Living Sunday Well

“God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.”

This past weekend, I gave a homily on the importance of keeping the Lord’s Day holy. Father Steven asked me to recap some of the main points for further reflection.

Sunday is the Lord’s Day. Sunday is a gift from the Lord to each of us. It is so important to our spiritual life that we receive this wonderful gift and allow it to change us and draw us closer to God.

Our loving Father takes such good care of us! He knows what we need. He knows that we struggle through the week in our daily battles with the world. It is easy for us to give more and more of ourselves over to the world because of all the demands it places on us. For some of us, our relationship with the Lord gets pushed to the back burner, as the world takes more and more of our lives. So let’s look at the gift that the Father gave us.

Sunday is a day of celebration!

The focus of Sunday should be our communal celebration of the Lord’s Day. We draw our strength for all of the challenges of earthly life from the table of the Lord. Here, Jesus gives us His very Body and Blood as spiritual food for our journey. Sunday Mass attendance around the world has dropped dramatically. Sadly, many of our brothers and sisters do not realize that the Lord is waiting for them to come to the table, where they will be fed with Real Food and Real Drink. Sunday is holy to the Lord, and it must be a priority in our lives.

Our celebration of Sunday should not end as we exit the doors of the church! Sunday should be a day of family, friends and guests. Sunday is a day to take a rest from our labors. We need rest and refreshment, in order to prepare ourselves for the coming week. While some people are required to work on Sunday because of their profession, most of us can choose to avoid any work on Sundays. If we can avoid work on Sundays, we should do so.

My family has had a tradition of the big family meal on Sunday evenings. We try to gather our children and grandchildren around the table at least once or twice each month. This is an opportunity for Anne and me to share time with our family in the spirit of celebration, as we thank God for His goodness.

Sunday is a day to think outside the box. When was the last time you sat down as a family to play a board game together? Sunday is a day for taking a walk or a drive, for listening to good music, for reading or doing other quiet activities that don’t tie us to electronic gadgets.

Sunday is a day of rest!

God intended for us to rest from our labors on the Lord’s Day. This is a good day for leisure, to allow our bodies to recover from the busy week that we have just finished. In Matthew, Chapter 11, Jesus tells us, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” We very much need to rest in the Lord, as part of our Sunday celebration. Sunday is a day of reflecting on the gospel message of the day and allowing God’s Word and His Eucharistic presence to take hold in our hearts.

Some people have asked if it is okay to watch football on Sunday. Our modern culture is very rooted in sports events of all kinds. Watching football on Sunday can be an enjoyable and restful activity. This is even better if it can be a family time, as opposed to one or two family members going off to the TV room by themselves. The caution is that football can overtake Sunday to the point where the focus of the day is on the game (or games) and not on the Lord. Everything in moderation.

Sunday is silence. . .

Psalm 46, Verse 10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Sunday is a day to be still. It is a day to allow God to speak to us. God does not have a cell phone or an email account. He is not found on Facebook! We need to be still to hear His voice. We can find that stillness when we deliberately close off the “noise” of our electronic gadgets and allow the peace of some silence.

God has given us a beautiful gift in making the seventh day a day of celebration, rest and silence. We need what Sunday brings. Can you and I open our hearts to our loving Father’s call to make Sunday the Lord’s Day? Let’s resolve to celebrate Sunday well, not just as the second half of the weekend, but as a day set apart for the Lord. God’s abundant blessings will flow from our worthy celebration of Sunday.

May God bless you,

Deacon Tim

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