2023
十一月

03

1347

【英汉主日分享】| DEVOUT AND RELIGIOUS BUT FAR FROM GOD (31st Sunday in Ordinary Time)

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31st Sunday in Ordinary Time —Year A

Fr. Jijo Kandamkulathy CMF

 甘天霖神父                   

Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew,

Glory to you, O Lord!

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens (hard to carry) and lay them on people's shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.' As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.' You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called 'Master'; you have but one master, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ.

HomilyDEVOUT AND RELIGIOUS BUT FAR FROM GOD

In today’s passage, Jesus is talking about the behavior of the Pharisees to "the crowds and his disciples." They are people at risk of behaving like the "Pharisees." Today, there is danger for Christians to become Pharisaic.

The "Pharisee" is a typical character who represents a way of thinking, judging, acting opposite to the Gospel; the arguments and beliefs of the Pharisees infiltrate subtly among the disciples and are easily assimilated.

He is a Pharisee, first of all, who occupies another’s chair. Every synagogue had a teaching chair. It was called "the chair of Moses" from which every rabbi taught. Jesus uses the image of this chair to outline the first negative characteristic of those belonging to the sect of the Pharisees: the abuse of authority.

According to Deuteronomy the successors of Moses are the prophets (Dt 18:15.18). But, eventually, their place was illegally occupied by the scribes. So prophecy gave way to the prescriptions and provisions of the rabbis. They were passed on as "word and will of God."

There are those who today reduce the relationship with the Lord to compliance with applicable laws and precepts, who preach a legalism that stifles and takes away the joy of feeling always loved and welcomed by God. They perpetuate the spirituality of the Pharisees.

The second characteristic of the Pharisee is thus highlighted: inconsistency. A Pharisee is anyone who says and does not do. He presents himself a devout person, speaks fine words on love, peace, respect of others, but cleverly avoids getting involved with these statements of principle.

The third characteristic of the Pharisees is the loading of unbearable burdens on the shoulders of the people. They reduce the faith and love of God to the practice of religion or observance of the precepts. People are perpetually made insecure for fear of breaching a minute law. Such a fearful Jewish religion is represented by empty stone jars at Cana. They are joyless: no wine (Jn 2:1-11).

Those who today try to impose on people "absurd and intolerable loads," who arbitrarily dictate rules, who are preoccupied with the minutiae of which Jesus never mentioned, who filter out the gnat and swallow the camel (Mt 23:24) behave as a Pharisee.

The fourth Pharisaical characteristic is exhibitionism, the desire to show off. This defect was deeply rooted. He called hypocrites those who practice good deeds before people to be seen, those who pray standing in the synagogues and at the street corners to be noted, those who fast with a melancholy air, so that everyone is aware that they are mortifying (Mt 6:1, 5, 16).

In today's passage other tricks with which the Pharisees attempt to gain recognition are described: the places of honor at banquets, the chief seats in the synagogues, the widened stripes and the fringes of vestments used during prayer.

Today the desire to attract the attention of the people, the claim to having cameras trained on oneself has not disappeared in the pretext of publicizing good deeds. Jesus suggests an alternative life for the disciples: “whoever makes oneself great shall be humbled, and whoever humbles oneself shall be made great” (Mt 23:12).

证道:冒充天主的法利塞精神,夺去人心中天主的爱和喜乐

在今日的福音讯息中,耶稣向“群众和祂的门徒们”谈论法利塞人的行为,他们是处于像“法利塞人”那样危险行为的人。今日,为基督徒来说,也有成为法利塞精神的危险。

 “法利塞人”是个典型的人物,代表一种思维、判断和相反福音的方式;法利塞人的论点和信仰在门徒们中间潜移默化,也容易被吸收和同化。

首先,他是个法利塞人,占据了其他人的讲座。每个会堂都有一把教导的讲座,被称为“梅瑟的讲座”,而每个拉比都会坐在上面教导。耶稣使用这讲座的比喻来概述那些属于法利塞党的第一个负面特质:滥用权威。

 依据《申命纪》(18:15,18)记载,梅瑟的继任人是众先知。不过,最终他们的位置被经师非法占据了。因此,预言就让位给了拉比的解决方法和规定,它们冒充了“天主的话和旨意”。

 今天有些人把与上主的关系缩减为遵守适用的法律和规定,并宣扬法律主义,扼杀并夺去了永远被天主爱和接纳的喜乐感受。他们延续了法利塞人的精神。

 法利塞人的第二个特质因此被强调:表里不一。法利塞人就是任何只说不做的人。他把自身展示为一个虔诚之人,用优美言辞说爱、和平和尊重别人,却巧妙地避免参与这些道义声明。

法利塞人的第三个特质是给人们肩上放上难以忍受的重担。他们把对天主的信仰和爱缩减成了宗教行为或遵守戒律。人们不断地由于违反微小的法律而感到恐惧不安。他们没有喜乐:没有酒了(若2:1-11)。

 那些今天试着强加“荒诞和无法忍受的负担”的人,任意专横地制定规则、专注于耶稣从未提及的轻微细节、滤出蚊蚋却吞下骆驼,行为是法利塞人。

法利塞人的第四个特质是爱出风头,渴望炫耀卖弄。他们的这种毛病是根深蒂固的。耶稣把那些在人前做好事为了被看见、站在会堂中和十字路口祈祷为被人关注、带着忧虑悲伤表情禁食的人称为伪君子, 因此,每个人都意识到他们令人难堪不已(玛6:1,5,16)。 

在今日的福音讯息中,描写了法利塞人试图获得认可的其它诡计:宴会上的首位、会堂中的上座、经匣放宽和衣穗加长。

今日渴望吸引人们的注意,要求摄像头对准某人,并没有在公共慈善名义下消失。耶稣为门徒们建议另一种生活:“凡高举自己的,必被贬抑;凡贬抑自己的,必被高举”(玛23:12)。

文本来源:雅颂福传

译者:天心神父

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