Dies Domini 48: Heroes, Bishops and Work

The inspiration of the resurrection and the history of the obligation brings us to today. Pope John Paul II was wise enough to realize that our diverse world presents many challenges to believers, some of them outright hostile.

48. Today, as in the heroic times of the beginning, many who wish to live in accord with the demands of their faith are being faced with difficult situations in various parts of the world. They live in surroundings which are sometimes decidedly hostile and at other times — more frequently in fact — indifferent and unresponsive to the Gospel message.

Why is Sunday important? In part it provides peer support. Bishops are given the special task of reinforcing this. I remember my own new bishop preaching this as a priority at a Mass last year.

If believers are not to be overwhelmed, they must be able to count on the support of the Christian community. This is why they must be convinced that it is crucially important for the life of faith that they should come together with others on Sundays to celebrate the Passover of the Lord in the sacrament of the New Covenant. It is the special responsibility of the Bishops, therefore, “to ensure that Sunday is appreciated by all the faithful, kept holy and celebrated as truly ‘the Lord’s Day’, on which the Church comes together to renew the remembrance of the Easter mystery in hearing the word of God, in offering the sacrifice of the Lord, in keeping the day holy by means of prayer, works of charity and abstention from work”.(Sacred Congregation for Bishops, Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops Ecclesiae Imago (22 February 1973), 86a: Enchiridion Vaticanum 4, 2069)

How many bishops promote Sunday as a day of charity? Interesting that we might be charged with working not for ourselves on this day, but for others. What do you think?

The Vatican site has Dies Domini in its entirety.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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