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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39 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.

      • George Margerum says:

        God bless you Gods day is Saturday said Jesus christ, sunday was created by them in 336 sad. daniel warned us satan changes gods law and time s daniel 7:25. gods chosen keep his commandments cause the love him over sunday the mark of the beast. rev 14:12, the saints kkeep the law and th efaith of Jesus through whats coming.

  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.

      • J says:

        Paul, Peter and the other apostles worshipped on Sabbath (7th day) When they went to preach to the Gentiles they taught them the scriptures on Sabbath (7th day).

      • Todd says:

        That would make sense since they were Jews, and they were still active in the Temple life of Jerusalem with other Jewish disciples of Jesus until the dispersion in Acts 8. Prior to that, worship was daily.

  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.

      • J says:

        Earliest Christians, as in the Alexamdrian and Roman Christians 300 years after Christ…

      • Liam says:

        Whereas a tradition of Saturday Sabbatarianism in certain Christian sects is an invention of the 16th century and later.

      • Todd says:

        I believe the earliest conclusive documentation for Sunday is from Justin Martyr, circa 150. The way he describes it, it wasn’t a novelty in mid-2nd century, so it likely began a bit earlier than that if it had wide adoption.

  12. RMH says:

    Why does Pope Francis call the seventh-day Sabbath the “Jewish Sabbath”? Doesn’t he know that the seventh-day sabbath was sanctified in Eden? Does pope Francis not know the scriptures?
    Genesis 2:2-3 KJV
    [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.
    Genesis 26:5 KJV
    [5] Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
    Exodus 20:11 KJV
    [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 31:15 KJV
    [15] Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord : whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
    Pope Francis is either ignorant or a liar and the truth is not in him. Sunday worship is the Mark of the Beast. He who hath ears, let him hear. Amen.

    • Todd says:

      Your reply shows an ignorance of religion and history. Christians observe Sunday as a day of worship. Keeping a Sabbath day of rest on a Saturday is not exclusive of that. But the main point of Sunday is liturgy. It dates back to the earliest Christian records outside of the New Testament, to the early second century. The encounter of Luke 24:13-35 with the resurrected Lord is illustrative of that root of Christian practice.

      • RMH says:

        Jesuits have done well with you. Your softness hides your poison. What you replied has absolutely no substance. I used the Word of God.
        “Q: What is the Third Commandment? (Remember they renumbered God’s Ten Commandments)
        A: The third Commandment is: Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
        Q: Which is the Sabbath day?
        A: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
        Q: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
        A: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.”
        [The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 1951 printing, page 50.]
        The Catholic Church also deleted the original 2nd Commandment: Exodus 20:4 KJV
        [4] Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
        Here are more scriptures for your audience:
        Luke 6:5 KJV
        [5] And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
        Acts 17:2 KJV
        [2] And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
        Revelation 14:9-10 KJV
        [9] And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, [10] The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
        This last one is The Mark of the Beast Sunday Worship by Law coming very soon.
        So, Todd s.j., don’t mess with God, or the Word because at the end Babylon will fall…. together with those who drank from her cup of indignation.
        Revelation 14:12 KJV
        [12] Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
        May God help you.

      • I’ve used the Word of God too. The early Christians found the first day of the New Creation to be a powerful movement from the Holy Spirit. Jewish Christians very likely kept the Sabbath on the seventh day, and gathered for the Scriptures and the Breaking of the Bread on the first day. Such gatherings are not unknown in the REsurrection narratives of the four Gospels. But the influence of synagogue or Temple practice in early Christianity faded. Your quote from the Convert’s Catechism is innocent and simply wrong. Before there was any ascendancy from Rome in Christianity, all Christians across the world, Orthodox and Catholic alike, adopted Sunday as a day of worship. Since they lived in pagan cultures, it was always a day of work, as was every other day not designated a cultural or religious festival.

        If you wish to violate the commandment against false witness and present yourself as “Jesus Christ” you are more or less free to do so. Maybe not on this site–I will change that moniker. It damages your credibility as a proponent of Exodus 20. You are free to avoid using your real name, but I do advise you to find a more appropriate pseudonym, as none of us have the authority of the Last Judge. Not even Bible-quoting seventh-day advocates.

        People have had this discussion here many times. I don’t know why my website attracts such commentary so often. But the truth is that practically every self-identifying Christian today–likely 98% or more–observe Sunday. Colossians 2:16-17 has always been cited as a justification. This tradition is nineteen centuries old. I have not the pay grade nor the persuasive ability to change it. I doubt that makes me a grave sinner. If popes, bishops, ministers, and televangelists changed it all next week, I wouldn’t argue against such a sign of unity. But given that Christians can’t agree on the date of Easter, a return to a Saturday Sabbath is a pipe dream, and doomed to be something embraced by a very small slice of believers.

        In closing, I would urge you to keep your arguments to the topic and less about the people you debate. When you attempt to insult your foil in discussion, it often means you have exhausted anything constructive you have to say.

      • J says:

        My father used to observe his birthday on May 20. When he was in his 40s he found his official birthpaper with his birthday marked as May 13. Which day was he born on?

  13. J says:

    The 7yh day is the Sabbath of the LORD our God. Sunday is the 1st day of the week – the day when work begins.

  14. Takwana Chaminama says:

    Ooh so you are pushing your sunday agenda now!! It is said he will change laws and we need not to be told who you are.

  15. celia salmon says:

    I have often heard this reference to the sabbath as the jewish sabbath and I’m unclear why it would be labled as such, since it was given at creation It is the creation sabbath. I have heard many arguments for and against the sabbath, and they sound convincing, but I will rest in Isaiah 66:22-23, 22 “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the Lord, “so will your name and descendants endure. 23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Lord. ”
    The sabbath is so meaningful to God that ALL mankind will observe it in heaven forever. I will continue to practice it here in obedience to His commandments.

    • I think a Jewish person is well within her or his rights to observe the Sabbath on Saturday. Christians, as they choose, with an awareness it is not a tradition from the beginning. Early Christians, not being Jews, and living in a society that worked slaves, servants, and common folk 24/7/365, had little choice about taking rest. It was only with the ascendancy of the Church in Europe that Sundays were somewhat set aside for rest. It was only with modern labor movements in the West that the middle class got one day, let alone two. Christian advocacy for Saturday is only a few hundred years old. Acts 15:29 settled it in the first century.

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