Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday is the Sabbath in my weekly experience but it's far from being a day of rest. The same is likely true for many of my readers. Sunday is often a busy day for those who work, minister, help out and volunteer in the life of the local parish.
Today's Memorial Day and after Mass in our cemetery at 10:00 a.m. and then offering a prayer at a town Memorial Day program, I took a deep breath and began enjoying a day off from my usual round of appointments and meetings.
In taking that deep breath I thought, "This is what the Sabbath is meant to be - a breather..." Sabbath is for breath-catching and for catching up on time for rest and time with the Lord and time to enjoy the God-given world around us.
Of course, it's not only those who work for the church who might be unfamiliar with Sabbath rest. The demands of family life in the households of my parish make Sundays less than a breather for many folks. But we all need Sabbath rest. Vacations and school breaks are great but they can't offer what the Sabbath intends: a weekly break, given, actually enjoined on us as a commandment, to insure we'll slow down, stop, rest, enjoy the blessings of creation and praise God for them.
I'm old enough to remember when the prohibition of "servile work" on Sundays was strong enough to solicit negative comments about neighbors who mowed their lawns on the Lord's Day. As odd as that might sound today, there was a respect for that Sabbath the default of which was rest!
My "weekend" falls in the middle of most folks' weekdays but as other folks do on Sundays, I bring work to my own sabbath and thus rob it of its potential for rest and grace.
Do any readers here truly keep the Sabbath? How do you do it? What are its fruits?
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Posted by Austin Fleming at 4:46 PM