2012.03.10 sermon by Father Jonah

 

這是關於最後審判的福音書。當我們聽到最後審判,嗯,很多人會想到那是某一種讓我們恐懼,威脅著我們的事物。但實際上最後審判和那種想像完全不一樣;今天的經文所講的是希望的信息,和所有邪惡和壞事的終結。而這也是復活和永生的信息,因為從經文中我們了解到,每個人都將與耶穌基督相遇。這樣的會面將會變成什麼樣子呢?畢竟我們都將復活,從人類的始祖,到人類的最後一代。

This is the gospel of the last judgment. When we hear about the Last Judgment, well, many people think that it is something frightening, threatening us. But actually it is not at all like that; it is today the message of hope, and the end of any evil and bad things. And it is the message of the resurrection and eternal life because we see here that everybody will meet Jesus Christ. And how will this meeting be? Because we will all resurrect, from the very beginning of human beings to the last human beings.

 

這非常重要,最後審判不應該讓我們感到恐怖,因為,你知道,最終這是讓正義保有意義的唯一保證。我們看到的世界是什麼樣子?我們看到不義:我們看到生命是如何地不公平,對我們和其他許多人來說是這麼地不公平,而且我們知道我們無法百分之百地改正這種情況。如果我們透過權力來糾正這種狀況,會變成終極的獨裁。從另一個觀點來看,如果沒有最後審判,如果邪惡沒有最終結局,正義還有什麼意義呢?人們會問:「我們應該當好人嗎?為什麼?」,其他人會說:「要求我們當好人是不切實際的,大部分的人不誠實、不公義、不虔誠,你這是在要求不切實際的事情嗎?」

This is very important, and it should not make us feel terror, because, you know, this is finally the only warranty that justice has a meaning. What do we see in this world? We see injustice: we see how unfair life is, so unfair to many of us and to other people, and we know that we cannot correct this one hundred percent. If we correct this by power, it would be the ultimate dictatorship. And from another point of view, if there were no final judgment; if there is no final end of evil, what is the point of justice. Why, people will ask, should we be good people? Others, they will say, what you ask is not a realistic thing, most of the people are not honest, they are not just, they are not pious, so you are asking an unrealistic thing?

 

正義的基礎不在過去,而在未來。更深刻的是,正義並不是一套規則;正義並不是像國家立法部門制訂出來的法規,而是個人的「關係」。因此,我們了解到正義是人類在天國裡與神、與彼此的關係。這時候,正義的終極意義是在這美好的共融中,在這美好的社群中,與神共存,與他人共存。但非常重要的是,記得接下來將會發生什麼事。

The basis of justice is not in the past; it is in the future. And must deeper, justice is not a set of regulations; it is not like the legislation that a country votes for, but it is a personal relationship. So, we understand it is the relationship of human beings in paradise with God and with one another. Now, the ultimate meaning of justice is the coexistence with God and with others in this beautiful communion, in this beautiful community. But it is very important to remember what it is that is going to happen.

 

耶穌基督說「人子」會降臨並審判世人,祂不是說「神」(當然祂是神),正因為祂也是人,所以祂有權柄和權利施行審判。因為有人可能會說:「你是神,你無法了解我的痛苦,憑什麼審判我?」但祂可以,祂先受苦,而且祂很了解受苦是什麼,比我們任何一個人都更了解。因此,祂會來到,而在祂面前人類會分成兩群。那時,在祂面前我們無法隱藏;祂說,山羊綿羊將會分開。這一生我們可以戴上面具,我可以戴上面具,我可以假裝我是個好人。但在神面前,所有的偽裝都會融化消失,那時,真我-我真正的樣子-會顯現,而這將導致人類被分成兩群。被分成兩群總是與神有關,因為神會將其中一群放在右邊,另一群放在左邊。

Jesus Christ says that the Son of Man will come; he does not say “God” (though of course he is God) because He has the authority and He has the right, because He is man also. Because somebody could say, “You are God; you don’t understand what I suffer.” But yes, he suffered first and he knows very well, better than any of us. So he will come and there will be in front of Him a separation. Then, we cannot hide in front of Him; the goats and, He says, the sheep he will separate. We can have masks, and I can have my mask here, and I can pretend that I am a good person. But in front of God all these things melt and disappear, and then the true self – who I am really – appears, and this brings this separation. And this is a separation that is regarding God always because he will put one to the right and one to the left.

 

同樣重要的是,義人並不知道他們自己是良善的,因為當耶穌說:「你們這蒙我父賜福的,因為我餓了,你們給我吃;我赤身露體,我在監裡,我病了而你和某某人幫助了我」。義人並沒有竊竊私語地說:「祂弄錯了呀,不過這樣我們才可以進天堂,就裝傻吧!」,相反地,他們說:「不,不,我們不配。我們什麼時候看見你像那樣呢?」他們如此純潔,他們如此單純,看見榮耀的耶穌,但他們也在其他人的臉上看見耶穌的肖像,他們沒有區隔兩者。作為基督身體的一份子,他們與神子的愛同活。對他們來說這是很自然的;這是為何他們並不要求任何東西,他們不期望得到任何東西。耶穌淨化了「他人」的奧秘,使「他人」的奧秘更清晰,祂說:「你做在他人身上,就是做在我身上了。」這就是「他人」的真義,你們都是最神聖的聖像,比在祭壇後的這些聖像更神聖,因為你們是神活生生的肖像,我們每個人都是神活生生的肖像。因為我們是神活生生的形像,我們與神連結。我說過很多次,就像這些燈光,後面有電線把它們連結在一起,雖然這些電線安靜無聲。所以,如果我看待某人如同看待耶穌,接待某人如同接待耶穌,不論您的接待多麼微小,我們會經驗到神的臨在。

It is also very important that the good people do not know that they are good, because when Jesus said, “Come the blessed of my father, because I was hungry and you gave me food; I was naked, I was in prison, I was sick and you and you helped me. Good people do not say, He made a mistake, we can go to Paradise and it’s OK. They say, “No, no we don’t deserve. When did we see you like this?” They are so pure; they are so innocent see Jesus in glory, but they see the real Jesus in the face of the others, and they don’t separate this. They live with this love of the Son of God as members of the Body of Jesus Christ. For them this is a natural thing; this is why they don’t ask for anything and they don’t expect anything. Jesus cleans and makes more clear the mystery of the other: He says, “You do this to the others; you do it to me.” And this is the otherness, that you are the most holy icons, more holy than these icons behind the altar because you are the living icons of God, and each of us is a living icon of God. Because we are living images of God we have the connection with him. It is like these lights, as I say many times, there are wires behind connecting them, though they are silent. So if I see you like this, and I treat you like this, no matter what you do, then Jesus shows to us, this is the appearance of God.

 

你看,一位沙漠教父,Abba Apollo,常常說道:「看見你的弟兄,就是看見你的神。」這就是修道生活的真義:修道生活並不是因為這世界是罪惡的,所以我遠離世界;而是我遠離世界,卻以更加深刻更為積極地方式參與在世界裡。很重要的是,這些人並沒有差別對待。例如,當耶穌說:「我在監裡」,這些人並沒有質問耶穌:「你,耶穌基督在監獄裡?為了什麼?你犯了什麼罪?」因為即使某人是罪犯,他仍是耶穌基督的肖像,神仍然隱藏在他之內。當我們到監裡,當我們能看見-即使在監獄裡,即使在最糟的人之中-耶穌基督的肖像,那時我們就榮耀了神祂自己。

You see, one of the Fathers of the Desert, Abba Apollo, he used to say, “You saw your brother; you saw your God.” And this is the meaning of monastic life: not that I go far away from the world because the world is sinful; but going far away from the world I am inside the world, much more deeply and much more actively. And it is very important that these people, they did not differentiate things. For example, when he says, “I was in prison.” Somebody will say, “You, Jesus Christ were in prison? For what; you did some criminal action?” Because even if somebody is a criminal, still he is an icon of Jesus Christ: still God is hiding in him. When we go there and when we see – even in a prison, even in the worst people – the icon of Jesus Christ, it is then that we glorify God Himself.

 

關於耶穌所說,那些落入地獄的人們,也很重要。耶穌說:「地獄不是為你們預備的,是為魔鬼預備的」。神並沒有為我們預備任何地獄;祂為我們預備的是天堂。但因為人們選擇了魔鬼的道路,他們和魔鬼一起落入地獄。這裡我們看見,他們沒有懺悔。不義的人和義人能互通聲息,耶穌對義人說話的時候,不義的人也在那裡,也聽見了。但不義的人並不接受,也並不真的了解任何事。不義的人做了什麼呢?他們抱怨,他們控訴上主,好像祂待他們不公一樣。這就是為何他們說:「我們什麼時候看見你餓了、病了、受苦、或在監獄裡,而我們沒有探望你呢?」我們並沒有聽見任何這樣的話語:「原諒我,我並不了解。」實際上這就是地獄:地獄並非神的懲罰,而是我們的態度,對於惡行固執不變的態度:「我不會改變的,就這樣。」良善的人們,當然他們也會落入罪中,但他們的心是良善的,他們嘗試改進,他們是謙卑的。但不義的人完全拒絕改過。

It is also very important also that those who he says go to Hell, He says, “It is prepared not for you; it is prepared for the Devil.” God did not prepare for us any hell; He prepared for us a Paradise. But because people choose the way of the Devil, that is why they go with him. And we see something here, because we see there is no repentance. The bad people in contact with the good people, they say they are there and they see what he says to the good people. But they don’t accept and they don’t really understand anything. What do they do? Well, they complain and they accuse the Master, as if He is not fair to them. This is why they say, when did we see you hungry or sick or suffering or in prison and we did not visit with you. We don’t hear any word of “Forgive me; I didn’t understand.” And this is actually the Hell: it is not that God is punishing us, but it is a permanent change in our attitude: “I won’t change; this is it.” The good people, of course they have sins, but they have a good heart and they try to improve and they are humble. But the others completely refuse.

 

這就是福音書所說的褻瀆聖靈:你待在不願懺悔的情況中,不改變你的心意去行善。實際上耶穌基督要求的一點也不困難:給予一點點食物,給予一些些關心,非常容易,特別是現代社會。祂並沒有說:「我病了,你醫治我」。祂並沒有要求我們行神蹟或當醫生。祂說:「我在監裡」,我再次強調這很重要,神怎麼會在監獄裡?祂做了任何壞事嗎?因為神的肖像,神的形象也在囚犯裡面。就像我上禮拜日說的,這樣的懲罰並非因為社會要報復,而是一種禮物,試著讓做錯事的人能在監獄裡變得更好:改過、懺悔,當然這也有保護社會的用意。耶穌並沒有說:「你沒有策劃某些陰謀好讓我出獄」,祂沒有這樣說,祂說的是:「只要來看看我,你就給了我一些安慰」,多麼簡單,對嗎?這對我們基督徒來說是非常容易的,尤其是有些時候我們不需要上班,我們可以探訪某些醫院,某些安養院,裡面的長輩因為和家人同住時發生問題,或甚至因為他們的家人不要他們,而來到這裡,我們可以到那裡,就只是摸摸他們。以前當我在印度時我看過德蕾莎修女的醫院。這些醫院不是我們能夠想像的那種好醫院,因為德蕾莎修女並不想要那樣的醫院。那些生在街上死在街上的窮人,不能進入醫院,不能躺在床上,他們無法這麼做。所以在那裡有個像走廊的地方,許多骨瘦如柴的老人們在那裡。而我看見來自世界各地的年輕人,他們只是觸碰著這些老人的手,撫摸他們,好讓他們能像個人類一樣,在一點點愛的陪伴中過世,這樣的愛他們一生中從未擁有過,因為種姓制度,因為他們被當作是不屬於這個社會的。

This is what the Gospel says is a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit: you stay in your condition of non-repentance, not changing your mind to do the good thing. What Jesus Christ actually asked is not difficult at all: to give a little bit of food and take a little care, it is a very simple thing, especially today. And He did not say,” I was sick and you cured me.” He did not ask us to do miracles or to become doctors. He said, “I was in prison.” And once more I say this is very important, because why was God in prison? Did he do something bad? Because the icon of God, the image of God is in the prisoner also. And as I said last Sunday, the punishment is not that society takes revenge, put it is a gift trying to make the wrongdoer better in the prison: to change and to repent, and of course to protect the society. Jesus did not say, “You did not organize some secret thing so I could get out of prison.” He did not say this, but he said, “Just to visit with me, you give me a little bit of comfort,” which is so simple, right? And for us Christians it is very easy, especially some times when we don’t work we can visit some hospital, some place for old people where they live because it is a problem to live with their family or even their families don’t want them; just to then to touch them. When I was in India I saw Mother Theresa’s hospitals. They were not hospitals as good as we might imagine because she did not want them. But the poor people who were born on the street and die on the street, they can’t go to a hospital, they can’t stay on a bed, they cannot. So it was as if there was a corridor and there were very old people like skeletons. And there were young people from all over the world whom I saw just touching the hands of these old people, stroking them so they could die as human beings, with a little bit of the love that they had not had in all of their lives because of the caste system and because they were considered to be outside of society.

看,多麼容易,但似乎也很困難,困難是因為我們的個體性,因為我們拒絕看見他人。許多版本的中文翻譯,聖經經文是:「這些事你們既不做在我這弟兄中一個最小的身上」,但如果您看福音書的希臘原文,對這些不義的人,經文中並沒有出現「弟兄」,而是說:「這些最小的」。為什麼?因為不義的人並不了解在耶穌基督中的兄弟之情。義人了解,而且他們在耶穌基督裡成為「他人」的弟兄、母親和姊妹。但對不義之人來說,「他人」就是他們的地獄,他們無法成為耶穌基督的親友,也無法成為他人的親友。我們必須了解最後審判的福音並不是威脅:最後審判並不是在說如果你不是基督徒你會下地獄,而神將會施行最終的報復。最後審判與報復一點關係也沒有:最後審判是真正的、最終極的、幸福的共融。

See, it is so simple. And also it seems so difficult, difficult because of our, let’s say, individuality and refusal to see the other. If you see the original text of the Gospel – because in the Chinese text and in many Bibles it says, “Because you did not do this for one of my least brothers,” For the bad people, the original text does not have the second word “brothers;” it says, “to the little ones this.” Why? Because they don’t understand what is brotherhood in Jesus Christ. The good people understand, and they become brothers and mothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. But for the others, this is their Hell, that they cannot be relatives of Jesus Christ and relatives of others. We must understand that the Gospel of the Last Judgment is not a threat: it is not that if you are not Christian you will not go to Hell and so God will take His final revenge. It is nothing about revenge: it’s indeed the ultimate happiness of the communion. And it’s not like bribery, as if to say, “You were a good person, so I have for you this, so now go and eat.” As in other religions. Because it is actually a very deep way of life.

 

最後審判也不是賄賂,像是說:「你是個義人,所以我給你這些那些,進去吃吃喝喝吧!」,像是其他某些宗教那樣。因為最後審判實際上是非常深刻的生活方式。很多人,實際上因為受到藝術家們病態想像的影響,他們能夠描繪地獄的恐怖,但卻無法描述天堂。天堂並不是某些人想像的那樣,是一個無聊的地方,每天都在祈禱。天堂不是那樣。天堂是那些在神的愛中成長的人們,不完美的完美。為何我說不完美?因為對於神和對於彼此的認識將會無限地增長,沒有窮盡:那將會是非常令人興奮的生活方式,那將會是全然的兄弟(姊妹)情誼,全然的兒女職分,成為神的孩子;活化這樣的關係,持續不斷地成為萬物和每一個人的弟兄(姊妹),彼此的連結是現在的我們所沒有的。現在時間和空間分割了我們,但在天堂裡,以及透過聖餐禮(神父指向聖杯),時間和空間是合一的:時空的作用再也不一樣了。

Many people, actually because of the sick imaginations of artists, they can describe the Hell as terrible things, but they cannot describe the Paradise. The Paradise is not a place were as some people might imagine, where there is praying every day, a very boring thing. It’s not like that. It is the imperfect perfection of those who grow in the love of God. Why do I say imperfect? Because knowledge of God and of each other will be growing infinitely, without end: it will be a very exciting way of life and it will be the total brotherhood and son-ship to become children of God, to activate this and to continue brothers of everything and everybody, and to have this connection that now we don’t have. Now the time and the space separate us, but in Paradise and through the Holy Communion [gesturing to the chalice] time and space are united: it works differently.

 

我們也必須解釋一些事情,關於祂說:「進入永火裡去!」什麼是地獄的烈火?實際上神並沒有預備任何烈火:烈火也是神的臨在,是神的榮光,這是正教會的教義神學,因為我們將會活在這榮光中,活在神的臨在中。

And we must also explain a few things about how he says, “Go to the fire.” What is the fire of Hell? God did not actually prepare any fire: it is the presence of God also, it is the light of God, and this is the Orthodox dogmatic theology, because we will live in this light and presence of God.

 

我說過很多次,如果你問我:「告訴我,神在哪裡,我就會相信。」神是非常有禮貌的:祂不想透過祂的臨在強迫我們相信。因為事實上現在我站在這裡,你們一定會看見我,我透過我的臨在迫使各位接受我的存在,你不能說我不存在,否則你就是瘋了。但是神不想這麼做。神希望我們認識祂,首先因為我們愛祂。但某一天祂會出現,每個人都會在祂的右手邊或左手邊,但都是在祂的臨在中。而如果我們不去愛(就像這些不義之人),如果我們沒有任何懺悔之意,如果我們不認識「他人」,如果我們沒有認出誰是「他人」,沒有認出「他人」就是神的肖像,那麼神的榮光對我們來說就變成如同烈火。這就好像如果我們鎖上這房間的門,然後我們將永遠住在這裡,如果我們恨惡彼此,想像一下會發生什麼事,一分鐘內這裡就變地獄了。但如果我們是朋友,就大不相同。

As many times I say, if you ask me, “Tell me, where is God and I will believe.” God is very polite: he does not want to force us by his presence because I am forcing you now: you cannot say that I don’t exist, I exist and if you say I don’t exist then you’re crazy. But God wants us to know Him because first we love Him. But one day He will appear and everybody will live in his right hand or to his left hand, but in His presence. And if we don’t love like these people, if we don’t have any kind of repentance; if we don’t know the other and who is the other, that he is the icon of our God, then this light of God will act to us as fire. It is as if we lock the door to this room and we say we will live here forever. If we hate each other, imagine what will happen: in one minute this will be Hell. But if we are friends it is different.

 

這是為何婚姻是天堂的形象,因為兩人承諾永遠住在一起,彼此相愛,這就是婚姻,這是天堂。你看,天堂和地獄是同一件事。從某個觀點來看,天堂是神的榮光,住在神的榮光中。但只因為我不想要,因為我恨惡,神的榮光對我來說就變成烈火。就好像如果我不想呼吸你呼吸的空氣,所以我捏住鼻子,當然我會覺得肺臟好像著火一樣,不是嗎?

And this is why marriage is an image of Paradise, because two people have the commitment to live together forever, loving each other, this is marriage and this is Paradise. And so you see, Paradise and Hell are the same thing. From one point of view it is the light of God, living in the light of God. Only because I don’t want it, because I hate, the light of God works on me as fire. It’s as if I don’t want to smell the same air as you smell so I close my nose. Of course I will feel like fire in my lungs, right?

 

你必須了解正教神學的這個主要觀點,我們也必須了解某些事,並聽見某些事:啟示錄中,祭壇下的殉道者們的聲音(神父指向祭壇)。這是為何正教會的祭壇會有殉道者的聖髑,他們在啟示錄中說:「主啊!要等到幾時呢?祢不降臨,祢不結束歷史,祢不開始新生命」。我們所有人也應該說:「主啊!要等到幾時呢?」,因為主說:「我必快來。」但祂快來並不是為了我們。啟示錄中羔羊的回應是:「還要安息片時。」因為還有許多人會被加入天國,我們之中還有許多人。我們也必須了解,愛著神的我們,在我們活著的這段期間,如果我們愛神,我們已被審判(約5:24)。對聖徒來說,活在神的榮光中,就是活在天堂中,唯一缺少的只是肉體的復活。

You must understand this main point of Orthodox theology, and we must understand something, and hear something: the voice in the Revelation of the martyrs under the altar [gestures to under the altar]. This is why an Orthodox altar has holy relics of the martyrs, who say in the Revelations, “Till when Lord? You don’t come, you don’t give an end to the history and you don’t start the new life.” And all of us should say, “Till when, Lord?” Because the Lord said, “I’m coming fast.” But he’s not coming fast for us. And the answer of the Lamb in the Revelations is, “Wait a little bit.” Because there are many to be added to the Kingdom of Heaven, there are many of us. And we must understand also that during this period that we live, we who love God, we are already judged if we love God (John5:24). For a saint in his glory, this is the second coming. The only missing thing is the resurrection of the body.

 

但提醒了我們,並且讓我們成為耶穌基督的弟兄的,是我們的痛苦。耶穌基督沒有說:「我是百萬富翁,而你沒有來我的豪華郵輪上享受」。祂沒有說:「我是國王,而你沒有和我一起慶祝」。每個人都有的痛苦、困難、死亡、不公不義,這些我們每天都在經歷的,有它的意義,隱藏在其中的,是耶穌,祂和我們一起承擔了不公不義,承擔了痛苦,承擔了苦難。當我們受苦,我們絕不是獨自承受-你必須記住這點。我們的痛苦,只有在耶穌基督中,有了意義,這意義是成為耶穌基督的弟兄,成為在十字架上的祂的弟兄。因為有很多人嘗試避免痛苦,這是自然的反應,例如其他某些宗教。但是如何賦予痛苦神學意義?痛苦神學,是神知道我們的痛苦,並且與我們感同身受。因此當我們受苦時,我們的痛苦有了意義:是耶穌隱藏在我們的痛苦中。這讓我們成為耶穌基督的弟兄。這讓我們了解並非只有我在受苦,並非只有你在受苦:是耶穌在監裡。記得這點,我們保有勇氣,我們保有盼望,來面對每天的困難,每天的生活。就像新神學家聖西默盎所說:「什麼是最後審判?領受聖體聖血,這就是神的顯現」,對那些領受聖體聖血的人們來說。因此,基督徒總是感受到最後審判,不是感受到恐懼,而是感受到神的臨在,感受到與他人一同歡喜慶祝。

 

願至聖的聖三一保守我們眾人。阿們。

 

But also something that reminds us and makes us brothers of Jesus Christ is our pain. Jesus Christ did not say, “I was a millionaire and you did not come to my ship to enjoy.” He did not say, “I was a king and you did not come to celebrate with me.” It is the pain that everybody has; it is the difficulties, it is the death, it is the injustice that we experience every day that has a meaning, and behind this is Jesus, who is taking this injustice, this pain, this suffering, with us. When we suffer, we never suffer alone – you must remember this. And our pain, only in Jesus Christ, takes a meaning, the meaning of becoming brothers of Jesus Christ, brothers of Him on the Cross. Because many people try to avoid the pain, which is a natural reaction, like in Buddhism. But how? And to give a theology for the pain? The theology of the pain is that God knows, and He identifies himself with our pain. And so when we are suffering our pain has a meaning: it is Jesus hiding inside our pain. And this makes us brothers of Jesus Christ. It lets us understand that it is not only me suffering, it is not only you suffering: it is Jesus in the prison. And remembering this we take courage and we take some hope to carry on in the everyday difficulties and the everyday life. As St. Simeon the Theologian says, “What is the Last Judgment? Taking the Holy Communion, this is the appearance of God,” for those who receive the Holy Communion. So the Christian is always feeling the Last Judgment, not as fear but as presence and as the celebration of others.

May the Holy Trinity protect all of us. Amen.

 

Photo: Leo Moskos. The Last Judgement. 1653. Collection of Marianna Latsis