時間是衡量愛的單位,而愛永遠勝過死亡。~李亮神父

清明節,初春時分,數百萬人返鄉掃墓,追思離去的摯愛。人們駐足墓地,清掃墓園,焚香敬祖,至誠祈禱。

然而,那殘酷地將我們與摯愛分離的死亡,並未完全勝過我們。可愛的孩童,以及相隔兩地、久未見面的家族成員,此刻全都相聚在摯愛的墓旁。是的,死亡確實使我們暫時分別,但死亡卻無法使我們永遠分離。那誕生在這世上的新生命,還有家族成員此刻的溫暖重逢,都在嘲笑著死亡的權勢。人們並不真的驚駭地窺視死亡,而是輕蔑死亡,因為人們正在做著更重要的事:在逝者的面前,體驗當下的彼此相愛—那連繫著家族的親情和友愛。

身為一位東正教徒,我了解到神就臨在那愛之中,即使在墓旁的人們並不認識神,也不相信神。神臨在其中,因為神就是愛,就是那戰勝死亡的愛。神創造人類,使人類作為「愛」,作為社會性的生命。神盼望人們活著,以「共同存在」、以生命共同體的方式一起活著。當然,這會視每個人對「愛」的接受和實踐程度,而有所不同。

真正的生命,是活在團體和社群之中,包括那先我們離去的亡者。我們與亡者的互動交流,攫取了我們,使我們短暫地離開「現在」,回到「過去」。這一趟使我們更靠近摯愛亡者的時光之旅,也開啟了另一道知覺「時間」的視角。當我們超越時間,我們就能夠超脫時間限制地去愛、去連結。「愛」改變了時間,當我們以雙手清掃墓地,至誠祈禱,心中放射愛的脈動,我們就能凝視未來。

我們將能夠以新的視野看待「現在」,我們也將能夠微笑地注視「未來」。我們將明瞭,現在和未來,都不是衡量時間的單位,而是衡量愛的單位,而愛永遠勝過死亡。

我們能以新的視野看待「現在」,因為我們知道每一件事、每個計畫,都必須站在時間面前;都必須值得存留、必須活著、不論死亡是否存在。萬事萬物必須活著,也確確實實將會活著,如果我們的行動是發自於愛、定睛於愛,方法也出於愛。

我們能以微笑注視「未來」,因為我們知道(即使我們不想表達出來),我們的時刻終會到來,那時,我們的孩子、親人、朋友,將會圍繞在我們身旁。我們也會在那裡,無形地。但我們並不害怕,因為愛仍然存在,不論有形無形,我們仍然愛著。

在東正教會中,我們每天都在光榮的聖餐禮中,紀念這愛的重逢。摯愛亡者的靈魂,在聖餐禮中和我們一起圍繞著生命的源頭—耶穌基督的聖體和寶血。

亡者的靈魂仍然「活著」,因為神愛著他們,不論他們是誰。亡者的靈魂也圍繞著我們,因為我們藉著基督的愛來愛他們,以我們卑微但良善的心愛著他們。

我們「同在」,因為我們都在等待著盛大的日子—復活之日,那一刻我們將會再次與我們的身體結合。我們將能夠再次撫觸,享受著心愛之人永永遠遠的同在。一切眾生、宇宙萬物也都將喜悅地活在神的臨在之中、活在神的愛中。

雖然東正教會每天都在聖餐禮中紀念亡者,特別是每週六。但這一週,東正教會將與您的心靈同在,當您在掃墓時、當您與親族相聚時,教會也在聖餐禮中,向這世界傳遞生命就是共同存在、生命就是共同分享,而愛永遠勝過死亡的福音。

 

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Cleaning Tombs, Revealing Love

Millions of people today, at the beginning of the spring go to clean the tombs of the beloved departed ones.  They stay hours on the spot, clean the place, burn incense. They pray…

The death that separated us mercilessly from our beloved ones, did not totally win. The children, the other members of the family, who very often live far away, they are all around the grave of the beloved on. Yea, the death separated us but did not succeed to keep us apart. The new lives, that came into existence and the others living, have reunion over the grave fooling the death. They do not really pay attention to the death, they despise him, and they have something very important to do. To enjoy the presence and the love of each other in the invisible presence of the ancestor. As an orthodox I could recognize the presence of god there although the people do not know Him and do not believe to him. Because god is love which overcomes the death, and he created human being as love, as social person, to be, to exist as coexistence, but in the degree that each one accepts and practices.

Real life is to live in the society but with our dead people as well. Our interaction with them grabs us temporarily from our present and travels in the past. This trip back in time, close to our loved ones, opens another perspective on how to perceive time. This is when we transcend the (time), we can love and relate beyond time. Love distorts the time. We can gaze the future cleaning the tombs by our hands, praying in our minds, and radiating pulses of love in our hearts.

We see the presence from a new perspective, and we gaze the future with smile, and we see them both not as gauge of time but as measure of love which always prevails. Present, we know that everything we do, everything we plan, must stand in front of time, must be worthy to survive, must live, no-matter death exists or not. Must live and indeed will live if it is act of love, if our target and methods were from love. We gaze the future because we know, although we do not want to express it, it will be a time for us, that others, our kids, our friends will gather, and we will be there without body. But we do not afraid, we know that the love still exists; with body or without body still we love.

In the Orthodox Church, we celebrate this meeting very glorious in the Divine Liturgy everyday. The souls of our beloved are around the source of life, the body and blood of Jesus.

They live because He loves them, no-matter what. They are around us because we love them by the love of Jesus, and by our poor good heart.

We are together because we are waiting the great day, the day of the resurrection, in which we will receive our bodies again. Then we can touch again, enjoy the ultimate presence of the others, all, all the universe, in the presence and love of god.

Our church this week specially, -but of course we do every day, specially every Saturday- will be spiritually with you, in our tomb cleaning reunion, sending the message that life is a coexistence, shared life and that the love overcomes the death.

~Fr. Jonah