Dies Domini 72: A Sunday Commitment To Others

Saint John Paul has some practical advice here for those who go in peace and truly wish to love and serve God:

72. The Eucharist is an event and program of true (family). From the Sunday Mass there flows a tide of charity destined to spread into the whole life of the faithful, beginning by inspiring the very way in which they live the rest of Sunday. If Sunday is a day of joy, Christians should declare by their actual behavior that we cannot be happy “on our own”. They look around to find people who may need their help. It may be that in their neighborhood or among those they know there are sick people, elderly people, children or immigrants who precisely on Sundays feel more keenly their isolation, needs and suffering. It is true that commitment to these people cannot be restricted to occasional Sunday gestures. But presuming a wider sense of commitment, why not make the Lord’s Day a more intense time of sharing, encouraging all the inventiveness of which Christian charity is capable? Inviting to a meal people who are alone, visiting the sick, providing food for needy families, spending a few hours in voluntary work and acts of solidarity: these would certainly be ways of bringing into people’s lives the love of Christ received at the Eucharistic table.

All sound suggestions. The kind of practices appropriate, it seems, for those preparing for the sacrament of confirmation–either adolescents or people involved with RCIA. Of course, regular parishioners could be showing the way of the Sunday disciple.

The application for evangelization seems obvious. Sunday is a day that people look to as a relief from the loneliness, isolation, and drudgery of the week past. I suspect our sainted late pope is suggesting something more than visiting grandparents in the care facility, or dropping a dollar in the fast food donation bin. Sunday is an entry into a Christian life that is rich, but all too often is presented as self-indulgent–even by Christians themselves.

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.
This entry was posted in Dies Domini, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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