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."
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.