2023
十一月

10

690

【英汉主日分享】| It is not enough to believe but we have to persevere in faith (32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time)

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32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time —Year A

Fr. Jijo Kandamkulathy CMF

 甘天霖神父                   

Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew,

Glory to you, O Lord!

"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise ones replied, 'No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.' While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!' But he said in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.' Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ.

HomilyIt is not enough to believe but we have to persevere in faith

When Matthew writes to a despondent community that could not see the second coming of the Lord as they had expected, he repurposes the original story, which Jesus told addressing Israel, to suit to the disappointed Christians. The ten virgins do not indicate Israel anymore but the Church (the bride) that awaits the return of her Lord, her Bridegroom. Thus there is also a logical explanation for the fact that the bride does not appear: the bride is the Christian community, represented by the ten virgins.
"Five of them were foolish and five were wise." A theme dear to Matthew is resumed here. In the Christian community, the good and the evil live together; the wheat and the weeds grow in the same field; the wise and the foolish are side by side. 

The foolish virgins represent the Christians at risk: those who focus their lives on what is transient, those who neglect true values, those who forget the one thing necessary, that which Mary had chosen, being at the Lord's feet and becoming his disciple (Lk 10:38-42).

The vigilant virgins are instead Christians who do not let themselves be seduced by vanity and remain focused on what is important in life. 

The puzzling behavior of the wise virgins show the importance of living well and not just dying a good death. God, it is true, always finds a way to save the person, but in the end everyone will end up with what one did: with a solid and magnificent palace, or with a paper castle, which will not stand the fire of God’s judgment when he "will test the work of everyone" (1 Cor 3:13-17).

The closing of the door indicates the end of every opportunity. Hence the urgent need to establish how to live life well, and the image of the lighted lamp suggests the way. Whoever has made evangelical choices will preserve and keep in their mind and heart the light of faith, even in those moments when trials and difficulties go beyond their expectation. However, the choice of the one who for a while follows the proposals of Christ, but later, for being tired, leans towards other values or interests will be condemned and judged accordingly.
Jesus comes not only at the end of our life. He comes in every moment and wants to find his disciples engaged in service, in the gift of themselves to their brothers and sisters. In their room, their lamp should be always alight as a point of reference and reminder of hope for the poor seeking help, for the outcast and the stranger who ask for love and justice, for the woman who demands respect, for those who are victims of violence and long for peace, for those who did wrong and need understanding and forgiveness.

证道:好活好死持守信德,为人指明希望所在。

当玛窦写给一个由于看不到他们期待的主耶稣第二次来临而感到沮丧的团体时,他改写了耶稣曾对以色列人讲的早期故事,来安慰失望的基督徒们。十个童贞女不再暗示以色列人,而是圣教会(新娘)等待她的上主、她的新郎归来。因此,对新娘没有出现的事实也有一个合情合理的解释:新娘就是基督徒团体,由十个童贞女所代表。

“她们中五个是糊涂的,五个是聪明的”。玛窦所珍视的一个主题从这里得以继续。在基督徒团体中,善人和恶人生活在一起,麦子和莠子在同一片田地中成长,聪明人和糊涂人相邻。

糊涂童贞女代表处于危险中的基督徒:就是那些把他们的生命专注于转瞬即逝的事物,却忽视真正的价值,忘记唯一需要的事情是玛利亚所选择的,就是坐在主耶稣的脚前,成为祂的门徒(路10:38-42)。  

相反,警觉的童贞女是那些不让自己被名利虚荣所引诱,而专注于生命中重要的事情。

聪明童贞女令人不解的行为显示了好好活着的重要性,而不只是善终。的确,虽然天主总是能找到拯救人的办法,但是最终每个人都将以自己的所作所为告终:或者是拥有一个坚固又宏伟的宫殿,或者是纸糊的豪宅,当天主“试验每个人的工程”(格前3:13-17)时,都经不住天主审判的火。

“关上门”代表所有时机的终结。因此,这急迫性需要确立如何更好地生活,点亮灯的比喻指明了方向。任何人作出福音的抉择都将在他们的思想和心中持守和保存信仰之光,甚至在那些远超过他们预期的考验和困难时刻,亦然如此。然而,暂时选择跟从耶稣劝谕的人,却在后来由于疲惫、倾向于其它价值观或兴趣利益,将受到相应的谴责和审判。 

耶稣并不是仅仅在我们生命的末刻才来临,而是在每个时刻来,想要在从事的服侍中,以及把他们自己献身于兄弟姐妹中找到祂的门徒们。在他们的房间中,他们的光应当一直亮着,作为一个参照点,为寻求帮助的穷人、为寻求爱和正义的无家可归的人和异乡人、为需要尊重的妇女、为那些渴求和平的暴力受害者、为那些做错事而需要理解和宽恕的人指明希望所在。

文本来源:雅颂福传

译者:天心神父

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