"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, six days you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy".
Remember to keep holy the Sabbath
Saturday in the Hebrew word, it means "cessation": therefore "sanctifies the Saturday," or "stop" and "rest." The seventh day he received the Sabbath name, precisely because, accomplished the cosmic universe, "God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all servile work that working had created."
In this commandment we are given a prescription in a positive sense, that is to remember the seventh day, to observe it and to abstain from work for the sanctification of the Sabbath. According to the biblical signs, the job is what men usually take place, the reason why God put them on earth. The Sabbath day was, and still is, for the people of Israel, the day consecrated to the Lord day of rest to devote himself exclusively to the worship of God, with the reading of the sacred texts and prayer. For Christians, the day of the Lord is no longer on Saturday, but on Sunday, because on this day is, "the first of the week" (Jn 20:19), Jesus is risen and has begun a new era. The resurrection, in fact, is the victory of Christ over death, the defeat of Satan, the fulfillment of the Scriptures.
The essential reason for observing the Sabbath is that it is a holy day, which belongs to God. In fact, the divine decision gives us the key to understanding the meaning of the Sabbath. This time it is necessary to put at the center of our lives searching for a relationship with God. Research that gives meaning to everything else, and that allows us to break the yoke of slavery that binds us to the work of our hands.
God placed a call to our condition of creatures, an invitation to stop periodically and return to the Source of life, because life, contains a myriad of enticing possibilities: how to find the time to stop and have the detachment necessary to make a choice, to find out if we really want to do things that we do? Despite our demands, we are not the creators of the universe and there will come a day when this will become obvious.
The Church of God carried the festive celebration of the Sabbath to Sunday, because on this day, for the first time, shone the light on the world and in it, through the resurrection of the Savior who opened the case open to eternal life, our life , freed from the darkness, it was brought back into the regions of light. So the apostles called the "Lord's Day." "Far from replacing the Saturdays, Sundays, it is therefore the complete realization and, in a sense, the extension and full expression, in relation to the path of salvation history, which has its apex in Christ."
(John Paul II, Apostolic Letter "Dies Domini", May 31, 1998).
Sunday gives us the opportunity to rediscover a sense of proportion, to balance the choices we stumble through our lives from one commitment to do the work of God and believe in Him whom He sent (Jn 6 , 29). Against the temptation to love only ourselves and believing lost every hour that is not dedicated to produce wealth and to satisfy the body, we are offered a stop that gives us a way to think about God, to ourselves, to the family. Indeed, as Jesus says in the Gospel, what matters in life is to save our soul: "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life?".
Says the Lord: "In that day you will not do anything: neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your servant or your maidservant, your beast and your host who is at your door." With these words, we are warned to avoid completely because it can interfere with the performance of divine worship. One senses, in fact, that it is forbidden any kind of regular work, not really because it is by its nature dishonorable and evil, but because it takes us away from that divine worship which is the purpose of the precept. Even more so, the faithful, must avoid the sins that day that not only distracting the spirit from the exercise of divine things, but fundamentally separate from the love of God!
It's not waste of time to use the time for God, rather it is to earn it. God has given us life and gives us eternal life. Those who love God receive that divine wisdom that helps him to not waste time on unnecessary things. We remember the words of Jesus: "Which of you, by worrying can add a single hour to his life? If then ye have no power even for the smallest thing, why are you anxious about the rest?" (Lk 12.25 to 26); "You have the power to make one hair white or black ... As for you, the very hairs of your head are all numbered; therefore, do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows ... Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it.".
(Mt 5,36; 10,30-31; 10,39).
The first word of the formula is "Remember"; worship and religious obedience to God, formulated in this commandment, in fact flow from the right of nature, being just the nature that pushes us to devote some time to the worship of God. It is a command healthy for both the body and the spirit, to give a little 'time to the spirit to take courage in the thought of God. Therefore the Apostles determined that among the first seven days were devoted to divine worship and called it the Lord's day.
The full value of the commandment requires that people put all his energy because, on the days scheduled, away from business and from the material work, can expect the pious worship of the Lord and to the mystical rest, in which we celebrate the rebirth of man again to new life. Those who were wrapped in darkness are now light in the Lord, and proceed on the path of goodness, justice, truth, as children of light and refrain from participating in the insane works of darkness.
The sorrows of the earth, when they are excessive, they are a danger and can create more negative effects. It is imprudent to want to force the continuous business to earn more and more; about it Jesus said to a mean and materialistic man: "Thou fool, this night your life will be demanded. And what you have prepared, whose will it be? So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" ( Lk 12.20 to 21). This is why God teaches us to wisdom through his wise and loving Word. Her commands do not restrict our freedom, but, indeed, expand and lead it in the right direction, towards the source of life, love, peace, and joy.
Sunday is above all the "Lord's Day", to be sanctified by prayer, listening to the Word, personal reflection, fraternal charity, the worship of the Mass, the Eucharistic nourishment. It is the day which celebrates the resurrection of Christ, the solemn day of the Christian assembly where Jesus still breaks bread with us and communicates to us his love. It is the encounter with the person we love and by whom we are loved, because in the Eucharist, Jesus truly gives his Body, his Blood, his Word, his spirit, his soul, and his divinity. It is the day of faith we understand what we must do to inherit eternal life.
The festival is a great gift of God to man. God rested on the seventh day, so the man, who reflects the image of God, is called to do the same and must assume that even the poor can enjoy the deserved rest from daily activities. The festival is a protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money.
And 'necessary, then, that the festival goes back to being not just a day off from work, but on the day in which he gives great importance to the acknowledgment of God and in which revitalized that beauty which, during weekdays, is inevitably mortified because of the hard work, the study of the problems of everyday life.
Heavenly Saturday, then, according to the commentary of St. Cyril with the Apostolic step "And let another Sabbath to the people of God" (Heb 4.9), consists in that life, in which, living with Christ, we will enjoy all the goods, being eradicated by now, every root of sin, according to the saying: "there will be no lions, there will pass beasts, but there will open a pure and holy way" (Isaiah 35: 8f). In fact, the spirit of the saints follows the vision of God all goods. To sanctify the feast means to enter into an infinite clipping earthly life and endless feast of heaven, that is, in no sunset Sunday that commits us to sow the feast of heaven, in the furrows of our human experience.
On holidays Christians should go to church to attend the Holy Mass, to have the joyful meeting with the Lord, and through the word of the Gospel, gather like the disciples of Emmaus with the heart that burned in hearing about Jesus. We too can meet during the Mass, the Lord Jesus: he makes us listen to his Word and, as he did with the fishermen of the lake, with Levi and the rich young man, invites us to leave everything and follow him.
Just think about the fact that such a divine commandment can be respected without any sacrifice. God did not require arduous labors to be addressed in his honor: he simply wanted that the Saturday be a free day from earthly cares. It is therefore no evidence of brazen temerity refusal to obey?
We remember the horrific torture to which God subjected the violators of the command, which are described in the book of Numbers. To not run into this grave offense to God, it will be good to repeat mentally and very often the warning "remember" and keep constantly before the eyes of the outstanding advantages we have said to spring from the observance of public holidays.
It's up to us to decide and choose whether to accept the invitation and follow Jesus with the heart full of joy, or refuse to leave and sad, like the rich young man, because so many other things attract us more than God.
Keep festivities holy
The Word of Jesus is like a fire to ignite our hearts of Love, because love is like fire, if it is not fed it is extinguished, then it must be sustained at all times, and it requires time and must be cared for with dedication, even through small gestures, to nourish the affective relationships, and it is similar to the flower that needs water, light and if it does not receive the right attention, the plant will dry out and die. In this fire the Lord speaks and purifies our hearts that are sometimes dry, have been without water for a long time, and a spark is enough to ignite a fire as it happens in times of drought.
This fire is a flame that burns, but does not destroy and brings out the best and truest part of us.
Human life is not identified with the light of the sun, as the Latin and Greek poets had sung, but with the expectation of the light of God: "This is the Light, it is the only Light, and only one thing are those who see and love it".
Kindle in us Lord the fire of your love! This is a bold prayer, but we know that this flame has the power to save us.