Laudato Si 237: Sunday

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. And so we come to the notion of rest, or more accurately, Sabbath:

237. On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, the “first day” of the new creation, whose first fruits are the Lord’s risen humanity, the pledge of the final transfiguration of all created reality. It also proclaims “(humankind’s) eternal rest in God”.[CCC 2175] In this way, Christian spirituality incorporates the value of relaxation and festivity.

And like industrial masters and slavers who insisted on constant service, people today are beset by the same oppression, the need to work rather than take rest.

We tend to demean contemplative rest as something unproductive and unnecessary, but this is to do away with the very thing which is most important about work: its meaning. We are called to include in our work a dimension of receptivity and gratuity, which is quite different from mere inactivity. Rather, it is another way of working, which forms part of our very essence.

Action, not activism:

It protects human action from becoming empty activism; it also prevents that unfettered greed and sense of isolation which make us seek personal gain to the detriment of all else. The law of weekly rest forbade work on the seventh day, “so that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your maidservant, and the stranger, may be refreshed” (Ex 23:12). Rest opens our eyes to the larger picture and gives us renewed sensitivity to the rights of others. And so the day of rest, centered on the Eucharist, sheds it light on the whole week, and motivates us to greater concern for nature and the poor.

Like the sacraments, Sunday is not a narcissistic privilege of the well-to-do. It is something for everyone. It should lead us to reflect more deeply on what inspires us to give thanks and feel gratitude. From this “eucharist” may we be moved to consider others, and draw them into this great thanksgiving.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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24 Responses to Laudato Si 237: Sunday

  1. Liam says:

    If anything, the well-to-do, other than people with sufficient inherited wealth, tend to be the LEAST likely to observe a sabbath rest. This is important to realize because too many of them, as leaders in American business, appear to resent that their workers might prefer to do so.

    The solvent that broke down sabbath observance was twofold: (i) appealing to consumer appetite, and (ii) the organized corrosion of organized labor (taking many forms, some of which are at issue in the current presidential campaign, but not typically for that reason) that that fewer families could make do on a single income.

    I can still remember growing up when the only places open on Sundays outside Jewish urban neighborhoods were (i) bakeries, (ii) pharmacies, (iii) what in NY State were often called “stationery stores” (relying on an exception in state law), (iv) parks of divers sorts, et cet.

    While I cannot call myself a *very* observant Sabbatarian, I do strain to do as much of my weekly shopping and chores on Saturdays and reduce the need for such on Sundays

    • Child of God says:

      The Sunday Law that the AntiChrist is pushing has nothing to do with rest and everything to do with control of the people of God. Your time is short. Do what you must so that our dear Lord can come and end this nonsense.

      • Todd says:

        That we are in any way in control of when God manifests is not a Christian thought. I also think that people generally do not recognize antichrists, and much more frequently misdiagnose them.

  2. Michael Hamblin says:

    ……even tho the 7th Day is the Bible Sabbath and not Sunday as being pushed Here……….no change in the New Testament…just a few mentions of First day but as Atheists say……no Evidence of a Change………..No later under Constantine in 321 the first Sunday Law and later Ratified and Changed and included in older Catechisms of how the Papacy had the Power and Authority to change the Sabbath from 7th to the 1st day……..Ostensibly because of our Saviours Glorious Resurrection on Sunday…………..So beware of a Counterfeit being Advertised Here to combat the Climate Emergency.

    Rather Worship Him Who Created the Heavens and the Earth the Sea and Fountains of waters…….And Rested made Holy and Sanctified On the 7th Day of Creation Week…….Saturday same as our Present Week in spite of Calendar Changes which never changed the Order of the days of the Week.

    • Todd says:

      Yes, this has been visited frequently in history. Jewish practice is to keep the Sabbath on the 7th day. The Christian observance of Sunday, as Pope Francis describes, is “like” the Jewish Sabbath. But it is not the same. Luke 24:13-35 gives some grounding of this, but the final break from Saturday is hinted at in Acts, and is very early in Christian history, already presumed in 2nd century documents.

    • Ravhudzulo Mamafha says:

      Amen may God bless you for sharing the truth

  3. Willow says:

    Nothing Jewish about the seventh day Sabbath. It was created in the first week for man. Abraham kept it and it will be kept in the new earth as well. Malachi 4 tells us there was no change. This global warming is just a sly way of saying the global SUNday law is at the door. Time is ending please come out of her…..

    • Todd says:

      Not exactly. Judaism claimed the heritage of the Creation in Genesis and implemented it in the Torah. The Sabbath is Jewish by inheritance and by faith.

  4. Moih says:

    sure the clamatic change will no longer fault the breakdown of the sabbath as the day of rest it was sanctified, glorified and it will be kept till the new earth… be aware breathren this is the trick of the devil…there is no any where in the Bible that authorises that change from sartuday to sunday so watch out therefore this is the trick to counterfeit the real sabbath

    • Todd says:

      Put quite simply, Christians do not observe the Jewish Sabbath, and almost never have. If some non-Jews choose to embrace the Sabbath, Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, I have no problem with that. But Christians, traditionally, observe the 8th day. Not the 7th.

      • Joy says:

        But doesnt Matthew 15:3 – But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your traditions..

        Am not sure God will be pleased with us changing his words as we please. Isnt this dangerous?

      • Todd says:

        Joy, Jesus is addressing the Pharisees who are commenting on their observation that Jesus’ disciples don’t follow ritual handwashing. I don’t think Christians “change” God’s word. By and large, we don’t observe the traditional Jewish Sabbath. We observe Sunday as a sabbath of a new creation, a new reality after the Resurrection. There is no explicit instruction from Jesus about observing the 8th day, but the tradition derives from the very oldest times of Christianity. In the Roman Empire, it was actually a work day, so people went to Mass early in the day, and went about their business along with the pagans.

        Somehow, I think we incur more displeasure from God when we mistreat other human beings, rather than where we’ve set aside the traditions of Judaism. Even the Old Testament prophets warned us about this (cf. Isaiah 58:1-12, Micah 6:6-8)

      • AL HUGHES says:

        absolutely wrong .. all the first christians observed the sabbath .it wasn’t till constantine approved chritianity and made it the official religion of rome that he changed it to sunday cause thats the day all the pagans observed ..and sunday is the first day of the week not the 8th .. god did not have an 8 day calander .. the romans might have for about 15 minutes but the jews never went by it .. and need i remind you that jesus was a jew .. and the last thing he told peter was .. keep my commandments .. he didn’t say except for the sabbath . he said the commandments .. they ain’t the 10 suggestions .. and if you look in the bible the longest most detailed commandment is the one that concerns the sabbath .. now why would god be so precise about the sabbath if he didn’t want us to observe it ??

    • SoulSeeker Davnor says:

      Brethren, as what the Bible says:” Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5: 8.

  5. Rubachandran says:

    Laudato si,one of the best project in the global,to take care of environment and treat the world as second common home,all nation must demand to accept common good ,and ask the Governments to immediately enforce the green Sabbath, future is now,free zero carbon now,also thanks to papa because come up with solution.

  6. SoulSeeker Davnor says:

    There’s nothing wrong of taking care the environment, since the beginning Adam and Eve took care the environment in the garden of Eden. What is the problem now? “The governments to immediately enforce the green Sabbath.” Now what is the green Sabbath? According to google . com. “Green Sabbath is a non-religious, non-political, and non-profit campaign which aims to raise awareness and to encourage people to help slow climate change, preserve precious natural resources and improve planet health by observing at least one carbon footprint-free day each week–on any day of the week.” They emphasized the green Sabbath is a non-religious, non-political and non-profit campaign. Is it really true that this is a no-religious campaign? We find it now, again according to google . com Feb 6, 2013 — The four municipalities agreed to observe the Green Sabbath or Green Saturdays, during which volunteers will devote at least an hour to …From this point of view, we can understand the this green Sabbath campaign is a religious campaign, a trick of the devil using the environment to break the 4th commandments of God. “8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”Exodus 20: 8-11. This campaign will break the sanctification of the Sabbath. If it is enforce by the government the sabbath keeper will no t follow do do this on Sabbath, why because as what God said in verse 10 of Exodus chapter 20 it say: “10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:” In it ( the Sabbath/ day of rest)
    thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:” So we found out the this green Sabbath campaign is one of the trick of satan to break the commandment of God as what God taught us about observing the Sabbath day. So, the definition of green Sabbath that ” is a non-religious campaign, is only a fraud, to deceive many people of God. 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. “5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew 24:4-6.

    • Todd says:

      If you are Jewish, you need not observe any command to work on Saturday. People of faith have religious freedom in much of the world, including most all of the US to observe the commandments of God as they receive them. Initiatives such as the Green Sabbath are hardly the work of evil. If someone wants to plant a tree, they are free to do so. If another person declines for religious reasons on certain days, they are free as well. That the “government” is behind this as a plot against religion is fake news.

  7. SoulSeeker Davnor says:

    is there verse in the Bible that taught us to observe the 8th day of the week as a Sabbath day of rest?. There’s none? But God instituted the observance of the Sabbath during the creation.1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Gen. 2: 1-3.
    8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20: 8-11. Is Jesus Christ observed the seventh day Sabbath?.
    16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. Luke 4: 16.

  8. Daugher of YHVH says:

    Romiyim (Romans) 1:20-25
    For since the creation of the world His invisible qualities have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, both His everlasting power and Mightiness, for them to be without excuse, because, although they knew Elohim, they did not esteem Him as Elohim, nor gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning’s, and their un-discerning heart was darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and changed the esteem of the incorruptible Elohim into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and of four-footed beasts and of reptiles. Therefore Elohim gave them up to uncleanness in he lust of their hearts, to disrespect their bodies among themselves, who changed the truth of Elohim into the falsehood, and worshiped and served what was created rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen

  9. Todd says:

    Regarding your comment, Mr Hughes, you are right that Jewish Christians observed the Jewish Sabbath. You are incorrect that pagan Rome observed a day of rest. Slaves and soldiers labored every day.

    As for the question “why would god be so precise about the sabbath if he didn’t want us to observe it ??” I might suggest the human tendency to overwork oneself and especially others.

    The difficulty with your video is the claim that some people are liars. It is decidedly unChristian to accuse others without having the full set of information. The worst one can say about keeping a different day of rest is that is may be misguided. But it has been kept as an observance of the Day of Resurrection, an Easter from the earliest generations of Christians.

  10. Sunday is not the actual day of worship and has nothing to do except work
    It shows nothing but Saturday shows that God creat everything Ezikel 20:13&19-20

    • Todd says:

      Sunday is a day for Christian worship. It is the day of the Resurrection of the Lord. As for the Sabbath, the Torah cites it as a day of rest. Worship is not mentioned at all.

  11. julius salazar says:

    Todd, Please read Leviticus 23:3 that you might be enlightened, the Sabbath is a Holy convocation to the Lord. What did your Bishop Richardson explained about “CONVOCATION” dated Oct. 17,2017- It is celebrated by Christians who are delivered from sin, a special time in the church, a celebration of the believers

    • Todd says:

      Thank you for your comment, Julius. The thing of it is, we Christians have set aside many of the cultural prescriptions of Judaism. For us Gentiles, the foundational Scripture is Acts 15:28-29.

      I think every Christian would agree with the importance of a day of rest/devotion to God. The earliest Christians adopted Sunday for worship. Different cultures adopted various practices associated with worship, festivity, work (or lack thereof), etc.. Those things are settled issues in most of Christendom. I think there is validity in the challenge that some combination of bosses, corporations, workaholics, the abundance of leisure activity, loss of intentional communities, sports, and indifference to religion have eroded that 7th/8th day observance. I think it is up to individuals to commit themselves, because religious leaders in mainline Christianity offer little guidance for improvement.

      As for your Bishop Richardson citation, I have no idea what that is. Personally as a Catholic, I’ve never had a bishop by that name.

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