Word of God

Fr. Anthony Le

Vietnamese have this to say about the necessity to use words wisely. we say words are inexpensive therefore learn to use words wisely to build up one another. Words, if you pause and think, we would realize that everything that we do, every area of our society, community, and family, individually, or communally, Words are the main communication tool that we have, to either share our thoughts, formulate our thinking process, plan of action. therefore, concretely impacts our future here, now, and beyond. Our words have an amazing capacity to stir up feelings in our heart. perhaps positively, or negatively as well.

I would like to read to you a few sayings from some of the most famous people. you probably never heard, and see how you react to them.,
"the time is always right to do what is right". Do you know who said that? Martin Luther King.
"If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run, then walk, if you can't walk, then, claw, by all means keep moving ``. Who's saying that? Martin Luther King again
"if you want to change the world ,go home and love your family". Who's saying that one? This is Mother Teresa of Kakada .
"God does not create poverty, we do. because we do not share". Who says that? Mother Teresa again.
You could hear all these words and you begin to feel a little bit.
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why". Who said that? Mark Twain.
"it's better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, then to open it and remove all doubt" who said that? Mark Twain, he's a great writer and comedian as well.

now a little bit more serious, more than anything,
“A person's right to abortion is a person's right to their own body” I'm not going to name anybody here, how do you feel about that statement?
now the next one - "I have noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born". True, Isn't it ? Ronald Reagan
"I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision. I can testify to this, in the context of confession and private spiritual direction". you know who said that. Holy father pope Francis

"come to me those who are burdened with life, because my yoke is light". you know who said that "let the children come to me, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as this", you know who said that "I am the way, the truth, and the life. nobody could come to the father, except through me" you know who said that "whoever believes in me shall live even if he dies, shall live with me forever".

Those of us who listen to the Word of God, we being stirred. Words have been used by politicians, by poets, by a lot of people, but why are they not called the Word of God? even though they convey a message, appeal to thousands and millions of people. Why are they not called the Word of God? Why are we not bowed down in submission? Why are we not? Even though we admire, we don't call them, being read in the church, and call it the Word of God? Because they are not spoken by God. They are spoken by men and women of our ages.

However, my dear brothers and sisters, on this Sunday our holy father, Pope Francis, established this day to be the day we celebrate, and honor, and remind ourselves of the significant and powerful Word of God.

the Word being proclaimed, being shared, and, therefore, transforms our lives. my dear brothers and sisters, notice what happened in the context of the liturgy, in the context of the liturgy, from the beginning to the end, throughout the liturgical year of the church, the Word of God permeates everything we do, guides every decision the church ever made, formalist ever dogmatic teaching of The church. Every dogmatic teaching of the church has been inspired directly or indirectly, taught by holy scripture, and sacred traditions, being passed along from apostles to the modern day bishops, cardinals, and the lay faithful. For the beginning of our mass, the deacon carried the book of the gospel into possession. Together with the presider. We show a great respect to the Word of God going to be proclaimed, used by the human voice, and delivered the message of salvation. It is not a scientific book, it is not a historical record, but the Word of God saturated throughout the history of mankind, inspired by the spirit of life, delivered for salvation of mankind, specifically faith and morality.

Then, we place the book of the gospel on the altar. At mass, we have two tables. the table of the Word of God, and the table of the holy Eucharist, equally important. One is a Word spoken by our lord, the other one given his body and blood, his divinity and humanity.

Then the Word being proclaimed in exactly the same manner, my dear brothers and sisters, like Ezra the great high priest of God's people, after great exile the return. For the first time in a long time, Ezra opened the book of torah - five books, first five books of the bible - proclaiming to the people. they all stood, they all raised their hands, and said 'Amen Amen '. So be it, whatever is being proclaimed by God, we believe exactly the same way we say amen at every end of our prayer, at every moment when we receive the body of our lord, we say amen. We acknowledge, we believe, and we accept what has been proclaimed as the Word of God.

The first reading today shows how the Word renewed the people of Israel. How the Word renews really all the spirit of the people who were there. the Word of God.

We have been accused in the catholic church, we have been accused by protestant brothers and sisters, that we don't really learn the Word. that well, we don't really read the Word that often. I want to give you a counter argument. Every three years, if you go to church daily, you're going to listen to the entirety of the gospel. everything in the bible will be selected and proclaimed. if you go to all daily mass, on Sunday mass, you hear the entire bible. if you live 30 years old and you listen to that, you read it, heard it, 10 times over. if you live 60 years old and you have heard that how many times are they? 20. That's a lot. and if you live longer, you listen a lot more. and throughout the mass, everything that we do in the context of the mass is saturated with the Word of God as well. Every little thing if you could trace, if you line them all up together, from the greeting of the priest, down to the amen, almost 90 percent coming out of the bible. 90% of the Words being said, except a few prayers fabricated, worked together, formulated by the church, and everything else Word of God.

and then we come to the second reading, reading normally being selected from the epistles of Paul, or John, or Peter. the new testament to show the church after our lord has gone, continue to proclaim that Word, live out that Word, and share that Word, in the context of the private home and also in the context of the early church community and then the Word of the gospel being proclaimed.

Listen carefully, my dear brothers and sisters, that is not father Anthony’s teaching. This is the teaching of the church. Every time the Word of God is spoken, God himself says to his people exactly the same way he encounters Paul, Peter, Moses, Isaiah, Elias, all these great prophets receiving message from God is the same way that we receive here at mass. When the Word of Ezra, the Word of the prophet Nemaha, Jeremiah, the prophet Isaiah, or Paul, john, peter, the Word of God being proclaimed, he himself addressed his people. when the Word of the gospel being proclaimed, the deeds of Jesus and the Words of Jesus being used and delivered. Christ himself presents and delivers to his people. we believe that because the spirit of God who inspire all the authors of the bible, all the authors of the sacred books, the same spirit that has been given to the church, the same spirit has been given to the entire church, and the same spirit inspires us to listen once again to this beautiful Word, and therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, we have a responsibility to respond to that, we have the responsibility to listen to that Word, we have an obligation to learn and appreciate that Word, so that the effectiveness and the power of that Word could really penetrate our life, cut through the lines that the world presented to us, cut through the lines of falsehood that have been permeated in our society, in our life.

let's listen once again how to listen to that Word and respond to that Word of God. First we listen with reverence, we listen with reverence, not only we stand up to listen to the Word, not only we sign our forehead, our mouth, and our heart, before we can see the Word of Christ proclaimed to us. We also visibly show we respect the Word by having an altar, having candles, to show the importance of the Word of God in our life. and when we prepare, we take great care to learn about history, we learn about the teaching of the church, look through the lances of our faith into the reading being selected, and chosen and proclaimed at mass we don't just come up with all opinions filtered through the lens that society provided. no, no, no, we're going to read with the community of faith, with the community of the church. we're going to read with the teaching of the church, we're going to read with those who believe, those who conceived that Word. With Mary, with Joseph, with all these things not with politicians, not with poets. no, no, we refuse to do that.

So we read, first of all with respect and reverence, and then we read with obedience, just like Mary. When we read the Word, when we listen to the Word, Mary receives that Word with obedience. Do whatever he tells you. Let it be done according to that Word. our blessed mother responded. This obedience, my dear brothers and sisters, makes the Words truly powerful and takes root in our life. and therefore, transform. Imagine you are a parent. You tell your children to do the right thing, and they say they don't want to follow. I do the opposite. then your Word has no effect on them even though it's true and beautiful.

The same goes with the Word of God. when being proclaimed without obedience, without openness to accept that Word, it won't do a thing, to change our life. and then lastly, when we listen, when we read the Word, we've got to read, and listen, with a great sense of zeal and mission. I'm going to do it. I'm going to embark on this new journey with you. The same way our lord Jesus walked on the path with the disciples after he had passed. He resurrected, he returned, he walked with them. He explained to them the old testament, he taught them what it means for the son of God to die on the cross. What that means for him to be resurrected again, and therefore their hearts on fire. They returned to Jerusalem, and they returned to where they ran away, and they proclaimed Christ without fear.

My dear brothers and sisters, when we hear the Word like that, with that kind of zeal and openness, we go back into our life, into our family, and we declare Christ by way of living our lives according to the Word being proclaimed to us. Amazing things will happen.

Asking Paul when he listened to the Word, he became an evangelist, asked saint Francis when he listened to the Word of Christ asking to give up his life for the sake of the gospel, asking Benedict the one who listened and abandoned the world, the world of roman empire, and embraced poverty of Christ, and set in motion the most beautiful monastic life through the next 17th century. Ask the St. Therese of Lisieux, how the Corinthian hymn of love transforms her life and she became a patron of all missionaries. “In the heart of the church, I shall be loved”. Ask Mother Teresa of Kolkata to listen to the Word of Christ on the cross, I thirst. She became the missionary to the poor and, therefore, her sisters saved thousands of souls worldwide.

Oh my dear brothers and sisters let the Word stir you on a mission, let the Word stir us on a mission, and we do that together. and together, we move the world, and move this community together. Like every single part of the body, we are united because the Word of God, like blood running through our veins, running through every aspect of our community and family. and let that Word, be our light. The psalm today sang very beautifully. The Word of God is a light unto my path. Because our lord Jesus is that Word, let's together profess our faith

聖言

越南人有這樣的說法,來勸導我們學習說智慧的言語:“珍惜從你口中說出的話語,學習用智慧的言語,來建立彼此。” 我們所做的每一件事,我們的想法、思考的過程和行動計劃,都是用語言來與人分享。我們講的話,無論是此時此地,甚至於將來,對我們都會有影響。從正面或反面,來影響我們的命運。

讓我引用一些名人的金句,看看你們知道不知道是誰講的。
“任何時機都是好時機去做你該做的事。” 馬丁路德
“如果你不能飛,那就跑。如果不能跑,那就走。如果不能走,那就爬。無論如何必須繼續前進。“誰說的?又是馬丁路德。
“如果你想改變世界,從愛你的家人開始做起吧”。誰說的?德蕾莎修女。
“天主沒有創造貧窮,貧窮是我們創造的。因為我們不願意分享財富。”誰說的?又是德蕾莎修女。
從這些名言中,希望你開始有一點感覺。
“生命中最重要的兩天是:你出生的那一天,以及找到你為什麼存在的那一天。”誰說的?馬克吐溫。
“與其開口,讓人確認你是個笨蛋,不如閉上嘴,讓人以為你可能是個是笨蛋。”這話是誰說的?又是馬克吐溫,他是一位偉大的作家和幽默家。

現在讓我們轉向嚴肅一點的話題,有人說“一個人有權利去墮胎,因爲人對自己身體有處理的權利”在這裡,我不問你的意見是什麼。
下一句名言是 “我注意到每個贊成墮胎的人,都已經出生了。”真的,不是這樣嗎?美國前總統雷根說的。
“我遇到過許多女性,她們心中承受著這個痛苦決定的可怕傷痕。我可以在聽告解和輔導個人神修的經歷下,為此做見證。”你知道這是誰說的?教宗方濟各。

“凡勞苦和負重擔的,你們都到我跟前來,因為我的擔子是輕鬆的。”你知道誰說的?
“你們讓小孩子來罷!因為天國正屬於這樣的人。”你知道是誰說的?
“我是道路、真理、生命,除非經過我,誰也不能到父那裏去。“ 你知道是誰說的?
“我就是復活,就是生命;信從我的,即使死了,仍要活着”。這些都是耶穌的話。

為信主的人來說,耶穌的話就是聖言,聽到耶穌的話,激起我們的對主的熱情。政治家、詩人、很多人都說智慧的言語。這些言語,傳達了信息,也影響了成千上萬的人。雖然我們很欽佩這些話語,但為什麼不稱他們為天主的話語呢?為什麼我們不在教堂裡誦讀呢?為什麼我們不跪拜臣服呢?因為它們不是天主說的。我們稱這些話語為:這個時代的智慧言語。

教宗方濟各訂這個星期天來慶祝、紀念,並且提醒我們天主聖言的重要和祂的德能。

聖言的宣講和分享,改變了我們的生命。親愛的兄弟姐妹們,請注意教會禮儀的內涵。在教會的禮儀年中,從開始到結束,天主的聖言貫穿一切,祂指導每一個決策,形成每一個教理。我們的教理,都在聖神的啟發、聖經的教導和聖教會傳統下成形。聖教會的內涵是從宗徒傳給主教、紅衣主教和平信徒的。

彌撒開始時,執事高舉聖經,和主祭一起進入聖祭。這表現出我們對將要被宣講,並傳遞救恩信息的天主聖言的尊崇。聖經不是一本科學書籍,也不是歷史記錄。聖言滲透在人類歷史,受到聖神的啟發,以信仰和道德來拯救人類。

然後,我們將聖經放在祭壇上。在彌撒聖祭中,我們有兩張祭台:天主聖言的祭台和聖體聖事的祭台。同樣重要。一張放置聖經 ,另一張有天主的身體和血,天主的的神性和人性。

今天讀經一說到以色列人在流放到巴比倫後,終於恢復了自由,回到了耶路撒冷。他們舉行第一次聖祭。大司祭厄斯德拉打開聖經向以色列人宣講。群眾門都站了起來,舉起了雙手,說:“阿們,阿們!” 在我們的彌撒聖祭中,我們也以完全相同的方式宣講聖言。對於所宣講的聖言,我們說阿們;祈禱結束時,說阿們;領受聖體的那一刻,我們說阿們。我們承認、相信,並接受所宣講的聖言和領受的聖體。讀經顯示了聖言如何更新了以色列人,聖言如何更新了在場的每一個人。

讀經二通常是從保祿、若望或伯多祿書信中挑選出來的。新約記錄了在主耶穌升天後,早期教會如何繼續的在各個家庭中、在會堂中,繼續宣講,活出並分享聖言。

親愛的兄弟姐妹們,這不是我安東尼神父的教導,這是教會的教導。每次的宣講聖言,是天主親自對他的子民說話。就像天主對保祿、伯多祿、梅瑟、依撒意亞、厄里亞交談一樣,先知們與天主的交談,和我們今天在彌撒內與天主交談是一樣的。當先知厄斯德拉,耶肋米亞,依撒意亞,或保祿,若望,伯多祿的話語被宣講時,就是天主親自向祂的子民講話。當耶穌的作為、話語被傳揚出去,當福音被傳揚時,也就是基督親自向祂的子民顯現。

聖神啟發了所有的聖經作者,聖神也將祂自己賜給了整個的教會。聖神不斷地鼓勵我們再次聆聽美麗的聖言。因此,我們有責任回應、聆聽、學習和欣賞聖言。只有如此,聖言的有效性,和祂的德能才能真正地滲透到我們的生命中,幫助我們切斷與這個虛偽及世俗社會觀的牽連。

如何再次學習、聆聽,並回應天主的聖言。首先,我們要懷著虔敬的心來聆聽。在聆聽聖言以前,我們不但要站起來,在額頭、嘴巴和心上畫聖號,我們還要通過設立祭壇、點亮蠟燭,來明表對天主聖言的尊重。當我們做準備時,我們先要仔細的了解歷史背景和教會的教導,然後通過我們信仰的眼光,來閱讀彌撒所選擇的聖言。不要隨便接受世俗眼光過濾過的意見。我們與信仰團體一起閱讀,與教會團體一起閱讀,和教會的教導一起閱讀,我們要和那些信的人一起閱讀,那些心中有聖言的人一起閱讀,與瑪利亞、若瑟、所有這些與聖言有關的人一起閱讀。不是與政治家、詩人,我們拒絕與這些無關的人來研讀。

當我們閱讀時,首先要有尊重和崇敬的心態,然後在順從的心下閱讀,就像聖母瑪利亞一樣。聖母瑪利亞順從地接受了聖言。「他無論吩咐你們什麼,你們就作什麼。」親愛的兄弟姐妹,這種順從能使聖言強大,並在我們的生活中紮根,來改變我們的生命。就像你是一位家長。你告訴你的孩子什麼是對的事,他們不聽你的話,反而做了相反的事。那麼,你的話,不管是如何的真實和美好,對他們是沒有任何影響的。 神的話語也是如此。當被宣告而不順服,不敞開心接受那個道理,它就無法影響我們的生命。當我們聆聽、閱讀聖經時,我們必須帶著極大的熱忱和使命感去做。

我要去做。我要和你一起踏上這個新的旅程。就像我們的主耶穌復活之後,與門徒一起走在路上。祂回來了,與他們同行。祂向他們解釋舊約,教導他們天主子為什麼要死在十字架。告訴他們復活的意義。耶穌的話點燃了他們的心火。他們回到了耶路撒冷,回到了他們逃跑的地方,毫無畏懼地宣揚福音。

親愛的兄弟姐妹們,我們以熱情和開放的態度領受天主聖言,帶聖言回到我們的生活、我們的家庭。遵照我們領受的聖言來生活,我們的生命就會發生驚人的改變。

當保祿聽到聖言,他成了傳福音者; 當聖方濟各聽到聖言,他放棄自己富足的生活,完全按照福音的指示來生活。 聖女小德蘭受到格林多書的愛讚美詩的感動,成為了所有傳教士的主保。 “在教會中,我將被愛”。 德蕾莎修女聽到十字架上基督說:“我渴!”。她接受了服務最窮的人的使命。她修會的姐妹們拯救了成千上萬的靈魂。

親愛的兄弟姐妹們,讓聖言激發你傳教的使命,派遣我們。讓我們一起做,推動這個社區,推動這個世界。我們就像一個身體的各個肢體,團結在一起。天主的話語,就像血管中的血液,流過我們的身體,流過我們的社區和家庭。讓聖言成為我們的光。今天的聖詠非常的美,“神的話是我路上的光”。主耶穌就是我們的聖言,就是照亮我前行路上的光。