By Allison Gingras
O God, you are my God. I seek you, my soul thirsts for you. Psalm 63:1a
Remember when Sundays were sacred? The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us they still are.
“On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body” (CCC 2185).
God commands us to give our Sabbath to Him, not as a suggestion or recommendation, but a command. My theory, if God made room for it on the tablets handed to Moses, perhaps we ought to pay attention to how we spend our Sundays!
Setting Sunday Apart
As a child, my entire family put aside work, school, errands, and chores–setting Sunday apart from the rest of the week. Sadly, although we didn’t always attend Mass, we did visit and enjoy a meal with either my maternal or paternal grandparents. Sometimes, we’d score a free meal from both. Over time, my family’s lives and the world around us changed, making keeping our Sundays for rest and focused on the Lord much more difficult.
Spiritually, a faith not attended to can quickly deteriorate. As a mother of young adult sons, I’ve witnessed firsthand how the longer they go without making time for Christ in their lives, the wider the cavern between themselves and the Lord. Although a relationship with Christ should be built every day, giving Sunday to the Lord provides a tether to keep us from completely floating away.
In addition to making time for worship, the command requires us to rest. A worn-out body becomes overwhelmed, less effective, and even sick, ultimately unable to work to its full potential. Work is my jam, making this command especially challenging.
How to Spend a Sunday
I am so blessed to work in ministry, and I sometimes confuse making time for God with items found on as part of my job description. Plus, like most women, always chasing the end of my to-do list. It is so tempting to stare down the 12-plus awake hours of Sunday and not want to use it to catch up or complete another lingering household task.
So, here we are on Sunday; what do you have on your calendar for today? What blessing does the Lord have awaiting you in the rest of the Sabbath? Commit to giving Him the whole day; then count the many ways you benefited from following this commandment. If God is commanding it, we can all rest assured He intends it for our good and is guaranteed to help make us holy.
Lord, the purpose of your commands and all you ask of me come from a place of perfect love. Please help me to remember you have created me, knowing what is best for me. I pray to have the strength every week to give you my Sunday completely. In surrendering my plans, I believe, with my whole heart, you will provide me with peace and rest (and the time during the other days of the week to complete my to-do list).
Call to Action
Take a look at how you spend your Sabbath day and decide how you can begin to make it more restful.