2023
十一月

17

1127

【英汉主日证道】| Cowardice Misconceived as Prudence (33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time)

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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time —Year A

Fr. Jijo Kandamkulathy CMF

 甘天霖神父                   

Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew,

Glory to you, O Lord!

"It will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one - to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master's money.

After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.' (Then) the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, 'Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.'

Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, 'Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.' His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ.

HomilyCowardice Misconceived as Prudence

While reflecting on this parable of the talents, we need to clarify some misconceptions usually associated with it. First of all, Jesus does not intend to give a moral lesson on honesty and how to invest the money, but rather on the commitment in putting to good use the treasures that belong to everyone. Secondly, the master did not have a poor esteem of the one who was given only one talent. This is clear when we know that a talent was at that time corresponded to a worker’s salary of about twenty years of work. Thirdly, the talents do not indicate the qualities that everyone has received from God. Verse 15 says the talents are delivered “to each according to his abilities.” Talents and qualities of the individual, therefore, are not the same thing. After clearing these misconceptions, let us re-reflect on this passage. The master entrusts his possessions to the most trusted servants. He knows their abilities, attitudes, competences, and according to these, he establishes how much to assign to each. This gentleman is clearly Christ who, before leaving the world, handed over all his goods to his disciples.

These goods are what Jesus has given to his church: the gospel, the message of salvation intended to transform the world and create a new humanity; his Spirit “who renews the face of the earth” (Ps 104:30), and even himself in the sacraments; and then his power to heal, to comfort, to forgive, to reconcile with God. The three servants are members of the Christian community. To each of them is given an assignment to be done, so that the wealth of the Lord may be put to good use. According to one’s own charism (1 Cor 12:28-30), everyone is called to produce love. Love is, in fact, the gain, the fruit that the Lord wants. Two servants are enterprising, dynamic, hardworking, while the third is fearful and insecure.

In the third part of the parable, the servants are called to render their accounts. With justifiable pride, two servants say to the master of having doubled their possessions. Then the third servant appears. “I know,” he says to his master, “that you are a hard man. You reap what you have not sown and gather what you have not scattered. I was afraid, so I hid your money in the ground. Here, take what is yours.” The central message of the parable is in the master’s rebuke of the slothful servant: the only unacceptable attitude is the disengagement; it is the fear of risk. He is condemned because he let himself be blocked by fear.

There were neglectful and diligent disciples in Matthew’s time, and they continue to be in our communities. There are dynamic and enterprising Christians who are committed to give a new face to the catechesis, liturgy, and pastoral work, who are passionately committed to the study of God’s word in order to grasp its true and deep meaning, who are generous and active. Other Christians are rather lazy and afraid of everything.

It is unbelievable but true. One can be paralyzed by the fear of Christ. A certain spirituality of the past urged Christians to act but especially recommended not to engage in active service for fear of breaking the commandments and precepts. Transgressors are threatened with terrible punishments. This spirituality created the third type of servants, that is, the Christians who, in order to avoid sins, always played it safe. They could not risk it because those who try, those who commit themselves inevitably expose themselves to the risk of being wrong. Those who preach this fear, without realizing it, are the cause of the lack of love, sterile goodness, and spiritual lethargy.

证道:怯懦不是谨慎,靠主放心大胆!

在反省塔冷通这个比喻的同时,我们需要澄清一些通常与其相关的错误想法。首先,耶稣实在没有打算上一堂伦理课,或者是如何赚钱,而是在于善用属于每个人财富的承诺。其次,主人对只有一个塔冷通的人并不缺少尊重。当我们知道一个塔冷通相当于那时一个工人二十年的工资时,这就清楚了。第三,塔冷通并不指每个人从天主接受的品性。15节说:塔冷通是“按照他们的才能”所赐给的。因此,塔冷通和个人品性并不是同一件事情。

在澄清了这些错误想法之后,让我们再次反省这比喻。主人把财产委托给最信任的仆人们。他了解他们的能力、态度、特长,并据此来确定每个人分配多少。这位先生很明显是基督,在离世之前,祂把自己的所有财富交给了祂的门徒们。

这些财富是耶稣赐予祂的教会的:福音、意欲改变世界和创造新人类的救恩讯息;祂的圣神“使大地更新”(咏104:30),甚至祂自己也临在圣事中;并且祂的权力去医治、去安慰、去宽恕、去与天主修和。三个仆人是基督徒团体的成员。为他们每个人来说,是给予一项有待完成的任务,因此,上主的财富可能会得以善用。依据个人自身的神恩(格前12:28-30),每人都被召叫产出爱。事实上,爱是收益,是上主想要的果实。两个仆人都是富有进取、有活力、勤勉工作,然而第三个仆人则是恐惧和不安的。

在比喻的第三部分,仆人们被叫去交出他们的账目。带着无可厚非的自豪,两个仆人告诉主人他们的财产翻倍了。然后,第三个仆人出现了。他对主人说:“我原知道你是个刻薄的人,在你没有下种的地方收割,在你没有散布的地方聚敛。因为我害怕,所以我去把你的‘塔冷通’藏在地下;看,你的仍还给你。”这比喻的核心讯息是在于主人对懒惰仆人的谴责:唯一不能接受的态度是打退堂鼓,这是对危险的惧怕。他被定罪,是因为他让自己被恐惧所堵死。

在玛窦的时代,存在不尽职和勤勉的两种门徒,他们继续在我们的团体中。有积极又有进取心的基督徒,他们是慷慨又积极的,承诺要给教理、礼仪和牧灵工作一个新面貌,他们热情而尽心尽力地研读天主的话语,为了掌握其正确和深层的意义。

虽令人难以置信,却又是事实:人能因对基督的害怕而无所作为(瘫痪)。一种昔日的某种灵修鼓励基督徒的行动,却尤其推荐莫要从事积极的服侍,因为害怕违反诫命和规矩。违反者被恐怖的惩罚所威胁。这种灵修造成了第三个类型的仆人,就是那些为避免犯罪而一直小心谨慎的基督徒。他们不会冒险,因为那些尝试的人、那些忠于他们自己的人必然把自身置于犯罪的危险中。那些宣传这恐惧的人,没有认识到这原因是:匮乏的爱、不结果的善良和死气沉沉的灵修。

文本来源:雅颂福传

译者:天心神父

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