Today’s first reading is a continuation of yesterday’s Old Testament passage from Isaiah (58:9b-14). He continues with the theme of mercy toward others but then switches to the proper way to honor the Sabbath. Per the headline, it is not a day set aside to follow selfish pursuits but rather to honor God and our fellow man.
In today’s world, it is very tempting to set aside Sunday for all sorts of activity that we did not get to during the week. And there might be some necessity for that depending on one’s schedule. But this reading should offer some time for reflection about this. What really needs to be done on Sunday? Could shopping not be taken care of on a weeknight evening or early Saturday before the crowds come? Does that backlog of mail/e-mail have to be addressed on the Lord’s Day? Is this the best day to start that project on which you have been procrastinating?
Sunday should be a day of rest and relaxation. God set it aside not because He needed it but because we need it. Coming to the end of the day exhausted and stressed with a new work week just on the other side of the alarm clock is no way to honor the Lord, ourselves, or others.
So be sure to take the time to relax and engage in pursuits that refresh the body and soul. Mass, without question. Add some Scripture and spiritual reading. Watch a religious or wholesome film with the family. Say a few extra prayers. Visit a lonely neighbor. Do fun stuff with your loved ones. Take a long, leisurely walk while listening to some relaxing and uplifting music.
Sunday is the Day of Creation and the Day of Resurrection. It is when light first came into time and space and it is when Light marked its victory over darkness. Let us take the time to bask in that radiance and be a conduit of it toward others.
When time is taken for God, He repays it by allowing you to get more done, rather than less, the remaining 144 hours of the week. Take Him up on the challenge starting today.