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Tempus Fugit. Time Flies.刊登日期: 2012.02.19
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父
It is that time of the year again. Time really flies. A year ago my bishop called me back early from Taiwan because one of the priests was very sick and he wanted me to take over his parish for Lent（四旬期）. Reluctantly, but obediently, I came back. Now, a year and a different parish assignment later, I am preparing to enter the beautiful Lenten season to reflect on the sublime love of Jesus.
What does that mean? How does it fly? It is a figure of speech, of course, but still an interesting thought.
When one is having a wonderful time, time just moves right along. When one is having a difficult time, a painful time, it S-L-O-W-S down. It even C-R-A-W-L-S.
How about a H-E-A-V-Y thought? How does a thought that has no “thing” gets heavy? Or gets LIGHT?
Think about a pizza! Can you see it? Can you weigh it in the hands of your mind? Can you smell it? Can you taste it? Yet, it is not, somehow, sticking out of your head !
Think about a dumbbell or a feather.
Isn’t it fascinating to WEIGH these “things”?
Philosophers tell us that this is exactly what makes us human beings, this ability to think abstractly. And abstraction is NOT UNREAL!
Another related thought – MEMORY! Think of a wonderful time or a sad time with a friend. Is something we remember merely a thought and therefore no longer real? It is over and only exists in our mind, so is it therefore not truly important?
Think about our great-great-grandfathers. I am sure none of you knew who they were when they were alive. Because they lived, we are alive today. Or, another way of looking at it, because we are here, they really lived. We are the proof of their existence.
Remember Dr. Sun Zhong Shan（孫中山先生）, our national father（國父）? Is he only a great man in history, in our memory? Well, yes, but more. Our very existence is different because of what he did. The Qing Dynasty is no longer. History is not only something that happened a long time ago. History makes our present time the way it is. Life has changed. We cannot know what it would otherwise be like because we cannot undo what history has done.
I was in Rome about 10 years ago. As I was walking the streets there and thinking about the martyrs that lived 2000 years ago, the thought came to me that the martyrs are really here because without them the Church would not be here. Blessed Pope John Paul II was a great man, but only because he stood on the shoulder of giants who followed Jesus and gave their lives for their faith. Even the church buildings in Rome speak loudly of the faith of the martyrs.
It is this kind of REALITY we think about when we remember Jesus’ Suffering and Death during Lent. His Passion changed the world. When He said, at the Last Supper, “Do this in MEMORY of me!” it means much more than a thought of the event that exists now only in our mind. The Church uses the term “RE-PRESENT”, present again. At Mass, the Last Supper is REALLY PRESENT to us. Isn’t that amazing?
As we go through this Lenten season, I would like to suggest to you to keep this REALITY of Jesus’ Passion, Death and Resurrection（耶穌的苦難、死亡和復活）in your daily thoughts. Know that we are different because He did die for us. We are different because He still loves us.
Have a blessed Lent !
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