講道 Sermons

the call of god in our job 在工作中聽見上帝的召喚

Matthew馬太福音4:18-23

2013.7.7 sermon by Fr. Jonah

http://www.justin.tv/dao_love/c/2536253

今天的福音提到放下一切、跟隨耶穌基督。耶穌開始公開傳福音經過加利利,他見到安得烈和彼得在捕魚,耶穌召喚他們跟隨他,於是,他們拋下一切跟隨耶穌。他們跟隨耶穌的行動非常打動我的心。我來自於希臘的派特拉市,安得烈就是在我的家鄉奉獻生命、建立教會。我從這麼遠的地方來到這裡,還是能夠感受到安得烈的犧牲和成就,我的內心深處有著深刻的感動。

耶穌繼續前行,在路上他又見到兩位弟兄,那是西庇太的兒子雅各和他的兄弟約翰,他們同父親在船上補網,耶穌就召喚他們。他們離開了父親,拋下一切跟隨耶穌基督。

這兩對兄弟皆拋下了一切、無條件地跟隨耶穌。值得留意的是,耶穌基督都在他們工作的時候召喚他們。事實上,工作就是祈禱。他們從事的工作,並不是特殊的靈修或想像。他們只是單純的專注在工作上面。就在他們辛勤、努力、誠實地站在工作崗位上時,耶穌召喚他們。在猶太的語言希伯來文中,工作與祈禱的意義是相同的。許多人以為,教會的工作才是屬靈的工作,而教會外的工作都是屬世的工作,事實上並非如此。每一項正當的工作都是屬靈的工作。

上帝創造亞當,將他安置在伊甸園中裡工作。上帝指派給亞當的工作,就是要發揮創造力、用最好的方式、將自己全部的身心靈獻給神。上帝指派給我們的工作何嘗不是如此?我們前來教會參加聖禮儀,聖禮儀結束之後,我脫下了聖袍,你們回到自己家中,將身上的外出服換成家居服,然而,此時聖禮儀並非真正結束,它還在我們的生活中進行著,它將延續進行在我們生命的每一天。我們仍然要以愛來對待生活中一切人、事、物,因為,上帝一直與我們同在。

有人或許會質疑,為什麼耶穌要我們拋棄一切,包括家中年邁的父母呢?事實上並非如此。我們都知道,約翰和雅各的母親,與他們一起跟隨耶穌。耶穌並不想破壞人們的家庭,而是希望能夠修復人們的家庭關係,讓每一位家庭成員都能在上帝之內永遠結合。我們應該留意,每當聖經提到安得烈(或彼得)時,都會提到他是彼得(或安得烈)的弟兄。聖經總是一再提到他們的兄弟關係,從來不會忽略這段關係。安得烈和彼得在血緣上是親兄弟,現在,他們在耶穌基督內、在上帝的光中成為永恆的兄弟。彼得是約拿的兒子,也是神的兒子。

當我在阿陀斯聖山的修道院時,我的父親病得很重,他必須動一個很大的手術。我的妹妹告訴我,父親只有百分之一的存活率。我的屬靈父親是一位聖潔的人,他要我堅守自己的崗位,不要前往醫院。我的內心很掙扎,最後,我沒有去醫院探望父親。我知道,即便我親自到場,對於父親的病痛也愛莫能助。許多人譴責我是一個不孝的兒子。我選擇聽從屬靈父親的指導,我非常信任他,我知道他一定有深切的用意。儘管我深深愛著父親,我對教會的愛卻勝過我對父親的愛。上帝愛我的父親,必定勝過我對父親的愛。上帝對父親的幫助一定比我的幫助更多。

耶穌召喚我們加入他、在教會內合一。人類的誤解與紛爭,往往會破壞家庭的和諧,唯有在教會內建立的家庭才是堅實的。耶穌召喚門徒時,從來不會要他們離棄自己的妻子。從聖經的描述我們可以看出,彼得在傳教的時候是帶著自己的妻子。人類團體的組成核心就是夫妻。人與人之間所有的關係與結合,都是以夫妻關係為本。一對男女的結合,並非單純地出自好感,還必須在教會的祝福中,藉由聖靈合一。在一切人際關係中,無論是朋友或家人之間的關係,都不是單純的血緣或友誼關係,還必須獲得神的賜福。我們必須把所有的人際關係架構在神的合一中。

並不是耶穌召喚某個人,他就必須失去一切,最後面臨經濟的困境。耶穌召喚這些漁夫時,他們雖然拋下一切追隨耶穌,但是並非真正失去一切。他們最後贏得所有人類的尊敬,成為眾所皆知的人。工作的時候就是神召喚我們的時候。在工作的崗位上誠實而盡責,就是對耶穌的回應。

有許多人問過我,如何在職場上得到耶穌的救恩?每個人心中都有一把道德的尺,神將這把尺深植在我們心中。我所說的並不是古代猶太人的律法。我們應該留意,上帝並沒有要我們所有人遵從相同的律法。沒有犯下重大罪行,不代表我們就是一個好人,這是不夠的,我們每個人都應該在教會合一,並且努力超越死亡。

在教會中,我們領受聖餐,在聖餐中合一,這才是真正的合一。我們將所有的一切,包括:工作、思想、朋友…等都獻給神。上帝就在我們每日的工作中。透過工作,我們把神的德性發揚出去,把神的愛散播出去。願我們在工作中都能聆聽神的聲音,願我們都能藉著工作,把神的愛傳揚出去。

願聖三守護我們每一位。阿門。

 

2013.07.07 Matthew 14:18-23 The Call of God in Our Job

 

Jesus was starting his public service and he passed from Galilee, when He saw two brothers fishing, Andrew and Peter. He called them, “Follow me,” and they left everything to follow him. This is very moving, for me especially because I come from the place of St. Andrew, Patras, where he was crucified, he died and we have his grave and part of his relics. From so far away, this blessing of St. Andrew to be here is a little bit moving.

And it is important that Jesus continued and found another two brothers fishing with their father, the sons of Zebedee, John and James. Jesus called them to follow Him. Then, very strangely, they left everything and even their own father to follow Him. It is interesting and a very emotional thing to say that two brothers left everything to follow Jesus Christ The first thing, which is very important, is that Jesus is calling them while they are at work on their job. Their job is their prayer: He did not call them while they were studying, doing other things, or imagining that they were great people, no. He called them during their blessed and honest work. In the Jewish language, the word for job is almost the same word as prayer. And we must understand that doing our work is not something apart from the Church, like now I am at my job and now I come to church; two different things – they are not. When God created two human beings, he put them in Paradise to work there. And their work was by many ways to change the world and offer it to God, to make it more beautiful and gradually to offer this to God. So work is a continuation of the liturgy, to change everything to make it better; and then God is there.

There is also another thing. Somebody could say, “Is Jesus asking too much to separate the brothers from their family?” For example, they left their elderly father. But we see later in the Gospel, always the Gospel calls John the brother of James, Peter the brother of Andrew. So it is not to abandon the family relationship. And we see in the Gospel, obviously the mother of John and James was following Jesus because she asked Him favors for her sons.

When the Gospel gives to us these examples, it is not to destroy our family, but to restore the family forever. Before following Jesus, Andrew and Peter were just brothers in the flesh; but then they were always brothers in Jesus Christ. So this brotherhood in the flesh is accepted and becomes eternal in the light of Jesus Christ. And always Jesus call Peter as the son of Ionna; and he is the son of Ionna, but he also is the son of God the Father.

I say this because I feel in almost a similar situation. When I was in Mount Athos and my father was almost dying and he needed to have a dangerous operation that had almost one percent of survival, as my sister told me. Father Porphirius, my spiritual father in Mount Athos told me not to call, not to go. And I did not go, did not call. So many people accused me of being a very bad person and not caring. Actually, of course, I am a bad person, but in that case I did what I should have done. Because even though I had a lot of pain, I trusted a holy person, my spiritual father, who I loved as my father, not better than the church – that God loves my father more than I love him. And really God helped my father much more since if I went there I really could not have helped.

And so from this point of view, I say to you that Jesus Christ, when he is calling us, is calling us to establish our personal relationships in the Church. Because if they are not in the Church they will always be destroyed by small bad things and human misunderstandings.

We see something strange: when Jesus called various people, he did not ask anyone to abandon his wife; the Bible does not say this. And we know that, as Paul writes in his letters, when Peter was a missionary he had his wife with him. It is very important that the couple, the husband and the wife, is in the center of human relationships – everything is around this. And the Church calls us to become husband and wife, not only just because we love one another, but to take this unity and the love in the Church. It is Jesus, it is the Holy Spirit, that unites the husband and the wife. It is the Grace of God that also gives us kids and friends and relatives. It’s not just a biological event. So we must try to put our family in the context of God because then it will be forever; we will be happy in Paradise and we will love them forever.

And when God is calling somebody, it is not as if that person will have an economic disaster. Because when God called these Apostles and they left their poor jobs to follow him, finally – judging from the human point of view – were they destroyed? They were not; all human history knows them as famous people. So once more I say to you, when you are doing your job to imagine that Jesus is calling you – not to abandon everything, but at least to remember you are doing the job of God at the same time you are doing a job for computers, for teaching, for business, for anything that you do.

And a few things because the apostle speaks about the law: This is practical; how are we to behave in our job. This is something that people could ask. The Gospel speaks to us today about the ethical law, the law that everybody has in his heart to distinguish the good from the bad, which is planted from God into our hearts. I know you may say that this is speaking about the Jewish law, about ancient things; but we are not Jewish and we do not care about the Jewish law. What is important is to understand that God does not put laws and separate behavior, give us ways of behavior, to say you will do this, you will do this and so on. The law of God starts and ends here in the liturgy., Some people may say, “I don’t kill people, I try to be honest. Is thisOK?” We could say, “No, it’s not OK.” Why? Because, you know, what’s the point just to be an honest person? For God it is important to be united; it is important to overcome death.

So coming to the Church and taking Jesus Christ and becoming one: this is the real law. And offering everything to God: we offer our job, we offer our friends, we offer our customers; everything in our minds. And God is helping them much more than what we try to help them. So for somebody it is not enough to say, “I do not come to the church on Sunday, but this is not important, what is important that I am a good person.” This is very wrong.

God is in our job and He is waiting for us to spread Him to the world, to spread His love and his creativity to everybody. A job that is only regulations is something that leads only to death. But a job that comes with a person who comes to the church and receives the Holy Communion – this is the mission of Jesus Christ; it is Jesus working and blessing all the unities. So may God give to you to listen to His voice when you work, and to follow him by the way that he calls everybody. Amen

 


And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.   21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.   23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

 

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