Dies Domini 38: The Day of Hope

Faith roots our Sunday–it is where we express faith and are inspired to live it in the world. John Paul II also sees Sunday as a “day of hope.”  Let’s see what he means by that:

38. Viewed in this way, Sunday is not only the day of faith, but is also the day of Christian hope. To share in “the Lord’s Supper” is to anticipate the eschatological feast of the “marriage of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9). Celebrating this memorial of Christ, risen and ascended into heaven, the Christian community waits “in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ”.(Roman Missal, Embolism after the Lord’s Prayer)

We are talking not only about our hope, but also the greater hope of all humanity for release and liberation:

Renewed and nourished by this intense weekly rhythm, Christian hope becomes the leaven and the light of human hope. This is why the Prayer of the Faithful responds not only to the needs of the particular Christian community but also to those of all humanity; and the Church, coming together for the Eucharistic celebration, shows to the world that she makes her own “the joys and hopes, the sorrows and anxieties of people today, especially of the poor and all those who suffer”.(Gaudium et Spes 1)

This is a good thing to keep in mind for a part of the Mass that is often overlooked and in some quarters, still attracts skeptics.

With the offering of the Sunday Eucharist, the Church crowns the witness which her children strive to offer every day of the week by proclaiming the Gospel and practicing charity in the world of work and in all the many tasks of life; thus she shows forth more plainly her identity “as a sacrament, or sign and instrument of intimate union with God and of the unity of the entire human race”.(Lumen Gentium, 1; cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Dominum et Vivificantem (18 May 1986), 61-64:AAS 78 (1986), 888-894)

And so Christian hope is not a static, personal, or narcissistic longing, but something that engages our life in the world. After Sunday Mass, we demonstrate our good reasons for hope in how we live and move and are who we are among others in the world.

The Vatican site has Dies Domini in its entirety.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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