「不要害怕 ⋯只要信 ⋯平安去吧」 “Do not be afraid … Have Faith … Go in Peace”

踏入六月底,我們經過了四旬期的密集準備,復活節和五旬節的喜樂和興奮,教會生活似乎放鬆了一點,我們舒適地進入了「常年期」。當有關末日的啟示性警告、耶穌犧牲和苦難的故事令我們「不寒而慄」時,教會在本星期的讀經,再次提醒我們,天主的愛是如此深不可測的廣、闊和深。 在本主日的《馬爾谷福音》,我們有幸見證了不只一個奇蹟,而是兩個;這兩個奇蹟都展示了天主的神秘生活 — 那公義、信實和最主要的,是無條件地愛人的天主。奇蹟連接著發生,展示了天主極深而廣的慈悲,也藉着祂的聖子,耶穌的言行,展示了我們作為天主兒女的使命。故事裏有兩個主要角色,一位是會堂長,另一位則是被摒棄的「婦人,患血漏已有十二年」(谷 5:25) 。一位是男子,他在會堂裏的職位,是可敬和有權力的位置,另一位是女子,沒有任何銜頭、聲望和權勢。他們兩者間有著天淵之別;但他們都因為相信而獲得治癒。會堂長雅依洛勇敢地走到耶穌跟前,「懇切」求祂醫好自己的女兒。那患血漏十二年的婦人,可能不好意思接近耶穌,決定保持緘默,在人群中躲起來,只想摸一摸耶穌的衣服。「她的血源立刻涸竭了,並且覺得身上的疾病也好了」(谷 5:29)。當耶穌和雅依洛可能還在談話的時候,她周圍都是擠擁着耶穌的群眾。沒有任何觀眾,但她卻悄悄地痊癒了。至少這是她的想法。在耶穌往雅依洛家的途中,祂「覺得有一種能力從自己身上出去」,就問:「誰摸了我的衣裳」 (谷 5:30)?婦人被揭發後,別無他法,唯有「戰戰兢兢地前來」;跪伏在醫者面前,把實情相告。耶穌沒有責備她, 反而稱許她:「女兒,你的信德救了你,平安去罷!你的疾病必得痊癒!」(谷 5:34)。她不但身體得到治癒,她的靈魂也痊癒了!就像聖詠作者宣告「 天主已把【她】的哀痛,化成了舞蹈」 (詠 30:12)。她所有的痛苦,孤獨和羞愧已經被抹得一乾二淨;她的恩賜是獲得了平安。 雅依洛的治癒之路也迂迴曲折。當離開他家還有一段路的時候,有人告訴他,女兒已經死了,「你還來煩勞師傅做什麼?」(谷 5:35)。耶穌感覺到他的失望,便對他說:「不要怕,祇管信」(谷 5:36)。耶穌並不是空談,祂的意思確實如此!很多時,恐懼就在我們和天主之間;在疑惑和相信之間。好像雅依洛和那婦人,我們一定要鼓起勇氣,選擇相信。正如那婦人,她因為相信而痊癒了,雅依洛女兒得到重生,因為雅依洛堅持相信。我們可以結論,這裏有兩個治癒:雅依洛的心和他的女兒都復元了。 這些故事顯示出「我們的主耶穌基督的恩賜」是源於仁愛 (格後 8:9)。無論是富或貧,有權或無權者,耶穌都會一視同仁地治癒人。聖保祿更鼓勵我們,「就如你們在一切事上,在信德、語言、知識和各種熱情上,並在我們所交於你們的愛情上,超群出眾,這樣也要在這慈善工作上超群出眾」(格後 8:7)。耶穌「本是富有的」卻為了我們,成了貧困的(格後 8:9)。祂與窮人和病者一起,並在需要時,讓能力從自己身上出去。祂明白我們的害怕和失望;所以祂告訴我們「不要害怕」(谷 5:36)。耶穌向我們展示了要同樣地為他人服務。《智慧篇》提醒我們,我們是按照「【天主】本性的肖像」而受造,是「不死不滅的」(智 2:23)。我們有能力,亦有責任,互相勉勵提升,「要出於均勻」:「多收的沒有剩餘,少收的也沒有不足」(格後 8:14-15)。當我們因耶穌之名而作出犧牲,我們便在天堂儲存了真的寶藏。當我們願意與基督同死,我們便會與祂一起復活:「我們藉著洗禮已歸於死亡與祂同葬了,為的是基督怎樣藉著父的光榮,從死者中復活了,我們也怎樣在新生活中度生」 (羅 6:4)。 天主確是正義和信實的,祂無條件地愛了我們。就像那位害怕直接找耶穌的婦人,願我們提起勇氣去相信,並堅持自己的信仰。當人告訴雅依洛,不要再麻煩耶穌的時候,他的信念受到打擊,但他還是繼續和耶穌一起進入女兒的房間。他聽從耶穌的話「不要怕,祇管信」。終於,他經驗了兩個治癒,他的女兒和他自己都復元了(谷 5:36)。當我們感到軟弱無望的時候,讓我們向耶穌喊道:「請你補助我的無信吧!」(谷 9:24)。懷着信德,讓我們平安地去愛天主和大家彼此服侍。 As we approach the end of June, the life of the Church seems to have relaxed after all the intense preparations during Lent, and the joy and excitement of Easter and Pentecost, we fall comfortably back into the “ordinary times”. Just when we are about to “chill” from all the apocalyptic warnings about end times and stories about Jesus’ sacrifices and suffering, we are, once again, reminded of the unfathomable breadth, width, and height of God’s love in this week’s readings. In this Sunday’s Gospel of Mark, we have the privilege of witnessing not just one, but two miracles; both of which reveal the mysterious life of God - the God of justice, fidelity, and most of all, unconditional love. The miracles happen in tandem with each other, revealing the immense depth and width of God’s mercy, as well as our mission as children of God, through the actions and words of His Son, Jesus. In the story, there are two primary players, a synagogue official and the other an outcast, a “woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years” (Mk 5:25). While one is a man who holds office in the synagogue, a highly respected and powerful position, the other is a woman, without any title, prestige, and power. Indeed, one cannot be more different from the other as day and night; however, both are healed by their faith. Jairus, the synagogue official, boldly walks up to Jesus and pleads “earnestly” for the healing of his daughter. The woman who is afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years, perhaps too ashamed to approach Jesus, resolves to remain silent and hide in the crowd, content with only touching Jesus’ clothes. “Immediately her flow of blood dried up … she was healed of her affliction” (Mk 5:29). All around her, the large crowd continues to press upon Jesus while He and Jairus are probably still talking with each other. Her healing happens quietly without an audience. At least that’s what she thinks. While Jesus is on his way to Jairus’ house, He becomes aware that “power [has] gone out from him” and asks, “Who has touched my clothes” (Mk 5:30)? The woman, now exposed, is left with no option but to approach Jesus “in fear and trembling”; she falls down before the Healer and confesses. Instead of reprimanding her, Jesus commends her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction” (Mk 5:34). Not only is she healed physically but also spiritually! Indeed, as the Psalmist proclaims, God has “changed [her] mourning into dancing” (Ps 30:12). All her pain, loneliness, and shame have been wiped clean; she has received the gift of peace. Jairus’ journey to healing has its twists and turns, too. While still some distance from his house, he is told that his daughter has died and that he should not “trouble the teacher any longer” (Mk 5:35). Jesus, sensing Jairus’ despair, said, “Do not be afraid; just have faith” (Mk 5:36). Jesus is not just saying it, He means it! Often, it is fear that stands between us and God; between doubts and faith. Like Jairus and the woman, we must take courage and choose faith. Just as the woman is healed by her faith, Jairus’ daughter is revived by the perseverance of Jairus’ faith. We may conclude that two healings have occurred here: the daughter’s and Jairus’ heart. Such stories demonstrate the “gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ” that is rooted in love (2Cor 8:9). Whether one is rich or poor, powerful or powerless, Jesus heals without discrimination. In addition, St. Paul encourages us that “as you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you, may you excel in this gracious act also” (2Cor 8:7). Jesus, though “he was rich”, becomes poor for our sake (2Cor 8:9). He walks among the poor and the sick and lets his power flow out of him when needed. He understands our fear and despair; so He tells us “do not be afraid” (Mk 5:36). Jesus has laid out the roadmap for us to do the same for others. The Book of Wisdom reminds us that we are “formed to be imperishable” and are made in “the image of [God’s] own nature” (Wis 2:23). We do have the power and responsibility to uplift each other, so that “there may be equality”: “Whoever had much did not have more, and whoever had little did not have less” (2Cor 8:14-15). When we make sacrifices in the name of Jesus, we store up true treasures in heaven. When we willingly die with Christ, we may also rise with Him: “Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rm 6:4). God is, indeed, just and faithful who loves us unconditionally. Like the woman who is afraid to approach Jesus directly, may we take courage to believe and hang on to our faith. Jairus, whose faith is shaken when people tell him not to trouble Jesus any longer, enters his daughter’s room with Jesus anyway. He heeds Jesus’ words, “Do not be afraid” and “have faith”, and subsequently experiences two healings, his daughter’s and himself (Mk 5:36). When we feel weak and hopeless, let us cry out to Jesus, “help my unbelief” (Mk 9:24). With faith, let us go in peace to love God and serve each other.

 





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