天主教澳門教區李斌生主教2016年聖誕文告

  

回到天父的懷抱

當我們凝望和默想那位躺在馬槽裡的嬰孩耶穌的面容時 – 那位原是全能的天主,是至尊的君王,如今竟取了一個手無寸鐵的嬰兒形體 – 我們就是以個人和整人類集體的方式去經驗和見證天主的慈悲。沒有什麼比人類更需要上主神聖的慈悲。這份愛是仁慈的,充滿同情心的,並能超越人類的弱點,將人類舉揚到天主聖潔那無限的高度。

讓我在這裡節錄教宗方濟各在宗座牧函 “Misericordia et Misera”《暫譯:慈悲與不幸的罪人》中的一些語錄及概念:「我們剛剛慶祝了一個熱熾的禧年。在這個禧年當中,我們獲贈了豐碩的慈悲之恩寵…」儘管禧年已經完結,聖門亦業已關閉,但是教會已經開始了一個嶄新的慈悲時代,新的慈悲時刻及一條全新的慈悲之路。教會提醒我們眾人:我們的心已被更新,使我們更熱情地敞開我們心中的慈悲之門。它是「兩顆心的相遇:天主的心俯就前來,與人的心相遇…我們的鐵石之心被化為血肉之心,血肉雖帶罪愆,但它卻能『愛』。在這兒,我被視為真正的『新創造』:我被愛所以我存在;我被寬恕所以我重生;慈悲臨於我所以我成為慈悲的工具。」(《慈悲》16)。

我希望我們的教區回應教宗方濟各的呼籲,在未來幾個月裡促進「慈悲的文化」(《慈悲》20),至少到明年聖誕節。我想強調當中一個非常特定的方式,就是在告解聖事中所慶祝的慈悲。這聖事能讓「我們感受到天父的懷抱,祂出來迎接我們,恢復我們的恩寵,使我們再一次成為祂的兒女」(《慈悲》8)。縱然我們繼續對天主和對我們的鄰人犯罪,然而「恩寵總在我們之先,並呈現慈悲的面容,在修和及寬恕之中,恩寵彰顯其果效」。通過這件聖事,我們承認我們的罪過,然後我們看見,認清,感受和擁抱天主偉大的愛。

具體來說,我呼籲教區神父和所有參與澳門教區牧養靈魂工作的所有神父們, 能夠講道及教導更多有關這件慈悲聖事的需要和美麗之處給教友認識,而且更應該騰出更多時間去聽告解。 為了方便教友更容易獲得此聖事,我鼓勵所有堂區都能設立每周固定的告解時間表。同時,我已向主教座堂及花地瑪聖母堂要求他們提供更多和更長的告解時間, 及安排一些補贖和修和禮儀,以準備慶祝花地瑪聖母顯現一百周年 。

請鼓勵你們堂區的教友,去邀請一些特別是已經離開教會及聖事的人,無論已經多久,親自與基督在告解聖事中相見,並從他那裡獲得他的救贖恩寵。 「讓我們以天主無限的愛,幫助我們燃亮個人良心之中的那片空間」(《慈悲》11)。

同樣地,我邀請所有主日學及成人教理班的導師能更深入地教授此告解聖事的教義,組織一些關於這主題的複習班,尤其是在將臨期和四旬期的時期,準備他們勤領這聖事。

在個人修和的層面,教宗方濟各在牧函中也提到,天主的寬恕「在活出愛德伊始就能獲得…愛德遮蓋許多罪過(伯前 4:8)。唯有天主能赦免罪惡,祂亦要求我們準備隨時寬恕他人,就如祂寬恕我們一樣。」如果我們不能敞開我們的心去求祂寬恕,我們所遭受的痛苦是不可估量的。「如果我們受仇恨、憤怒和報復所捆綁,我們便活得不快樂,並阻礙我們接受這欣喜的承諾 – 好讓我們邁向慈悲的道路。」(《慈悲》8)。為了促進慈悲的文化,我邀請所有的教友在未來幾個月懇求我們慈悲的主,幫助我們克服所有個人的恩怨,憤恨,並付出特別的努力與之一一和解,無論他們是你的家人,親戚,同事,或是朋友。如果你願意的話,你可以寫下這些個人的修和故事,並寄來給我。我希望年杪能出版一本以「與慈悲的主相遇 – 愛與修和」為題的書籍,並將作為聖誕禮物送給你們。

我懇切祈求聖母瑪利亞慈悲之母的轉禱,願她慈悲聖子的喜樂、平安和祝福,在這聖誕節和2017年新的一年裡,降臨到你們身上。

Back to the Father’s Embrace

While we are looking and contemplating the face of the Baby Jesus who lies in the manger — that God, who is omnipotent, who is King, now became man, in the form of a defenseless baby — we are personally and collectively as humankind, experiencing and witnessing the mercy of God. There is nothing that mankind needs more than Divine Mercy, that love which is benevolent, which is compassionate, which raises man above his weakness to the infinite heights of the holiness of God.

I quote here some words and ideas of Pope Francis from his Apostolic letter “Misericordia et Misera” (MM). “We have just celebrated an intense Jubilee Year in which we have received the grace of mercy in abundance…” Even though the Jubilee Year has now ended and the Holy Door has been closed, the Church has nevertheless started a new era of mercy, a new time of mercy and a new path of mercy. All of us are reminded that our hearts are renewed so that the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open with more fervor. It is the result of “an encounter between two hearts: the heart of God who comes to meet us and a human heart… Our hearts of stone become hearts of flesh capable of love despite our sinfulness. I come to realize that I am truly a ‘new creation’: I am loved, therefore I exist; I am forgiven, therefore I am reborn; I have been shown mercy, therefore I have become a vessel of mercy” (16).

I would like our Diocese to echo the call of Pope Francis to promote a “culture of mercy” (MM 20) in the coming months, at least until Christmas next year. In a very particular way, I would like to put emphasis on the celebration of mercy in the Sacrament of Confession. It is in this Sacrament that “we feel the embrace of the Father, who comes forth to meet us and grant us the grace of being once more his sons and daughters” (8). We keep on sinning against God and against our neighbors, and yet “grace always precedes us and takes on the face of the mercy that effects our reconciliation and pardon.” It is in this Sacrament when we admit our sins that we see, recognize, feel and embrace God’s great love.

Concretely, I would like the parish priests and all priests who are involved in pastoral care of souls in this Diocese to preach and teach more on the need and beauty of this Sacrament of mercy to the faithful. They should make themselves more available to hear confessions. In order to facilitate all faithful to have easy access to the sacrament, I would encourage all parishes to set up a fixed schedule of confession during the week and make it known to the parishioners. I have also asked two parishes, namely, the Cathedral and the Church of Fatima, to have more and longer time for confessions as well as penitential services organized in preparation for the centenary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima (MM 10).

Please encourage all your parishioners to bring friends, especially those who have been away from the Church, from the Sacraments, no matter for how long already, to meet with Christ personally in this Sacrament of Mercy and obtain from Him his redemptive grace. ”Let us help light up the space of personal conscience with God’s infinite love” (MM 11).

Similarly, I invite all the catechists of Sunday Schools and of the catechism for adults to teach in a deeper way the doctrine of this sacrament, to organize revision sessions on it and to prepare them well to receive it regularly especially in Advent and Lent.

In a personal level of reconciliation, Pope Francis mentioned also in the same Letter that the forgiveness of God “can be obtained by beginning, first of all, to live in charity… Love covers a multitude of sins (I Pet 4:8). Only God forgives sins, but he asks that we be ready to forgive others as he has forgiven us.” How much we suffer if we are not able to open our heart to forgive. “Resentment, anger and revenge gain the upper hand, making our lives miserable and blocking a joyful commitment to mercy” (MM 8). In order to promote the culture of mercy, I invite all the faithful in the coming months to beg our Merciful Lord to help us to overcome all the personal grudges, resentments, and to make a special effort to reconcile with them, one by one, whether they be your family members, relatives, colleagues or friends. If you want, you can write down and send me all these personal stories of reconciliation, and hopefully by the end of next year, I will publish them under the title Encounter with the Merciful Lord – Love and Reconciliation as a Christmas present for all of you.

I ask, through the maternal help of Holy Mary, Mother of Mercy, that the joy, peace and blessing of her Merciful Son reach all of you in the coming Christmas and in the New Year of 2017.

+ Bishop Stephen LEE
Diocese of Macau

來源:
澳門教區社會傳播中心
號角報