Rome, Italy, Jul 19, 2011 / 11:48 am America/Denver (CNA).
Sunday should be a day for worship, rest and time with family and friends, said Monsignor Miquel Delgado Galindo, under secretary for the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
“The Church teaches us to set aside this day, the first day of the week on which we remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ, for divine worship and for human rest,” the monsignor recently told CNA.
“On Sundays Catholics should participate in the Holy Mass, the unbloody renewal of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross” and “the greatest expression of worship and adoration that man can offer to the Lord our God,” he said.
Sundays should also be a day “devoted to rest with family and friends,” he added.
Msgr. Galindo underscored the importance of Blessed John Paul II’s 1998 Apostolic Letter, “Dies Domini,” which exhorts the bishops, the clergy and the lay faithful to keep Sunday holy and to treat it as the Lord’s day.
“We need to realize that we need more time with family and friends. It is hard to give them time during the week because of our professional and social commitments,” he noted.
Sunday rest is “a human necessity,” he continued.
“Man cannot always be working, just as a bow cannot be constantly pulled back, because at some point it will break.”
Catholics should not see rest as “doing nothing,” but rather as time in which they devote themselves to activities that require less physical or intellectual effort such as going on a family outing, reading a good book, playing sports or watching a worthwhile film.
“This makes it possible to return to our routine work with renewed energy. We need Sundays from a religious and a human point of view,” Msgr. Galindo said.
Sunday, the Lord’s Day
The letter “Dies Domini” explains that the Lord’s Day—the term used to refer to Sundays since apostolic times—has always had a privileged place in the history of the Church because of its close relationship to the very nucleus of the Christian mystery.
Sundays remind us, in the weekly succession of time, of the day of Christ’s resurrection. Therefore, it is the Easter of each week, when we celebrate the victory of Christ over sin and death, the fulfillment of the first creation in him.