By Lucy Johnson




“and rested the seventh day;
therefore, the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.”
~ Exodus 20:11b

Growing up in small-town Wisconsin, I knew of no stores that were open on Sundays. The grocery stores, department stores, and liquor stores were all closed. My father worked six days a week but never on Sundays. 

In today’s first reading, we are reminded that the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:11)

The Challenge

Things sure have changed. Keeping holy the Sabbath takes a considerable effort. Sure, we go to church, but isn’t Sunday a day to catch up on the laundry, go grocery shopping, and attend sporting events? When my children were young, I remember how sporting events crept into our Sunday lives. It started slowly at first, just a team meeting or a practice later in the day, and then flourished into games on Sunday mornings.

Lent as a time of Renewal and Resolve

We need to be reminded that the Sabbath was made for us and not us for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27). What better time than Lent to be recommitted to this? It’s not too late. We aren’t even halfway through this time of spiritual renewal and reflection. It may not be possible to stop all work on Sundays, but perhaps we could become more aware of what we are doing and spend some time in prayer outside of Mass.

As we travel through this Lenten season, take some time each day to thank God for all His gifts. By doing so, we can make each day more hallowed.




Lord, help me to keep the Sabbath holy through my words, thoughts, and actions. Let my focus be on You. Put gratitude in my heart for all You have done for me.

Call to Action

Incorporate a family prayer time into your Sunday activities. Perhaps say the Rosary together if this isn’t your practice already.

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