Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work. Catechism of the Catholic Church, p.523
Even 3,000 years ago it was important to rest. The Commandments can be found in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy, one of them commanding us to rest. In the book of Genesis, the very first book of the Bible, we begin with God creating the world; and then resting.
God rested. Not because God needed the rest, but to set the example. Rest is something that is so important, it begins Chapter 2 of Genesis.
We all do important work. Parents do important work raising their children. Everyone does important work, serving in many different capacities such as first responders, maintenance workers, teachers, students, office workers, health care workers, those in the building trades, service workers and volunteers.
We are all made by God to work, it's one of the Catholic Social Teachings. The Dignity and Right to Work. But, we also need rest. All of us. Students get vacations built into their schedule. Most adults don't, but we need to. Do you know that in the United States, the average worker only takes 54% of their paid vacation days. That's not resting. Is is so important for our physical, mental and spiritual health.
On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
Genesis 2:2 (NABRE)
Shabbat is a pause, a breathe, a rest. A sanctuary away from our daily chores and stresses. Families are over scheduled and overworked. A Sabbath is an opportunity to refocus, to re- prioritize and appreciate our blessings. God gives us this practice to teach us how to be our best selves.
Think about what you do when you get home from church...do you continue to honor God? your family? How do we communicate the expectations of Sabbath?...Do you rememberTraditional Sunday dinner? Tablecloth, real dishes, desert….
What can you do after church to extend faith time?
What kind of rest does your family do on their Sabbath?
When someone tells us we look tired, we should consider resting, do we always listen?
We may not rest when others suggest but this is not a suggestion from God, its a Commandment.
This work, by Blessed John of Fiesole, is a fresco from the Convent of San Marco….This fresco was meant to be viewed under low light, it at the top of a stair case. I think he created it to give pause to the monks as the reached trhe top of the stairs. Consider running up the stairs, you need a breath. This is similar to the Jewish peoples understanding of Shabbat. This is not a ticket to laziness but a moment to stop in gratitude, to enjoy the goodness of God.
CREATE YOUR OWN/FAMILY SABBATH PLAN:
I will plan my Sabbath as :
Who is important for me to connect with on the Sabbath?
Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
Mark 2:27 (NABRE)
LIVING YOUR FAITH CHALLENGE:
A Prayer to Live More Fully, by Joyce Rupp
We move so fast, God, and sometimes we see so little in our daily travels.
Slow us down. Create in us a desire to pause. Help us to pursue moments of contemplation. Help us to see in a deeper way, to become more aware of what speaks to us in beauty and truth.
Our inner eye gets misty, clouded over, dulled. We need to see in a new way, to dust off our heart, to perceive what is truly of value and to find the deeper meaning in our lives.
All of our ordinary moments are means of entering into a more significant relationship with you, God. In the midst of those very common happenings, you are ready to speak your word of love to us, if only we will recognize your presence.
Teach us how to enjoy being. Encourage us to be present to the gifts that are ours. May we be more fully aware of what we see, taste, touch, hear, and smell. May this awareness of our senses sharpen our perception of our everyday treasures and lead us to greater joy and gratitude.
Grant us the courage to be our true selves. Help us to let go of being overly concerned about what others think of us or of how successful we are. May our inner freedom be strengthened and our delight in life be activated.
Life is meant to be celebrated, enjoyed, delighted in, and embraced in all its mystery. Guide us to our inner child. Draw us to your playground of creation, God of life, so that we will live more fully.
Rest is so necessary in our lives.
Even kids crave rest.
Rest is more that hitting the pause button.
It’s putting everything else on hold.
It’s silencing everything else so you can focus on God, yourself and your family.
Take time, and make time to celebrate the Lord’s Day and the Sabbath.
May God bless you as you continue your faith journey.