Dies Domini 13: Blessed and Holy

According to the Torah, “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy” (Genesis 2:3). Keeping the Sabbath is enscribed in the Ten Commandments as well–both in Exodus and Deuteronomy.

13. The Sabbath precept, which in the first Covenant prepares for the Sunday of the new and eternal Covenant, is therefore rooted in the depths of God’s plan. This is why, unlike many other precepts, it is set not within the context of strictly cultic stipulations but within the Decalogue, the “ten words” which represent the very pillars of the moral life inscribed on the human heart. In setting this commandment within the context of the basic structure of ethics, Israel and then the Church declare that they consider it not just a matter of community religious discipline but a defining and indelible expression of our relationship with God, announced and expounded by biblical revelation. This is the perspective within which Christians need to rediscover this precept today. Although the precept may merge naturally with the human need for rest, it is faith alone which gives access to its deeper meaning and ensures that it will not become banal and trivialized.

From the view of the aristocracy, Sunday leisure may well be trivial and banal. For the poor and needy, even in the First World, it may be just a dream. The loss of a sense of local community, and the exaltation of the individual emphasizes each keeping Sunday in one’s own way.

That community discipline implies that wealthy and poor alike are bound by that deeper relationship with God. There’s a dangerous egalitarianism if everyone rests and no person or class is singled out by the wealthy as performing needed work–and service.

The Vatican site has Dies Domini in its entirety.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Dies Domini, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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