20year

Our community has more than twenty years of history in Dallas. What began as five or six families coming together to study the Bible and pray together, quickly became a community that regularly gathered at nearby churches for Masses and meetings. As the numbers grew, they requested that the Diocese of Dallas help establish a permanent Chinese Catholic community in 1990. In 1992, we put our money together and purchased a small office building in Richardson, Texas. By the end of 1993, we had renovated it to become our sanctuary and activity hall. With the guidance of priests seconded from Taiwan and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, our small community grew stronger in numbers and in faith.

主編的話

陳曉茗

 

春夏秋冬,再一年四季輪迴,又輪到我執筆當主編的時候了。回想這一年來葡萄藤的編輯服務工作,雖然剛開始有寫文章時的掙扎,但我自己的收穫卻遠超過編輯時的辛勞。首先是近水樓台先得月,所有的文章進來我們編輯組的同仁先一睹為快。每當我細讀教友們用生命雋刻的文字,時常有此文只應天上有的感覺。除了受啟發、被感動,為自己的生命增加更多的認知理解外;也在享受別人的生命旅程中,給自己的人生加入一些處理事情的方法。

筆者執編時恰逢江綏蒙席臨時來聖心堂掌門,有機會請蒙席為葡萄藤寫神師的話。說來笑話一樁。當我看見江蒙席的日程表放在大廳門外時,心裏納悶,此人名叫江綏蒙席,為什麼不把神父的頭銜放在後面?嘻……。後來在和教友的聊天中才知道蒙席就是頭銜,套我們大陸的話來說就是職稱,職位的稱呼,比神父上一級。江蒙席在神師的話中道明學習『良善心謙』的重要。我自己的經驗是驕傲來,紛爭來,痛苦也隨之而來。對我來說自我反省和朝拜聖體實在是一帖平安喜樂的良藥。

想必大家都領略過陳志翔神父的證道。他帥氣的外表、敏捷的思路、中心突出且具有說服力的語調一定給大家留下了深刻的影響。我們這裡刊登了他晉鐸後首次彌撒的證道講詞,我相信對大家會很有激勵作用。

在我認識天主教以前,我把神父修女都劃為怪人。他們放棄常人的生活,躲在廟宇裡度自己的一生。進教會後隨著跟他們的接觸越多,對他們的敬愛也越來越深。每每看見他(她)們常常有一種奇想。當我住在寬敞明亮的大房子裡,唱機裡放著聖歌作背景音樂,在悠悠轉動的吊扇下享受我讀書的快樂時,他們卻在奉獻他們的生命,學習耶穌為我們服務。陪我們笑,陪我們哭,指點我們走有意義的人生之路,成為我們生命中的幫助。每當此時敬佩與感激油然而生。

一如既往,我們收集的文章豐富多彩。瓊華姐妹的大峽谷之旅是一篇很好的見證。翠婷雖然回了台灣,我們還能繼續享讀她的文章。此期有三篇文章是描寫關於母親的。先有王雅嫻姐妹對母親的不恭有歉疚;又有雅芳懷念她的代母聞慧韻姐妹的;更有王念祖弟兄的『十字架會走路』。對母親永遠有道不完的愛的話題。母愛是一種最無私的感情,它像春天的甘露,灑落在我們的心田,雖然悄無聲息,卻滋潤著一棵棵生命的成長。

接上期的『再見,悲傷;哈囉,重生』後,張宏秀博士和布衣又給我們獻上了『哀悼與親人衝突』。本人最喜歡拜讀布衣的文章。她的主題常常寓意深遠,刻劃常常入木三分,算得上是意情並茂。近來常看到她和張宏秀博士合作,用張宏秀博士的專業知識加上她的文字功底,真可謂紅花綠葉符,相得益彰。相信她們的系列文章能夠讓每一位讀到的人從中受益。


不要害怕!

陳志翔神父晉鐸後首次彌撒證道講詞

○○八年六月二十二日

李滕藍譯


陳志翔神父於六月二十一日在他成長的家鄉Port Lavaca 晉鐸成為在美極少數的華裔司鐸之一。他生於台灣高雄市,五歲時隨家人移民德州,定居並受教育於此。在德州州立大學拿了電機學位之後,毅然決然的回應天主的召叫,進入修院。在他七年的神修陶成生涯的前兩年,住在Irving聖三修院時,我們聖心堂有幸認識了這位年青且具有多項才能的絕頂優秀的修士。他在七月二十七日也利用訪親之便,特經安排,蒞臨本堂為我們做了中英文感恩彌撒各一台。教友們無不為他的證道所牽動深思。驚歎天主的大能,為祂的子民撿選如此精英,來餵養祂的羊羣。

本文乃他晉鐸後的第一台彌撒中的證道,聽後令人迴腸盪氣,故特向他索稿並請李滕藍翻譯為中文,與大家分享之。

常年期第十二主日                     瑪竇福音10:26-33

“不要害怕!”這是我們上主的話。今天,我第一次開始成為耶穌的司祭而在此講道時,我也要附和這句上主的話,來傳達給你們。

“不要害怕!”上主對我們說,因為祂知道追隨祂的道路,不會一路平坦。

不要害怕那些只能殺害肉體,卻無法扼殺靈魂的惡人。 基督對門徒這樣說,因祂早已知道,他們將因對祂的信仰而受到鄙視。但是他們的召叫,就是要仰賴聖神所賜予的勇氣,來幫助他們面對未來的迫害,甚至殉道的命運。今天, 基督也同樣對我們說這些話。基督告訴我們;不要害怕,活出我的真理。也許會有人会覺得你們很荒謬,你們也許會被嘲笑,也許會被誤會,你們也許會和世界對立,但是耶穌對我們說:“堅強起來,不要害怕,我會像一位強大的戰士和你們同在。”因為在主的眼中,你們比全天下的麻雀都來得珍貴重要,主深愛著你們毎一位,也對你們瞭若指掌,就連你們頭上有多少髮絲祂也都一清二楚。

我們也許不會像那十二宗徒,遭人厭惡及迫害,也不必經歷像早期一些跟隨基督而致殉道的命運。但是我們現在所處的年代,卻如同當年,世界對基督徒的生活方式還是一直 充滿著敵意。因此,身為基督的虔誠信徒,在追隨基督的道路上,我們必將面臨這世界對基督徒的種種抗拒。

然而同時,基督卻召叫我們,要繼續留下來,生活在這世界上。只有如此,基督才能經由我們,在這世上建立祂的王國。就因為這樣,主耶穌勸告我們,叫我們“不要害怕!”因為祂要我們面對這世界,以我們的生活方式來向祂證明。基督不會免除世界與我們的對立,相反的,祂要藉由我們,來改變這個世界。

當我們盡心的在感化這個世界的同時,基督並沒有丟棄或放棄我們,祂會賜給我們聖神的德能,尤其是透過教會的聖事,使我們能更堅強的去擔任救世的工作。在我們之中, 無論老少,結婚或未婚,聖職人員或平信徒等,都透過領洗,見證了基督的死亡和復活,也被傅油成為司祭、先知、和 君王,而負起了對世界傳教的使命。但是我們每個人的角色,都將面臨不同的阻擋與反抗,背負著不同的苦難十字架,來為主作見證。

但是,主基督就如同一位強而有力的戰士與我們在一起,當我們向世界為祂作見證的同時,祂也正在鼓舞著我們向前。

因此對你們…

所有未婚的單身朋友,尤其是青少年:

主對你們說:“不要害怕在婚前保持身心的貞潔。”貞操是上主給所有未婚的人的禮物,在婚禮前,該為未來的另一半保存身心完整的貞操。直到婚禮後,才將這份禮物完全獻給你們的另一半。在性開放的這年代,這麼做也許會遭來恥笑,但是上主要你們保持貞潔,因為如此,你們確證了人的身體該有的尊嚴,以及上主所賜與我們的這份美妙的性愛的禮物,是因要我們成為光榮祂的一個工具,而非僅僅給與個人或他人肉體上的享受。

所有已婚的年輕夫婦:

上主對你們說:“不要害怕為婚姻內的愛,創造了新生命的美妙作見證。”有人會覺得你們拒絕用現今社會的避孕方法是荒謬之談,但我們將因你們開放對生命的信德而看見婚姻內,愛的真正召叫,這召叫正反映了基督為祂的教會奉獻了自己生命的愛。

當了父母的基督徒:

主對你們說,“不要害怕把孩子和家人擺在第一位。” 社會將誘惑你們,使你們產生不斷的工作來賺更多錢,升更高職位的野心,但是為此,你們也將犧牲和家人相處的時間,這些失去的時光一去不返。不要忘記,你們身為父母的聖召,不只是供給孩子物質所需,更要不斷給予他們精神和靈修上的支持和培養。當你們如此奉行上主的旨意,做了稱職的基督徒父母的同時,你們也讓我們了解了主並不是一位常常缺席的失職父親,祂是一位時時刻刻陪伴著我們,永遠深愛著我們的父親。祂不是一位總與我們遙遙相隔的天父, 而卻是一位極為親近我們且了解人性的天父。

修生們:

主對你們說:“不要害怕全心全意,持之以恆追求主的道路”因為你們敏銳的洞察力,正是向世界證明,上主仍舊不斷的親自對我們每一位說話,告訴我們每個人的特殊聖召,而且仍然召叫男人成為司祭以此侍奉在祂的祭壇上。世界也許無法了解,為何你們願意放棄奢侈及享受的生活,但藉由你們忠心的內在自我審查,讓我們看見追求這種修道的生活是這個世界所無法給予的生命意義。

奉獻於修會的人:

主對你們說:“不要害怕實踐終身守貧,守貞,及服從的誓言。”你們會因此與社會背道而行。但透過你們終身守貧的誓言,我們看到世間的物質享受,遠不及天堂為我們帶來的無限榮耀。也透過你們終身保持童貞的誓言,我們學習全心全意的奉獻一切給主,對主的愛不會因其他的人事物而分心。更透過你們對主的絕對服從,我們了解到我們並不是自己的主人,而是首先該屬於創造我們的主,上主。

聖教會的司鐸們:

主說:“不要害怕成為耶穌基督的司祭,要站在上主及基督─教會的頭面前,以一家之主的身分管理上主的庭院,及牧放上主的羊群。”一位對平等及民主的觀念有不正確的認知,以致不願或不敢領導及管理基督羊羣的神父,對聖教會並無甚好處。一位因害怕不受愛戴,而對上主的子民,很勉強的在教導天主教教義或不願傳報福音的真理的神父,對聖教會並無甚好處。因為他只知道教導教會法及福音的傳播是不容易被接受的。一位在彌撒中對祝聖主耶穌的聖體聖事時,顯示不尊敬或不在乎的神父,對聖教會並無甚好處,因為他貶低了教會聖事禮儀的神聖。耶穌基督的司祭們啊,經由晉鐸的恩典,我們已經成為大司祭及基督善牧的化身,基督臨在於我們碰到的每件事上,不論我們做任何事,都代表著基督和祂的聖教會。當我們傳教時,基督藉我們的口說話。當我們祝聖時,基督藉我們的手聖化一切。當我們與教友出外吃晚餐時,是基督與他們共進晚餐。而當我們在超級市場購物時,是基督穿梭在HEB超市的走道上。成為基督的頭,我們永遠都要在職位上站崗。上主的子民想要也需要神父們言行都像神父,所以,我們該像先知,基督一樣,即使被祂自己的人群所拒絕,也要不斷教導。如同慈愛的君王去管理祂的子民,溫柔且堅定的尋找祂遺失的羊隻,並帶領祂們回到羊棧。聖化祭品時,就像基督犧牲自己,在十字架上獻上了最完美至尊的獻祭。藉由這一切的完成,所有領洗者才能稱職的完成當一位司祭,先知,或君王的召叫,方才能帶領這世界回到主的唯一家園裏。

由此可見,主深愛的教會啊,追隨主基督不是一件易事。但我們必須奉行各自的聖召,來完成門徒的職責,讓基督藉由我們聖化這個世界。基督不會丟棄我們,讓我們孤獨奉行這些基督徒的職責。祂會藉著教會的聖事及祂放在我們心中的聖言,賜給我們聖神的恩寵。因此,不要害怕!因為基督如同一位強而有力的戰士永遠與我們同在,不要害怕用我們的生命為基督作見證。在光明中宣揚基督,在屋頂上勇敢的為基督大聲的宣告不要害怕!

神師的話

主題:

一位有智慧極聰明者,

與一個自認無知,但卻誠實和謙虛小孩子故事的啟示。

 

江綏蒙席

 

七月六日(首主日)當我主持中英文兩台彌撒聖祭後,貴堂區「葡萄藤」編輯小組負責人之一陳曉茗主內姐妹便來見訪。她一見面便直爽地向我說:「江蒙席,由於我們本堂彭保祿神父身在國外,而您是專程地來代理此堂區業務,那麼是否可以拜託您代為本刊物寫一篇短文?」於是我便笑而答說:「依您所求,看樣子我是沒有推辭之餘地了。」沒想到她又作進一步之要求說:「江蒙席,這一篇『神父的話』最好能在本月廿四日前交卷,數字大約在千字左右。因我知道您將在本月廿六日離開達拉斯返回新州去了,所以我才敢作此要求。」真不愧她是一位「葡萄藤」編輯小組之「催稿名手」矣!


話說,在美國某一地方有一個有信仰的家庭。其家長〈父親〉是一位明達世故且有智慧者。可惜他因嗜賭而導致他欠債累累。因此債主便向他明言,要於某月某日到其府上要錢還債。這位原自認為明達世故及聰明之「爸爸」,便想出一個辦法。那天不外出,免被人看見,卻躲在家中廚房裡。然後叫其兒子〈小孩子〉來嚴厲地告訴他說:「今天如果有某某先生來家找爸爸,你便坦白的給他說:『爸爸不在家』。過了一會兒,果然這位先生來按門鈴。爸爸這時卻躲在廚房裡,希望其兒子會說實話。於是乎小孩便去開門,很天真地說:「先生,請問你是來此找誰呢?」而這位先生也很客氣地問他:「你是這家之小孩子嗎?」「是的!」他很天真地回答。「那好,我是某某先生,你爸爸之好友,我已與他有約想找他談話」。而這小孩子便天真地一五一十按照其爸爸所教的話說給客人聽:「我爸爸剛剛在廚房裡告訴我說,來訪者若是你的話,你便告訴他說:『我爸爸不在家』」。


親愛的主內兄弟姊妹們,當你聽完這一段小故事後,你心中有何感想呢?這不是很明顯地耶穌告訴我們說,我把非常有「智慧及明達事理」之神恩,不賜給這一位自認為聰明而明達事故之「爸爸」,而卻賜給了他的兒子(小孩子)一誠實,自認無知,然卻非常坦誠及謙虛者—小孩子身上。


好嗎,現在讓我們聽一下聖經學家及註解者對於這一段福音有何詮解。


所謂「智慧和明達」(即聰明之意),不是別的,乃是指當時那一群人,即法利賽者,自認為他們是富有「智慧且明達」事故,且還可解說天主之聖意者。試看今天在我們社會中,甚至在有宗教信仰之團體中不是有不少兄弟姊妹也犯有同樣之毛病麼?因此耶穌在同一段聖經中便坦誠及明白地告訴我們,祂所要的是「良善心謙者」。若是,本段聖經中所提示良善心謙之「小孩子」一語是指誰而言呢?原是指那些自認為無能,然卻是一誠實且謙卑之門徒。


 

耶穌說:「父啊,天地的主宰,我感謝禰,因為禰把這些事隱瞞了智慧和聰明的人,而啟示給小孩子。」(瑪十一:25)


Do not be afraid!

Matthew 10: 26-33

Homily for First Mass by Fr. Tommy Chen

12th Sunday, June 22, 2008


Do not be afraid! These are the words of our Lord that I echo to you today as I begin my ministry as a priest of Jesus Christ.

Do not be afraid the Lord tells us, because he knows that following him is not always easy.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Christ speaks these words to his disciples foretelling that they would be despised on account of their faith in him, but they are called to rely on the courage of the Holy Spirit to sustain them through the future persecutions that would lead many of them to a martyrs’ death.

Christ speaks these same words to us today. Christ tells us, Do not be afraid of living your life for me! You might be ridiculed…you might be laughed at…you might be misunderstood…you might stand counter to the rest of society: but Jesus says to us, “Stay strong, I will be with you like a mighty champion,” because you are more precious in God’s sight than all the sparrows of the world and God loves you so much and knows you so well that he even knows the number of hairs on your head.

We may not be persecuted and detested in the same way as the Apostles were…and we may not physically suffer a martyr’s death like many of the early followers of Christ. But the times that we live in are still as hostile to a Christian way of life as it had been through the ages. And one thing that a serious disciple of Christ is guaranteed to encounter in his journey of discipleship is the world’s opposition to the ways of Christ.

Yet at the same time we are called by Christ to remain in the world and to live in the world, so that through us God can establish His kingdom in the world. That is why Christ exhorts us to Be not afraid! Because he wants us to face the world and to testify to Him in the world by our lives.

Christ will not exempt us from the opposition of this world, because he wants to use us to change the world.

In this effort of converting the world, Christ does not abandon us, but gives us the gifts of his Holy Spirit, most especially through the sacraments of the Church, to strengthen us for the work of bringing salvation to the world. All of us young people and old people, married couples and unmarried singles, ordained clergy and unordained laity…all of us who share the baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection and who have been anointed as Priest, Prophet, and King have a special role to fulfill in the evangelization of the world. But each of our roles will bring with it a particular cross to carry brought on by the antagonism that we will encounter as Christ’s witnesses.

But Christ is with us like a mighty champion who cheers us on as we bear witness to Him in the world. And so…

To you unmarried singles, especially teenagers, the Lord says to you Do not be afraid of keeping your body and mind pure and chaste. Virginity is a gift from God for those who are not married, to be kept pure and intact until the day of your marriage, when you are able then to offer that gift totally to your spouse. You will be laughed at for not giving into the sexual promiscuity of our society. But the Lord asks you to stay pure, because by doing this, you will bear witness to the dignity of the human body and the awesomeness of the sexuality which God has gifted to you as an instrument of His glory, not for the mere pleasure and cheap enjoyment of someone else.

To you young married couples, the Lord says to you Do not be afraid of witnessing to the beauty of conjugal love that is always open to life. You will be ridiculed for not using society’s methods of contraception, but you will show us through your faithfulness and openness to life the true vocation of marital love which mirrors the life-giving love of Christ for his Church.

To you Christian parents, the Lord says to you Do not be afraid of placing your children and your family as your top priority. The world will entice you with the ambition to make more money and climb the corporate ladder which will cost you the price of spending countless hours separated from your family. These hours can never be repaid to your family. Yet your vocation is to be a parent to your children, to provide not only for their material needs, but also to be present to them as a constant emotional and spiritual support. When you faithfully fulfill this vocation as Christian parents, you show us that God is not an absentee-Father, but an ever-present and ever-loving Father, not a God who is far removed from his children, but a God who is close to us and knows the very depths of our being.

To you blessed with old age, the Lord says to you Do not be afraid when sickness and pain rack your body and your body grows weak. The world may devalue your life because you can no longer be “productive” by the world’s standards, but your life is still precious in God’s sight. In your weakness, the strength of the Lord is revealed and through your sufferings you make up for what is still lacking in the sufferings of Christ in his Body. In the frailty of these golden years of your lives, you show us the glory of the crucified and suffering Lord who in his weakest moment reigned from the cross as the King of Glory.

To you seminarians, the Lord says to you Do not be afraid to seek his will and commit to doing it. By your discernment, you show the world that God still speaks personally to each of us and calls us to a specific vocation in life. And that God still calls men to serve at his holy altar. The world may not understand why you would consider giving up certain pleasures and luxuries, but through your faithful discernment you show us that there is more to this life than what the world can offer.

To you consecrated religious, the Lord says to you Do not be afraid to live out fully your vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience by which you become a sign of contradiction to the world. Through your vowed poverty, we see that the rewards of heavenly glory outweigh any material possessions on earth. In your vowed chastity, we learn to offer to our Lord an undivided heart to love Him above all persons and things. And in your vowed obedience, we realize that we are not masters of ourselves, but we belong first to God who is our Creator and Lord.

To you the priests of the Church, the Lord says to us Do not be afraid to be a priest of Jesus Christ, to stand before God and his Church in persona Christi capitis – in the person of Christ the Head, to be a father to the Household of God, and to be a shepherd to the flock of Christ. It does the Church no good to have a priest who is unwilling or afraid to lead and govern the flock of Christ because he has adopted a false notion of equality and democracy. It does the Church no good to have a priest who is reluctant to teach and preach the truths of the Gospel and of the Catholic faith to the People of God, because he is afraid to be unpopular, since not all the teachings of the Church or of the Gospel are always easy to accept. It does the Church no good to have a priest who is careless and irreverent when he sanctifies the Body of Christ in celebrating the sacraments, because he discounts the sacredness of the Church’s rituals. Priests of Jesus Christ, by the grace of ordination we have become icons of Christ the High Priest and Good Shepherd, mediating Christ’s true presence to all those we encounter, so that what we do, reflects on Christ and his Church. When we preach, it is Christ who speaks; and when we bless, it is Christ who sanctifies; and when we go out to dinner with parishioners, it is Christ who dines with them; and when we go grocery shopping, it is Christ who walks through the aisles of HEB. We are never “off duty” being in persona Christi capitis. The People of God wants and needs priests to be priests and to act like priests, therefore Teach as Christ the Prophet who was rejected even by his own, Govern as Christ the King of Love who tenderly, but firmly searches out the lost sheep and calls them home, and Sanctify as Christ the Priest who offered the eternal sacrifice so perfectly and reverently on the cross…Do all this, so that the body of the Baptized can fulfill their vocation as Priest, Prophet, and King in order to bring the world into the one family of God.

So, beloved Church of God, being a follower of Christ is not easy. But the work of discipleship must be accomplished according to our particular vocation in life, so that Christ can sanctify the world through us. Christ does not abandon us to fulfill these responsibilities of Christian discipleship on our own. He gives us the grace of his Holy Spirit through the sacraments of the Church and through his Word which abides in our hearts. So, Do not be afraid! because Christ is with us as our mighty Champion. Do not be afraid to testify to Christ by your lives…speak Christ boldly “in the light”…and proclaim Christ courageously “on the housetops”! And Do Not Be afraid!

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