Monday, December 4, 2017

我們信主不是因為我們自覺做得好,反而是因為自知做得不好。

「你們該效法我、像我效法基督一樣。」(格前11:1)

我的好友是一位很好的基督徒,像保祿般,是值得我效法的好榜樣。他努力地在真理和美善中生活,務求「活出基督」,這也是基督徒應具備的態度。

但同樣重要的是:我們信主不是因為我們自覺做得好,反而是因為自知做得不好,明白自己軟弱,自己重罪,自己是個大罪人。正因這真心的觉悟,所以尋求主的救助。(所以不要笑一些信主的人做得不好,若他们盡力真心追随主,在主眼中,他们也是很可爱的。)

不幸地,世人多数不觉悟。有些固然覺得自己無瑕可指,更致命的是絕大多数的人都認為自己「OK」,自問自己都算是「好人一個」,只要「不害人」,「行得正企得正」,無理由最终不能「側側身」入到天堂。

其實,天主是完全美善的。天堂是天主永恆臨在之地,也是完全美善的。人無論多好人,都擺脱不了罪的沾染,總有瑕疵。所以,人若沒有「外助力」,永遠不能進入天國。基督救恩就是這「外助力」,所有人都需要它。

衪的奇妙救恩 - amazing grace - 本是免费的,只要人願意,只要人承認自己不「OK」,然後真心悔改從此跟隨主,便可得到。如依撒意亞先知所预告的:「啊!凡口渴的,請到水泉來!那沒有錢的,也請來罷!請來買不花錢,不索值的酒和奶吃!」(依55:1)

但人就是这样,免费的東西不值錢,也放不下驕傲的心(我做得不錯吖!)和生活上「多姿多彩」和「更重要」的事情。結果經年纍月地活在迷失之中,直至有一天噬臍莫及.....。

這主日是「將臨期」的開始,我們一方面慶祝主耶穌降生成人,來臨世間的奧蹟;另一方面亦期待祂光榮再來,審判生者死者,為人類歷史,帶來圓滿總結。今天福音的訊息是「醒寤亅。(「你們要當心,要醒寤,因為你們不知道那日期什麼時候來到」(谷13:33)。)就讓我們真心悔改,清楚看見自己不「OK」而好好準備好自己;保持醒寤,以免基督來到時,自己仍在失落之中而不能自拔!




Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fear Not! Wherever the Head goes, His Body follows

This year, the Sunday of December 3 marks the beginning of Advent. The Church continues to prepare for the coming of the Lord, in terms of both his first coming as our Savior and his return in glory as our Judge. Those of us who have been paying attention cannot but notice the strong flavor of eschatological imminence that has characterized the scriptural readings of the recent weeks:

• Prepare well for the Lord, who will bring the resurrected ones with him upon his return; don’t make the mistake of the foolish ones in the parable of the ten virgins (2nd reading and Gospel, 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time).
• Stay alert! The Lord will “come like a thief at night” (1 Thes 5:2); in his final judgement, He will hold us accountable for all the gifts that we have received from Him (2nd reading and Gospel, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time).
• On the Last Day, Jesus will judge us according to our works of charity. The righteous ones will go to his right and receive eternal life; the evil ones will go to his left and suffer eternal punishment (Gospel, Christ the King).

On this First Sunday of Advent, the imminence of the Lord’s Day takes on a new urgency. “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come,” Jesus tells his disciples (Mk 13:33). St. Paul also implores God to keep the Corinthian church “firm to the end” so that they will be “irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 1:8).

The metaphors used in the Scriptures to explain Christ’s second coming are many and varied. In addition to those mentioned above, the more popular ones are: stone hewn from a mountain that broke up the statue of iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold (Daniel 2); “One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven” (Daniel 7:13); natural disasters, wars, persecutions of Christians (Lk 21:10-28); the two beasts from the sea and the earth (Rev 13), the new Jerusalem (Rev 21), etc.

Of all the amazing images that the Scriptures use to disclose the concluding chapter of all human history – a chapter so irresistible and yet so unfathomable to the human mind – the most intriguing one is that of the Lamb being united with his bride in a joyous heavenly feast (cf. Rev 19). The bride, wearing “a bright, clean linen garment” (Rev 19:8), is ready. The Lamb, with eyes “like a fiery flame”, “many diadems” on his head, and a cloak soaked with blood on his body (Rev 19:12-13), is somehow depicted as glorious and victorious. This somewhat bizarre image, of course, is the Book of Revelation’s rendition of the sweet bridal union of the Church with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the end.

The Lamb, slain but standing (cf. Rev 5:6), has been enthroned to receive honor and glory (cf. Rev 5:6, 12; 3:21). The bride, married to the Lamb and one in unity with Him, is already a heavenly reality even if she continues to traverse in this world order as the Church and the Mystical Body of Christ. As we celebrate the beginning of another Advent season, we must, on the one hand, follow St. Paul’s advice to “stay alert and sober” (1 Thes 5:6), knowing that the final curtain of this long human drama is about to come down at any moment. On the other hand, we also must remember our one-flesh union with Christ and stay hopeful every time we receive the Eucharist. Fear not! For wherever the Head goes, his Body follows. It is the whole Christ – the Mystical Body together with the Head – that is taken into heaven. “[A]s the Head cannot be separated from the members, so the members cannot be separated from the Head,” explained Pope Leo the Great. The fact of the matter is: heaven already belongs to us! Stay in communion with the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, and we will receive “the crown of righteousness” (2 Tim 4:8)!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

遲來的秋



今年秋天珊珊來遲。送完Jason去GO Train,回家前經 Starbucks買咖啡。巨大楓樹上金黄色的楓葉,和合著晨曦,出现在店铺特大的落地窗前。坐在窗旁的顧客,在陽光和秋葉的照射下,活像黑色的彫塑,失去了面容。他们只顧談話,不知道在這人在圖畫中的素描裡,自己扮演著重要的角色!

遲來的秋不能久留,短暂的約會,亦聊解相思之情!


Monday, October 30, 2017

讓我一生事奉您吧!



十八世纪時,在美國有一個年青人決定去西岸淘金,碰碰運氣。結果不枉此行,拿著一大袋金返回東岸。途經 New Orleans 看見一羣人在聚集喧嘩,很熱鬧。細看才發觉原来有人在販賣奴隷。站在台上的是一個年青貌美,非常吸引人的黑人女子。台下人羣爭相出價,並不斷用汚言穢語戲弄和侮辱她;有些人甚至公然表明買了她後,要與她好好親近。

最後,一個中年男子喊出極高價目,志在必得。售賣者數了123正準備成交時,淘金的年青人從袋裡拿出超越高價三倍的金買了她。現塲的人哇然,有人埋怨他被美色衝昏頭腦乱出價,笑他是色魔。

他上台一手拉走黑人少女。她憤怒地在年青人面上吐口水,並狼狼地骂他。走到較幽静的地方時,年青人從口袋拿出剛用金買來的奴隸證書交給黑人少女説:「妳自由離開,好好做人吧!這是妳的自由證書。」

少女不敢相信自己的耳朵,感激流涕之餘,立即跪下説:「您付出重大代價,就是為了讓我自由?!!」她抱著年青人的腳,不斷重覆著這說話。最後她堅決地説:「先生,您為了我犧性您自己,請您也讓我為您做同樣的事:讓我一生事奉您吧!」

朋友:這黑人少女的故事,就是我的故事。若你不知道我為何提前退休,退休後做甚麼,這故事便是我的解釋。謝謝閲讀!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

「你們應該效法我, 如我效法了基督一樣」(格前 11:1)

「你們成了效法我們和效法主的人, 甚至成了馬其頓和阿哈雅衆信者的模範」(得前 1:6-7)。那樣較容易做呢?承認自己是罪人, 或是為他人豎立好榜樣? 我認為後者比前者難做百倍。

要建造一座會倒塌的橋樑是很容易的, 因為這座橋的倒塌是預料中事, 它的拆毀亦是無可避免。但若果這座橋樑是用來安全地承擔繁忙的交通, 工程計算便必需準確, 建造也要嚴謹;最後要通過嚴格測試和批准, 橋樑才能開放給公眾使用。為他人建立好榜樣就像建造一座好的橋樑。要取得他人的信任或甚至被他人效法, 我們務必做到「在任何事上, 避免這職務受詆毀」, 以免我們的過失, 不管如何微細, 成為仰望我們的人跌倒的因由 (格後6:3)。保祿對得撒洛尼人的教會非常滿意, 因為他們的努力使他們堪當鄰近信衆團體的「模範」。對於自己及教會領導人,保祿的要求同樣很高, 所以他亦邀請得撒洛尼人成為「效法我們和效法主的人」(得前 1:6)。

在為《生命恩泉》當義工的這些日子裡, 上主賜給我的恩寵, 實在不能一一細數。但若果我必需挑選其中最重要的一個, 我認為是能有機會與一群真正追隨基督的人緊密地一起工作, 他們願意徹底地活出天主教信仰的決心是堅定不移的。對他們來說, 聖保祿對生活的信念 - 「生活原是基督, 死亡乃是利益」- 並不只是座右銘這麽簡單, 而是他們生活的唯一方式 (斐 1:21)。

作為一個認真追隨基督的信徒, 如果我的價值觀和生活方式, 令我在這個不斷世俗化、是非不分、逐漸遠離天主的世界裡, 感到越來越不屬於和孤立的話,在《生命恩泉》這團體裏, 我卻找到支持及友情, 使我悠然自得,如在家中。這團體由一群虔誠 的天主教教友組成, 他們聚集起來不是為了自己, 卻是為了幫助他人; 這團體緊密地聯繫在一起, 不是因為他們要退縮, 卻是因為他們要向外伸展。

這個團體也不懼怕宣認他們自己就是「基督的馨香」(格後 2:15)。正如聖保祿一樣, 他們不退避和不隱藏自己; 他們站出來公開宣揚他們的志向: 「你們應效法我, 如我效法了基督一樣」(格前 11:1)。他們真心跟隨耶穌基督的教導, 立志成為地鹽世光, 並邀請大家到他們的基地「來看看罷」(若 1:39)。當他們奉行褔傳這特別的召叫時, 他們渴望獻出自己的身體 ‐ 他們的整個生命 - 「當作生活、聖潔和悅樂天主的祭品」(羅 12:1)。他們的願望是讓聖神的大能將自己轉化:變作帶來生命和令人愉悅的芬芳, 化為引發希望和甜美怡人的清香, 成了宣講仁愛和使人安慰的氣息。這感覺是毋可置疑的; 這屬靈的魅力令人難以抗拒。在他們內, 我感受到聖善, 而聖善是有吸引力的, 使人心儀。

(這是甲年常年期卅主日彌撒經文的反思。鳴謝生命恩泉翻譯組將英語原文翻譯成中文。)

Monday, October 2, 2017

If I Must Give One and Only One Reason Why I Support Fountain of Love and Life



“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord…so that you became a model for all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia” (1 Thes 1:6-7).

Which is easier? Admitting that we are sinners or setting good examples for others to follow? I would submit to you that the latter is a hundred times more difficult to do.

If a bridge is built to fall, it can be constructed easily since its collapse is expected and its demolition all but inevitable. But if it’s meant to be used to carry heavy traffic safely, then it must be engineered properly, built carefully, and tested rigorously before it can be licensed for public use. Setting good examples for others is like building a good bridge. To be worthy of people’s trust and even imitation, we must make sure “that no fault may be found with our ministry”, lest our flaws, however minuscule, become the reason for those looking up to us to stumble (2 Cor 6:3). Paul is pleased with the Thessalonian church because their good efforts have made them worthy of being “a model” for the believers of the neighboring communities. Expecting no less from himself and the church leaders, he also invites the Thessalonians to become “imitators of us and of the Lord” (1 Thes 1:6).

In all these years of volunteering for the Fountain of Love and Life (FLL), the blessings that the good Lord has granted me are more than I can count. But if I must pick the most important one, I would say it’s the opportunity to work and associate closely with a good number of true followers of Christ whose determination to live out the Catholic faith in a radical way is unshakable. For them, St. Paul’s conviction about life - “life is Christ, and death is gain” - is more than just a motto; it’s their only way to live (Phil 1:21).

If my Christian values and my way of life as a serious follower of Christ are causing me to feel increasingly marginalized and isolated in a world that is getting more and more secularized, relativized (no right or wrong), and is in danger of drifting further and further away from God, here in the community of FLL I find support and fellowship that make me feel perfectly at home. It’s a community of good Catholics who come together not for their own sake but for the sake of helping others; a community that bonds as one not because they feel the need to recoil, but because they want to reach out.

It’s also a community that is not afraid to profess to be “the aroma of Christ” (2 Cor 2:15). Like St. Paul, they do not retreat and hide; they stand up and make public their ambition: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). True to Jesus’ teaching, they aspire to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world; they invite people to their home base to “come and see” (Jn 1:39). By exercising their special calling to evangelize, their desire is to offer up their bodies – their whole lives! – “as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God” (Rom 12:1). Their wish is to be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit into a pleasing fragrance that brings life, a sweet smell that elicits hope, a comforting breath that speaks the language of love. The sensation is unmistakable; the charisma irresistible. In them I sense holiness, and holiness attracts.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Please Sponsor Me to Walk for Fountain of Love and Life!

Over the last 20 years, many things about me have changed: age, outlook, work, way of living, you name it. But one thing that remains unchanged is my passion to spread the Good News of Christ - a passion driven by joy, enlightened by His Word, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. While some of my programs have been invaluable in enabling me to carry out my lay apostolate of evangelization, their effectiveness in reaching out to a larger and wider audience certainly would have been quite limited without the powerful media platforms of Fountain of Love and Life.

On Sunday, October 22, 2017, I will join the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Challenge to fund raise for Fountain of Love and Life. Many of you share my passion to spread the Gospel and are strong supporters of my programs. I know I will be able to count on your generous support for this very meaningful fundraising initiative. Please click on the following link to my personal fundraising page to make a donation:

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Walkathon - Edmond Lo's Personal Fundraising Page

Thus I do not run aimlessly...No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:26-27). I know I will not run(walk) aimlessly with your generous support either in money or in prayer or both! God bless you for your generosity!