Sunday, April 27, 2014

3rd Sunday of Easter - The Mystery of the Risen Christ Continues to Unfold

Readings for the 3rd Sunday of Easter - Year A:
Acts 2:14, 22-33; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35

The readings of the 3rd Sunday of Easter include a bold proclamation of the resurrection (Acts), a moral exhortation for the newly baptized (1 Peter) and the appearance of the Risen Jesus to two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke). Each text illumines a different feature of the Easter mystery in which believers are immersed during this season. In this reflection, we will ponder the drama of the Emmaus narrative.

Devastated by “the things that have been happening there these last few days” in Jerusalem, the two disciples of Jesus were leaving the city – their place of sorrow and despair. Sounds familiar? We hate to admit it, but the truth is: we are the two disciples. When confronted with problems, when overwhelmed by heart-breaking experiences, we often choose to run!

Like other resurrection appearances, this one is marked by delayed recognition: when they saw Jesus, they recognized him not. In Luke’s words, “their eyes were prevented from recognizing him”. Anger, vengeance, fear, despair, bewilderment, other emotions and human frailties can often keep us from seeing the truth.

Then something very interesting happened. While they were having meal with Jesus, “their eyes were opened and they recognized him”! How did this come about? Apparently, the disciples recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread; in the actions of taking, blessing, breaking, and giving – the familiar ones highlighted in the feeding of the five thousand and the last supper! When our priests use the same actions to celebrate the Eucharistic liturgy, will our eyes also be opened wide to recognize Jesus in the bread and wine?

Rejuvenated and enlightened, the disciples returned to Jerusalem, the place that they had rejected, to share their joyful and mystical experience of encountering the Risen Christ. As Christians, our Jerusalem is this world, which we often wish to flee. Now that we are also rejuvenated and enlightened by the Easter mystery, let us follow the example of the two disciples to bravely embrace the world, sharing our joy and hope with those who have yet to experience the grace of encountering the Risen Christ!

3rd Sunday of Easter, Year A, Foundations in Faith, RCL, Texas, 1998
Henri Nouwen, With Burning Hearts - A Meditation on the Eucharistic Life, Orbis, Maryknoll, New York, 1994

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Kowloon Walled City - A Sad Chapter That Remains Alive and Well in the History of Hong Kong

You can't possibly watch this video about the Kowloon Walled City (九龍城寨), a 17-minute Wall Street Journal documentary produced in English, without feeling a little down. It also brings back haunting visions and gruesome images for many of us who grew up in Hong Kong because the Kowloon Walled City, while unique, was in many ways a miniature of many middle-to-lower class districts of the former British colony. In fact, the neighborhood I grew up from - Central Tsuen Wan - bore much resemblance to the scenes in the video.

Maybe it was not as bad; but let me tell you, it was pretty darn close. I remember specifically one brutal and heated fight involving 7 or 8 gangsters from two opposing triad groups that unfolded before my very eyes shortly before I left for Canada to study university. It happened in broad daylight in the area where my family lived. The fight was animal like; it was bloody; it was fierce. I stood there, one hand covering my mouth (I could have vomited) and the other stroking my heart; and I told myself I would never, ever want to live in that place again!!

Still four years later, I graduated from university and returned to live in Tsuen Wan for four more years before I managed to leave Hong Kong for good. As we, the people from Hong Kong, glow in the warmth and happiness of this wealthy-looking financial city in the Far East, the shadowy and grim images of the Kowloon Walled City or, for that matter, of Tsuen Wan, which I called home for more than 20 years, are lurking in the background, making a mockery of the former colony’s good name - the Pearl of the Orient - and reminding us of a very dark chapter of her history.

At the same time, we must recognize with grateful hearts that these were the grass-root people who made the mighty engine of the former colony turn in the sixties and seventies when its economy started to take flight. In a very real way, they made Hong Kong what it is today. They also made us, people who came from or live in Hong Kong, who we are. Forget them not when we count our blessings in our prayer.

Friday, April 4, 2014







我也「忙」於完成to-do list各事項和有關期限:二佰多人參與的逾越晚宴聯絡工作還未展開,晚宴中要講解的道理和slides還未整理好;耶穌受難日的退省講詞還未寫好;要準備和開始出年靈修課程的宣傳;還有天氣轉暖,殘舊的冷氣機要換;還有... 忙!忙!忙!

但今天去完Toogood Pond漫步默想後,我終於忍不著與忙起了爭拗。我告訴她無論她怎麼重要,也不及那多年不見,最近才重新探望我的「友情」重要;我告訴她雖然她使我感到生活充實,但自從我與「友情」重新相遇,我才明白充實的生活是怎樣的。於是我不顧一切,放下「忙」去探望「友情」,再電郵三位老同窗! 並提醒他們,在忙不斷踩踏之下,也不要忘記「友情」在你身旁耐心等待啊!

此刻心中響起The Way的《基督的軛》又稱《忙》...