The WORD in Other Words by Fr Jun de Ocampo SVD (Germany) for Tuesday Week 2 in Ordinary Time
What the Jews hold dear and sacred on the Sabbath corresponds to what we Catholics do on Sundays.
Sabbath, from the Hebrew Shabbat, means to cease, to end, to rest. It is biblically derived from the 7th day God “rested” after the six days of creation (Gen 2:2-3). Every Sabbath (our Saturday) the Jewish faithful set aside all their weekday concerns and devote themselves in the synagogue to worshipping God.
For us Christians, Jesus is Lord, and because of His Lordship, we celebrate our Sabbath on Sunday, the first day of the week when He rose from the dead.
Sunday used to be a day for church and family, but today’s commerce and business have given a different dynamics to it. There is hardly any substantial time for the family to gather and pray together. We seem to be pulled apart in many directions except making Sunday a day for rest and worship.
The Lord says, “Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.” We need Sunday. We need to sort out what we really need to do from what we want to do, making the wise choices with greater and lasting benefits for us.
Sunday helps to restore our Christian dignity. It is a day to experience the beauty of the world, to celebrate, appreciate and be grateful to God for his gift of creation, family and life, which are actually the very reasons why we work. It is a day to remember and celebrate the gift of Redemption. It is the day when God especially nourishes our souls, mind and spirit with His Word to equip us for the new week before us.