馬爾谷福音告訴我們, 當我們跟隨耶穌基督的時候, 我們該有兩件事情要做: 一個就是我們該體恤別人所做的善事, 以及該避免罪惡. 在户籍纪裡, 七十位長老得到從梅瑟的身上來的神能, 就開始講預言. 若蘇厄看到了其他兩個人也在講預言, 他就向梅瑟抱怨. 梅瑟就對他說: “你為我的原故, 嫉妒人麼? 巴不得上主的人民, 都成為先知 (戶 11:29)!” 跟若蘇厄同樣的, 當基督的門徒們看到了一位以上主之名驅魔的時候, 他們就覺得不高興, 很憤慨的向耶穌抱怨, 好像只有他們有權力以上主之名驅魔. 因此, 耶穌馬上糾正他們的錯誤而告訴他們: “誰不反對我們, 就是傾向我們 (谷 9:40)!” 他們全都是天國的一部分.
關於避免罪惡的事情, 耶穌用了強而有力的話說: “誰如果使這些信者中的一個小子跌倒, 倒不如拿一塊驢拉的磨石, 套在他的頸項, 投到海裡, 為他更好 (谷 9:42),” 和 “你瘸腿進入生命, 比有雙腳, 而被投入地獄裡更好 (谷 9:45).”拒絕所有一切可以導致我們犯罪是很重要的, 特別是那些會破壞別人的信仰的罪惡.
在現今的社會上, 很多人不願意承認罪惡這個事實; 他們的看法是罪惡只是宗教所發明的, 想使他們感到內疚. 他們說: “我做了一件錯事, 但是這並不是罪. 因此, 我不必感到內疚.” 不過, 如果我們相信聖經是天主給我們的啟示, 我們該承認有罪惡這個事實. 罪惡就是違反永恆法律的一句話, 或者一個行動, 或者一個渴望; 它是一個得罪天主的行為, 亦即人在一個逆命的行為上, 起來反抗天主, 與基督的服從背道而馳 (教理1871).
有些人喜歡想像耶穌並不重視罪惡; 但是在福音裡, 我們可以看出耶穌並不認為罪惡是小事情. 罪惡能夠把我們套住而讓我們無法脫身. 讓我講一個故事給你們聽聽吧. 以前有一隻驢背了兩個五十磅的袋子, 裡面全是鹽. 當它經過一條窄窄的橋的時候, 意外的就掉進河裡去了. 那隻驢游到岸邊的時候, 一半的鹽在水裡融化了. 那隻驢就想, “哇! 那麼好的辦法來減輕我的負擔!” 第二天, 那隻驢又背上了兩個五十磅的袋子, 裡面全是棉花. 因為它想要減輕它的負擔, 那隻驢就故意掉進河裡去. 當棉花吸收了水分, 它背上的袋子就越來越重了; 那隻驢就開始下沉了. 那時, 主人立刻跳進河裡去, 把袋子解開. 那隻驢才慶幸的活下來了.
THE DANGER OF SIN
The Gospel of Mark tells us that, as followers of Christ, there are two things that we ought to do: to be gracious of the good works of others and to avoid sin. In the Book of Numbers, seventy elders were given “some of the spirit that was on Moses” and they began to prophesy. Joshua saw two other people who weren’t in the camp prophesying and he complained to Moses. Moses responded: “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets! (Nm 11:29)” Like Joshua, Jesus’ disciples were not happy with an outsider who was driving out demons in the Lord’s name; they became indignant and complained to Jesus, as if they alone had the exclusive rights to drive out demons in the name of the Lord. At this, Jesus immediately corrected his disciples and told them that they are all part of the kingdom of God: “Whoever is not against us is for us! (Mk 9:40)”
With regards to avoiding sin, Jesus couldn’t have picked stronger words: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea (Mk 9:42),” or “Better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna (Mk 9:45).” How important it is for us to renounce anything that leads to sin, especially sins that undermine the faith of others.
Many in the world today are indifferent to the reality of sin; they think that sin is a religious invention in order to make people feel guilty. They say, “I have done a bad thing, but it isn’t sin. Therefore, I don’t have to feel guilty about it.” However, if we believe that scripture is God’s revelation to us, then we know that sin really does exist. Sin is an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law; it is an offense against God; it rises up against God in a disobedience contrary to the obedience of Christ. (CCC1871)
Some people like to think of Jesus as being soft on sin; but in the Gospels, Jesus evidently does not consider sin to be trivial. Sin can get a hold on us and not let go. Once there was a donkey which was carrying two fifty-pound bags of salt on his back through a narrow bridge. The donkey accidentally slipped and fell into the river. The donkey had to swim and by the time the donkey came up to the other shore, half of the salt had melted and the donkey thought, “What a great way to lighten my load!” The next day, the donkey was carrying two fifty-pound bags of cotton. Thinking that it could lighten its load in the same way, the donkey intentionally slipped and fell into the river. However, the cotton absorbed the water, and as the load became heavier and heavier, the donkey began to sink. Luckily, its master jumped into the river, unstrapped the bags and freed the donkey. The donkey was lucky to be alive. The donkey thought that it was being clever by deliberately falling into the river. Sometimes we too act like that donkey when we choose to sin. If we keep on not taking sin seriously, one day we may not be as lucky as the donkey.
感谢天主！上周六的福传大会办的非常的成功。有超过七十多个第一次的来宾，客人及我们本堂教友们来参加。沈安行弟兄是大会的主持人，四位教友的见证分享：第一位是「台北经文处駐亚特兰大处」刘 处長，第二位是李小霞，第三位是李述萱，第四位是张蕙燕。音乐是由 HNOJ 合唱团演出。四位小组长分别是：徐冰瀅，徐春英，张超和马汀兰。 大会结束后即开始庆祝中秋佳节晚宴，晚餐有教友们的拿手好菜及中秋月饼。在这里，我们要特别感谢辛勞的为我们準備食物及清理㘯地的教友们！我们亲爱的天父又再一次的降福了我们！
Thanks be to God! Our Evangelization Conference last Saturday was a great success! We had an attendance of over 70 first-time visitors, guests and parishioners. Andrew Shen was our conference moderator; our four witness talks were done by Director General Vincent Liu of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta, and parishioners Xiaoxia Li, Susan Lee and Angela Chang; songs were performed by the HNOJ choir, and small group discussions were led by Daisy Puk, Chao Zhang, Antonia Fu and Tina Yang. After the conference, we celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival with delicious pot-luck and traditional moon cakes. Special thanks to all who prepared the food and cleaned up the church after the conference. Our loving God has blessed us once again!
The Holy Name of Jesus Chinese Catholic Mission’s Fall Garage Sale is on Saturday, October 20! Please bring items for sale to the church on or before Friday, October 12. Items must be in saleable and working condition. The best items for sale are clothing, accessories, kitchen and dining items, small kitchen appliances, small furniture, office items, home décor and similar items. Please do not bring old books and magazines, tapes and VCRs, old TVs, radios or electronics. Only new and modern electronic items are saleable.
Congratulations to our newly trained EMHC and Lectors! We look forward to your ministry during Holy Mass. With the recently concluded training, we hope to serve the people of God with added fervor, and at the same time, instill a deep reverence for the Celebration of the Eucharist. For your convenience, please refer to our website for the Training Notes, which can be found under FAITH – LITURGY.