed by Moses and the psalmists.

In his response, Jesus shows the way to see God. One needs to look at him. He is the human face that God has taken to manifest himself, to establish a relationship of intimacy, friendship, communion of life with people. He is “the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15), “the radiance of God’s glory and bears the stamp of God’s hidden being” (Heb 1:3).

To know the Father, there is no need to make any arguments or reasoning. It is not worth it to get lost in inadequate philosophical investigations. It is sufficient to contemplate Jesus, to observe what he does, says, teaches, how he behaves, loves, whom he prefers, attends to, caresses, and from whom he lets himself be caressed, with whom he dines, he chooses, defends… because the Father does so. The works that Jesus fulfill are those of the Father (v. 10).

 “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father,” Jesus affirms (v. 9). It is a gaze of faith that is required, a look that goes beyond appearances, beyond the purely material datum, a look that captures the revelation of God in the works of Jesus. This seeing is equivalent to believing.

证道:信德凝视耶稣,有效服务教友,跟随祂到父家

“在我父亲的家里有很多住处;你知道我要到哪里去”。耶稣的意思是说:他必须经过一条艰辛的“路”。耶稣补充说:他的门徒必要非常了解这“路”,因为他经常谈到这“路”。

多默代表所有人回答说:“我们不知道你往哪里去,怎么会知道那条路呢?”耶稣解释说:他自己将首先踏上这条“路”。一旦他的使命完成,他就会回来,并带着门徒们一起走。他将以自己的勇气和力量充满门徒们,这样,他们就能够追随他的脚步。

这条“路”是指向复活节的艰辛路程,并要求牺牲性命。耶稣对此说了很多次,而门徒们却一直不愿意理解。当他坚持“生命的礼物”时,门徒们更喜欢分心走意,考虑其它事情。

在此视角下,有关“在父亲家中的座位”就变得清晰了。谁愿意追随耶稣走过的“路”,就会发现他们自己直接进入了天主的国,也就是父亲的家里!这
家不是天堂,而是基督徒团体。有很多地方,很多服侍,以及很多任务要在这家中履行。这“很多地方”不是别的,而是“各式各样”的服务职务,在困难处境中,每个人都需要用自己的能力,就是用从天主那里接受的很多恩赐为教友们有效地服务。

今日福音的第二部分集中于斐理伯的疑问:“主!把父显示给我们,我们就心满意足了”。斐理伯似乎是人心中对这种亲密渴望的诠释者。他知道:“从来没有人见过天主”(若1:19),因为“他住在不可接近的光中,没有人看见过,也不能看见”(弟前6:16);不过,这也令人想起为心灵洁净的人所保留的极大幸福,因为“他们要看到天主”(玛5:8),认为耶稣能够满全他隐秘的渴望。他提出了这样的要求似乎是与梅瑟和圣咏集作者的表达遥相呼应。

在他的回应中,耶稣显示了看见天主的路。人需要看着他(耶稣),因为他是人类的脸庞,天主用来显示自己,并建立亲密关系和友谊,以及与人的团体生命。他是“不可见的天主的肖像”(哥1:15),“天主光荣的反映,是天主本体的真像”(希1:3)。

要认识“父”,没有必要进行任何辩论或推理。迷失在不能胜任的哲学中是不值得的。凝视耶稣,注意他做了什么,说了什么,教导了什么;他的举止和爱如何,他更喜欢谁,照料谁,爱抚谁,从谁那里他让自己被抚摸;他与谁一起吃饭、拣选和保卫,因为父也是如此。耶稣履行的工作都是父的。

耶稣申明:“谁看见了我,就是看见了父”。这是一个必须信德的凝视,一种超越表象和纯粹物质的眼神,这眼神在耶稣的工作中捕捉到了天主的启示。这种观看就等同于相信。

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