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What would you do if you were Paula?

刊登日期: 2019.04.05
作者: Auntie Isa  

Paula and everyone in her family went to the cemetery(墳場)right on Ching Ming Festival to pay respects to their ancestors(祖先). Early in the morning, they had to go pick up her grandparents from another district. Traffic was terrible that day. It was super crowded. Her grandparents are not young at all and it was such a big burden(重擔)to climb up the flights of stairs. What a hard trudge up the hill (艱難跋涉上山)! Paula did not enjoy one bit of the event. They brought along paper offering(供品)to be burnt, there were imitations(仿製品)of mobile phones, laptops and a big bag of faux cash(溪錢). Paula felt uneasy as she didn't believe souls(靈魂)need such things after death. Though not agreeing with her grandparents, Paula helped in offering food and lighting incenses(香), as well as weeding graves(替墳墓去雜草). Ching Ming literally(照字面)means “clean and bright”, but it was actually a smoky scene for poor Paula, she could not even open her eyes properly. 

After dinner that night when Paula was with her parents alone, she questioned why they have to follow the Chinese traditional rituals(禮儀). Being Catholics, they have a very different concept in afterlife(來生), far apart (有分歧)from her grandparents’. Dad and Mom explained that old people are not easy to accept new ideas, likewise, it might be hard to share their religion with Grandpa and Grandma. In order to maintain a harmonious atmosphere, they chose to do what would please the old folks out of love, and that would make God happy as well. That left Paula wondering(思考)what she should do and should not do in future. 


What would you do if you were Paula? 
  • The explanation made a lot of sense and I would repeat doing the same as long as my grandparents feel supported. I would do anything for them out of love. Even if they would ask me to skip Mass and have breakfast together, I would agree because Jesus would understand. 
  • I would follow what my parents do in order to respect my grandparents, but I would also find a time to share with them my view on eternal life(永生). In case they would be interested, I’d tell them more about my religion. If they could not accept any new thoughts, I’d find another time to evangelize (傳福音)to them. 

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