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生命就是—因為你,我活著;

生命若不分享,其實已經死去。

 

live for you

 

2014.10.19 路加福音第三主日:

哥林多後書11:31-33、12:1-9「那永遠可稱頌之主耶穌的父神知道我不說謊。在大馬色亞哩達王手下的提督把守大馬色城,要捉拿我,我就從窗戶中,在筐子裡,從城牆上被人縋下去,脫離了他的手。我自誇固然無益,但我是不得已的。如今我要說到主的顯現和啟示。我認得一個在基督裡的人,他前十四年被提到第三層天上去;或在身內,我不知道;或在身外,我也不知道;只有神知道。我認得這人;或在身內,或在身外,我都不知道,只有神知道。他被提到樂園裡,聽見隱祕的言語,是人不可說的。為這人,我要誇口;但是為我自己,除了我的軟弱以外,我並不誇口。我就是願意誇口也不算狂,因為我必說實話;只是我禁止不說,恐怕有人把我看高了,過於他在我身上所看見所聽見的。又恐怕我因所得的啟示甚大,就過於自高,所以有一根刺加在我肉體上,就是撒但的差役要攻擊我,免得我過於自高。為這事,我三次求過主,叫這刺離開我。他對我說:我的恩典夠你用的,因為我的能力是在人的軟弱上顯得完全。所以,我更喜歡誇自己的軟弱,好叫基督的能力覆庇我。」

路加福音7:11-16 「過了不多時(有古卷:次日),耶穌往一座城去,這城名叫拿因,他的門徒和極多的人與他同行。將近城門,有一個死人被擡出來。這人是他母親獨生的兒子;他母親又是寡婦。有城裡的許多人同著寡婦送殯。主看見那寡婦,就憐憫他,對他說:不要哭!於是進前按著槓,擡的人就站住了。耶穌說:少年人,我吩咐你,起來!那死人就坐起,並且說話。耶穌便把他交給他母親。眾人都驚奇,歸榮耀與神,說:有大先知在我們中間興起來了!又說:神眷顧了他的百姓!」

 

李亮神父講道:

 

今天的福音書的事件,如果是電影的場景,我想導演會安排二群人馬,而其中的一群人正抬著屍體從城中出來,朝著墓地走去。

 

事實上,這是一個非常不公平又可怕的死亡,這個死者是個年輕人,而他的母親還是個寡婦。這位寡母前後面對了二次死亡的打擊。屍體正從城鎮被抬出來,城鎮是居民聚集生活的地方,但死亡卻引領人們離開共存,走向墓地。而另外一群人馬則是耶穌和他的門徒,正要進城。耶穌正要前往城鎮,這是非常重要的,因為耶穌正走向的地方,是人們彼此共存和保有社群的地方。

 

現在城鎮中有人死亡,這是最可怕的表達。對這個母親而言,兒子的死亡是多麼不公平的遭遇。另一群人代表的是生命,因為耶穌祂自己就是生命。耶穌不是一個人,總是有門徒陪伴。二路人馬的相會,這是生與死的相遇。耶穌看到這婦人,立刻憐憫她的遭遇。這是很重要的,因為神總是滿有憐憫。希臘文“Philanthropos”意思是「人的朋友」,希臘文的死亡“apanthropos”,意思是「人的敵人」。

 

非常重要的是,教會絕不接受死亡,耶穌看見婦人時心受感動,祂的愛臨到她。就像耶穌看見拉撒路死時,祂哭了。祂對那婦人說:「不要哭」。有人可能認為對葬禮的哀悼者,說「別哭」這類的話並不適宜,我們也不敢如此無禮。但耶穌要說的不只是表面的不要哭,祂有祂的眼光,祂說出深奧的言語。當我們哭泣時,若有朋友告訴我們別哭,我們會詰問他是否知道我們的痛苦,反問他怎麼可以這樣說話。但是在我們的悲傷痛苦中,我們可聽到耶穌基督輕聲地告訴我們:「別哭」。為什麼?因為祂就在那裏。

 

在這段福音書中,沒有人要求耶穌做什麼事情,寡婦也沒有對祂說話。無人提出任何要求。耶穌也沒有問他們你們信不信我,或是問其他的問題。耶穌什麼也沒說,便向前去摸了屍體。你一定記得舊約中提及人若碰到屍體,就會變得不潔淨。但耶穌就是生命,祂不會不潔淨,反而祂還能給予婦人的孩子生命。而比這觸碰更深刻的是當我們領受聖餐時,基督的聖體聖血碰觸我們的嘴唇,進入到我們裡面。這是生命的觸碰。

 

耶穌不用禱告,祂直接對那孩子說:「我吩咐你,起來!」這是因為在聖經中,耶穌有時身為神而行事,有時身為人而作為。因為祂是完全的神,也是完全的人,神性與人性在基督的位格中合一(the hypostatic union)。祂是神的兒子,並且有神與人的二種本性,但只有一個位格,一個hypostasis。接著神蹟發生了,這個年輕人起來了,對他的母親說話。

 

福音書沒有告訴我們事情後續的發展,寡母有多高興,而年輕人又發生什麼事情。但是它說那些跟隨者他們感到非常畏懼,這不是指壞的畏懼,那是一種對神的敬畏,是深度的尊敬。這和怕鬼怪的懼怕是不一樣的,對神的畏懼是帶有深度的尊敬的態度。在神無窮盡的愛面前,我們會感到顫兢,是面對一種無法形容的威嚴。

 

當然也有人會可能會問為何耶穌允許這個婦人的兒子死去,或是為何讓她的丈夫死去之類的問題。甚至如果我們更進一步追問,我們會問為什麼神容許我死亡?這裡的原因不容易回答,因為我們需要思想生命與死亡究竟是什麼。我們必須了解死亡不是神所創造的,不是神所賜下的,這是正教,也就是初代教會非常重要的思考方式。但如果是西方神學的思考方式,病態的心理學思考模式,他們會把神創造成一種怪物,用死亡來懲罰人類。這完全是錯的,即使在舊約也論及:「因為天主並未造死亡」(智慧篇1:13, 思高本聖經)。

 

死亡進入世界,是從舊約時代開始,是從一樁謀殺案開始。那個謀殺案?弟兄相殘—該隱和亞伯二兄弟間的謀殺案。使徒保羅在羅馬書第五章12節所說的內容,由於翻譯曲解了希臘原文,因此受到極大誤解。從一個人、從罪,導致了死亡。而死亡就像病毒一樣、就像疾病一樣地進到所有人類的生命,進到我們的基因裡面,所以我們都遺傳了死亡。我們並非在律法上「繼承」了亞當的罪,而是我們在人性中都「感染」了病毒—死亡的病毒—並且因而變得自私,我們都生病了,罪就是一種疾病。這是魔鬼的詭計,當然該隱接受了,並殺了他的弟弟,從此,死亡進入了世界。

 

不要忘記是誰創造了舊約的第一個人類城鎮,是該隱,這是深奧的哲學思想,我們的城鎮與文明是建立在殺戮之上。就像在福音書中,人們抬著屍體,走出城外,人們也試著除去死亡,然而死亡並未消失。但是,有人會質疑為何神不阻止這一切的發生。

 

這又牽涉到另一個問題。假設神使我們的生命永遠就像現在這個光景。假若我們永遠活著,看看我們如今的邪情,我討厭你,你討厭他,諸如此類,這樣一直下去,和活在地獄有什麼二樣?的確,這就是地獄。這是為何魔鬼不會死亡。天使也不會死亡。不死是神的恩賜,因為只有神是永生的,神的恩賜使天使和魔鬼也不會死亡。魔鬼稱之為魔鬼,是因為他們彼此爭戰,他們也與我們爭戰。永恆的生命,不是指身體生理層面的永生,是指活在與生命的共融(communion)之中,那是教會慶賀的聖三一。神就是生命,因為祂的存在是共存(coexistence)。在聖三一中,若父不在或是子不在,那麼神就不存在。

 

所以何謂生命?那不是生物基因或是細胞的繁衍,生命就是—因為你,我活著(To live because you live.)。生命的存在若不分享,那個體的生命其實已死去。

 

所以面對那些憤恨的人,魔鬼總是很開心,牠會說:「我現在要把他們弄死了,我要用仇恨消滅人類。」但神有另個計畫,祂用這個計畫向我們說我們不能一直都彼此仇恨、敗壞。對神來說,沒有死亡。因此耶穌說神是亞伯拉罕的神,是雅各的神。人們對祂說那些先知早已死去。但是祂對他們說神不是死人的神,是活人的神,因為我們不會完全死亡。神的愛不允許我們完全死去,某些部分仍存活著,這就是我們基督徒所說的靈魂,但不同於柏拉圖所說的。

 

是的,耶穌最終戰勝了死亡,停止了死亡。何時?藉著祂釘上十架,藉著祂的復活,藉著祂的升天。這是為什麼我們說那不是死亡,只是像睡了一樣的安息。長眠墓地(Cemetery)是一個希臘字,意思就是一個睡覺之地。比如假如教室中,學生在上課時都在打瞌睡,老師就會形容這教室是個長眠墓地。沒有人會誤認為教室是埋葬的地方,或是誤以為這個老師說錯話。

 

但你也許會問:「人為何會死亡?」你也可以看看約翰福音第八章52節,耶穌說:「人若遵守我的道,就永遠不嘗死味。」在原文祂說那信祂的人,就是「遇見福音」(met evangelicum),已經出死入生了。因為真正的生命就是耶穌基督,就是在教會中與神、與眾人共存。耶穌允許暫時的死亡,藉此稍微訓練我們。我們期待能活出聖禮儀的生命,期待耶穌的再臨。我們已在聖禮儀中預嚐了耶穌的再臨,這是為何地上的聖禮儀的每個細節,其實都是天國聖禮儀之模擬。那是第二次的降臨,我們慶祝的不是過去,慶祝的是未來。

 

神允許我們不只是與眾人在今生連結,藉著聖餐還要更多地、以最高的境界彼此合一,甚至等我們死後身體腐化並與自然合而為一,這樣的合一仍然存在。我再說一次,生命不是獨善其身,不是維持個體的存在,而是為了共存:因為你,我活著;因為與你的關係,我活著。當然,也因為與神的關係,我活著。

 

顯而易見地,亞當是知道生命、死亡這樣的事情。因為神告訴他:「因為你吃的日子必定死!」而亞當並沒有反問神死亡是什麼。所以我們明顯可知,亞當早明白死亡,或是對死亡是有概念的。亞當明白生命是與神共存,也是與他的妻子、動物、萬物共存,這才是生命。所以,試著去了解何謂生命,因為我們的活著的方式實際上可能是死的。現今很多電影內容充滿殭屍等,就像是死亡的世界,這也意謂著現今人們被黑暗的死亡世界所吸引。

 

這也是救恩之所在,這愛就是救恩,但這並不是自動的。我們專心查考保羅,但無法進一步說明今天的使徒書信,那是有關保羅去了天堂,當然天堂並不是分成好幾個樓層,這是一種奧秘的表達方式。新神學家聖西默盎(Saint Simeon the Theologian)也說過直到第三層天,是屬於聖三一的奧秘。甚至保羅說過他看到他裡面有另一個律,他所不願意的惡,他倒去做,這是住在他裡面的罪行出來的。

 

所以我們今日明白,哪裡有痛苦患難,耶穌就在那。在教會沒有死亡,真正的生命是共存,真正的生命是愛。願 聖三一的神保守我們眾人。

 

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東正教會簡介:

http://theological.asia/taiwan-orthodox/

 

紀錄:Prof. Baker

翻譯:張奉書

Photo: Sean McGrath

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcgraths/5074456863/

 

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2014.10.19 Third Sunday of Luke – Death and the Real Life

 

St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians 11:31-33; 12:1-9   BRETHREN, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for ever, knows that I do not lie. At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me, but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped his hands.   I must boast; there is nothing to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven-whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise-whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows-and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. Though if I wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for I shall be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The Gospel of Luke 7:11-16   At that time, Jesus went to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!”

 

Fr. Jonah’s Sermon :

Today’s Gospel is about a very interesting event, and I think that if someone was a movie director that in this scene he could see two streams of people, one coming out of the town with a dead body and headed towards the grave.

Actually, this was the most unfair and terrible kind of death, the death of a young person who was the only child of his mother, who herself was a widow, so she had been hit two times by death. So we see they are coming out of the town, which is a place where people come together to live, so death leads of out of the place where we coexist and goes to the grave. And there is another parade, with Jesus Christ and his disciples entering the town. It is very important that Jesus is going to the place where there should be co-existence and social life.

We see now that they are meeting death, which is the most terrible expression, which is such an unfair death that came to this woman. And on the other hand there is life because Jesus Christ is life itself. Jesus is never alone, and he is always with his disciples, so this is a meeting between life and death. It is very important that Jesus when saw the woman He immediately felt mercy, and this is important because God is always has mercy. This is philanthropos, friend of man, and in Greek death is apanthropos, which means enemy of man.

It is very important that the Church never accepts death. Jesus saw the woman and He was so moved that His love came to her. And we can see that when Jesus saw Lazarus death He cried. Here he said to the woman, “Don’t cry.” Someone could ask, how could one tell a mourner at a funeral not to cry? I would not dare to say this. But Jesus does not just say not to cry because He has his vision, and he says it in a very deep way. We should remember that this in not as if we were crying and a friend told us not to cry we would ask him, “How do you think you could understand my pain? How do you dare to tell me not to cry?” But in our pain and in our sorrow, we may hear this secret voice of Jesus Christ telling us not to cry. Why? Because He is there.

In this Gospel nobody asked him to do anything, the widow did not say anything to Him. Nobody asked anything. And Jesus did not ask anything, like, “Do you believe?” or anything else. So without asking anybody Jesus is acting. He goes there and He touches the dead body. You must remember that according to the Old Testament, if you touch a dead body then you will become unclean. But Jesus is life itself. Not only does he not become unclean himself, but he gives life to the woman’s son. And even deeper than this touching is when the Holy Communion touches our lips and enters inside us. It is the touch of life.

And then without praying he says to the child, He says, “I say to you, rise” This is because in the Bible Jesus is sometimes acting as God and sometimes as a human being. And because of the hypostatic union, it is one person, one hypostasis, the Son of God with two natures but one hypostasis. A miracle happens: the young person gets up and he can speak to his mother.

The Gospel does not tell us what happened later, how the widow was happy, what happened to the young person; it does not tell us this. But it says that there was too much fear for the followers, which is not a bad fear, it is a fear of God, a deep respect. It is not the fear that we might have of ghosts, but it is the fear of God, which is a very deep respect. In front of the ultimate love of God, we feel like this [showing hands trembling]; it is unspeakable.

Of course somebody might ask why did Jesus allow this son of the woman to die, why did God allow her husband to die. And if we go more, we will say why will He allow me to die? The answer here is not easy because we must think about what is life and what is death. We must understand that God did not give death. This is very, very important in the Orthodox way of thinking. The Western way of thinking, a psychologically sick way of thinking, created a God who is a monster and who punished human beings by death. This is totally wrong. Even in the Old Testament, in the “Wisdom of Sirah,” it is written that God did not give death.

But death entered, as we know from the Old Testament, from a murder. What murder? It was a brother killing his brother. So, as Apostle Paul says in Romans 5:12, which is very misunderstood, from one man, from the sin came the death like germs. And then death entered like a disease into all the human beings, entered into our DNA. So we inherit this death. We don’t incur the sin of Adam but we are sick; sin is sickness. So it’s the devil, and of course Cain who accepted killing his brother, and from this came all these things.

Don’t forget, who made the first human town in the Old Testament? It was Cain and it is a very deep philosophical idea that our towns and our civilization are built on a murder. We try to take out death but death does not come out, and hear in the Gospel they are carrying the dead out of the town. But somebody could ask, “Why did God not stop this?”

But this goes to another question. Suppose God were to make us live forever as we are now? But if we lived forever, look at our passions, I hate you, you hate another, and so on, and if it went on forever wouldn’t this be a hell? Yes this is a hell. This is why the Devil does not die. Angels also do not die. It is a gift of God because only God is immortal, but as a gift of God that they don’t die. But this is why they are devils – because they fight each other and they fight us. It is life: it is not to live biologically forever, but to live in communion with life. Our church celebrates the Holy Trinity. God is life, and God is life because he exists as coexistence. In the Holy Trinity if the Father does not exist or the Son does not exist, then God does not exist.

So, what is life? It is not a biological continuation of my DNA and all my cells under one name called Father Jonah; it is to live because you live. And this, the life that is lived without being shared, the individual life is already death.

So the devil in his hating people was happy. He could say, “Now I made them to die. I want to exterminate them as human beings.” But God has another plan, and He uses this to say that we cannot be bad forever. For God there is not death. This is why Jesus said that God is the God of Abraham and the God of Jacob. People said to Him that those prophets were dead. But He said to them that God is not a God of the dead, but of the living, because we don’t die completely. The love of God does not allow me to die totally, but something remains that in the Christian way, not the Platonic, we call the soul.

And yes, Jesus finally beat death and stopped death, When? By His Cross and by His Resurrection and by His Ascension, which why we refer to it not as death but as sleep. And the word cemetery is a Greek word that means place of sleep, especially if teacher comes into a classroom and everybody is sleeping he will call it a cemetery. Nobody thinks it is a place where people are buried, but people are not paying attention, or if the teacher is a very bad teacher.

But you will say to me, “Why do we die?” And you can ask this because in the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “He who believes in me will never taste of death.” And in the original he said the he who believed in him “met evangelicum,” went from death to life. Because the real life is Jesus Christ, it is the coexistence in the Church with God and with the others. And Jesus allowed death for a while to train us a little bit. And yes we expect, we live in the Liturgy, we expect the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. And we already taste this in the Liturgy, which is why everything in the Liturgy is a copy of the Liturgy of Heaven. It is the Second Coming. We don’t celebrate the past, but the future.

God allows us not only to be united in this life with the others, but even more than that and most highly, by the Holy Communion, and even when my body is dissolved, to be united with all of nature and to have this union. Once more I say to you that life is not individuality, the preservation of this existence, but for this existence to live because of you because I live in relationship with you, and of course, with God.

Obviously Adam knew something about this. Why? Because when God told him, “If you eat from this tree you will die,” he did not ask God, “What is death? I don’t know.” Obviously he knew, or had some idea, that life is coexistence with God and with his wife and with the animals and with everything; this is life. So, try to understand what is life because the way we are living can actually be death. You can see so many movies today that seem to like death, with vampires and so on, which means that human beings are attracted to death.

And it is also that there is salvation. What is salvation? It is this love, but it is not automatic. We focus on Paul and I will not say much more about the Epistle for today that he went to the heavens, and the heavens are not there are different floors. Saint Simeon the Theologian says that till the Third Heaven is a mystery of the Holy Trinity. But even Paul says that he sees inside himself another law, which is to do what he doesn’t want, which is the law of the devil to sin.

So we understand something today: that when there is pain, Jesus is there. And that in the Church there is no death and that real life is coexistence and love, this is life. May the Holy Trinity protect all of us.

 

Recorder: Prof. Baker

 

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