'Keep holy the Lord's Day.' Exodus 20:8
Wednesday is my favorite day of the week. Why? Because typically I’ve always had good days on Wednesdays.
My second favorite day is Sunday. Growing up, Sundays were lazy, watch TV or movies all day in my PJs, don’t brush my teeth until 3:30 pm kind of days. Then after Mass and Life Night, I started my two hours of homework because the rest of day I was clearly too wrapped up in more important things like watching Men in Black three times in a row. I always thought, “Surely this is what God meant when he gave us the 3rd Commandment – Laziness, bad hygiene, and procrastination.”
I guess I should have paid more attention during Life Night.
The more I grew in my faith and studied what God actually meant by commanding us to keep holy the sabbath day, the more I realized that those days of doing nothing were not really what God intended.
The word sabbath comes from the Hebrew word shabbath which means “to rest.” On the sabbath day we are called to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God (CCC 2185). Traditionally the Jewish people observed the sabbath day on Saturday as a remembrance of the Passover and a celebration of the Lord’s work of creation and saving actions on Israel’s behalf. (CCC 2171)
As Christians, we celebrate the sabbath day on Sunday as a celebration of Christ’s Resurrection (Easter) and fulfillment of the Passover. (CCC 2174-2176) This Sunday celebration is at the heart of the Church’s life. (CCC 2177)
So, what does this mean for you and me? It means that we have to take a look at our lives and make necessary changes to honor our sabbath rest.
How to Obey the Third Commandment
- Do acts of service on Sunday, don’t waste it being lazy!
Instead of wasting your day like I did, use it to do good by serving the people in your community. It can be as simple as volunteering at your church to help direct traffic or help elderly people to their car.
- Try not only going to Mass but also commit extra time to prayer and reflection.
In case you don’t know, Mass is not optional on Sundays. Your whole day should revolve around Mass. But, your time with God should not be limited to just Mass. Find ways to commit extra prayer and reflection. Spend time reading and reflecting on the Sunday readings. If you need some help, check out the Sunday, Sunday, Sunday podcast.
- Make your Sunday rest a priority.
Okay, here’s the deal- I understand that some people have to work on Sunday. And sometimes that’s necessary to provide for the needs in life. But working on Sunday is not an excuse to skip honoring the sabbath. If you have to work on a Sunday, be sure that you have already decided on a time during the week that you’re going to rest and give God time.
Rest is holy and it makes us holy when we direct towards God. Now, time for a nap!