7 ways to refresh your Sabbath Know your Sabbath Day roots

September 8, 2019

Dear Visitors and Parishioners,

7 ways to refresh your Sabbath Know your Sabbath Day roots

The practice of Sabbath dates back to the very beginning- literally. The Gen­esis story tells of our creator God, who spent six days forming the world. Heav­ens, earth, light, darkness, sky, land, plants, animals, and people all came into being those first days. A period of rest seems only right after such a feat! The Genesis author writes, "So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation" (Gen. 2:3). Thus began the practice of Sabbath, a sacred time of rest reflecting God's own decision to rest.

Religious rituals soon formed around the Sabbath in early Jewish communi­ties. "Keep holy the Sabbath" stood as one of the Ten Commandments and  a sign  of the covenant. The Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, points out specific rules for Sabbath observance, such as no plowing fields (Exod. 34:21) and no kindling fire (Exod. 35:3). Owners must give rest to their animals and servants as well (Deut. 5:14). The God of the Old Testament is not messing around when it comes to Sabbath law. God tells Moses, "You shall keep the sabbath, because it is holy for you; everyone who profanes it shall be put to death" (Exod. 31:14).

The Christian practice of Sabbath stems from our Jewish roots. Jesus knew the importance of holy rest. He also knew sometimes people needed to eat or be healed- and those needs couldn't be contained to a timeline. He puts the rules into perspective when he tells the Pharisees, "The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27). Christians began observing the day of rest on Sundays with com­munal worship. The Eucharist became a defining celebration of the Lord's Day.

Ideas to inspire Sabbath practices in the midst of our busy lives follow.

Pause-Life isn't all about getting things done, especially when it comes to the Sabbath. On your holy day of rest, try taking a pause.

Work-   "Love begins at home."                                      - St. Teresa of Calcutta

Worry- "I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."                                                                                          -Thomas Merton

Practice-A little structure can go a long way for getting the most out of your Sabbath experience. Grow closer to God, yourself, and the world around you through the following practices:

Worship-Psalm 118, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad!"

Withdraw-"Silence is the  best  response to mystery."           - Kathleen Norris

Wonder-  "Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it."

-Mary Oliver

Walk- "Earth is so thick with divine possibility that it is a wonder we can walk anywhere without cracking our shins on altars." - Barbara Brown Taylor

Welcome-"We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love we must know each other."                                                                                             - Dorothy Day

For the full article go to www.uscatholic .org

- Jessie Bazan, M .Div.