47. Third commandment: keep holy the Lord’s day

  Introduction

   In the book of Exodus, the following words, said by God to Moses and his people, were pronounced: ”For six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath for Yahve your God. You shall do no work that day, neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your servants, men or women, nor your animals nor the alien living with you. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens, earth and sea and all that these contain, but on the seventh day he rested; that is why Yahweh has blessed the Sabbath day and made it sacred.”

    Then, it is God’s will to dedicate in a special way a day of the week. It is important to emphasize the true sense of Sunday, which is to santify Him and ourselves, and not only have fun or, much less, to commit sin.

  A. Answer with one of these words: work, rest, Saturday, Sunday, sin, talk.

 You work for six days, but the seventh you

 We must discover the true sense of the

 It is not only for having fun, and much less to






  Main ideas

1. Sunday, or the Lord’s day

   God orders to dedicate Him a day of the week in a special way; a day to Him and to our rest. The Israelites celebrated Saturday, as Moses was ordered in the Sinai; but the Apostles chose Sunday, the day in which Jesus resurrected. Also, Sunday was the day when the Holy Spirit came to the Apostles in the day of Pentecost. Sunday means day of the Lord, and it is called on this way as a memorial of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

2. The holy days of obligation

         In adittion to Saturday, the Israelites celebrated other festivities along the year: the most important one was Easter. As Christians, we also celebrate festivities when we commemorate the main mysteries of Jesus' life: Christmas, Epiphany, Presentation at the Temple, Corpus Christi...; of the Holy Virgin: Divine Motherhood, Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Visitation...; and of the saints: Saint Joseph, Saint Peter...

       The Church decides which festivities are holy days of obligation; the ones which we must sanctify as if they woud be Sunday. In Catholic liturgy, the most important festivity is the Easter or Resurrection of Christ, which repeats every Sunday.

3. Going to mass

  Although every day must be lived in a holy way, God wanted us to worship Him on Sunday and holy days. How can we sanctify these days? Mainly, going to mass. The mass is the highest way of worshipping we can do in our world. As the first Christians did, we are reunited around the altar and the priest- who embodies Christ- to celebrate the holy sacrifize of the mass.

  B. There are 7 true sentences and 2 wrong ones. Choose the correct ones.

  Sunday is the day of the Virgin

  The Israelites celebrated Saturday

 We celebrated Sunday because on that day Jesus Christ resurrected

 Sunday means the day of the Lord

 The Immaculate Conception is a celebration of Jesus

  The holy days are as sacred as Sunday are

  On Sunday, we worship God and go to the Holy mass

  On Sunday, we go to mass

  On Sunday we rest

4. The obligation of going to mass on Sunday and holy days

   To help us to fulfil the third commandment of God’s law, the Church has imposed the obligation of listening the whole mass on Sunday and on days of obligation. This commandment force those Christians who are older than 7 years old to go to mass. Those who don’t go to mass commit mortal sin, unless they have serious and just causes to do it, as if they are ill or live far away from a church. If we are not sure about our causes, we must ask for advice.

    The Church has power and authority to impose this obligation and to dictate laws, and its only aim is to help us to fulfill God’s will. On this way, the third commandment of God’s law is concretized.

5. How to assist to mass

   The precept compel to listen the whole mass on Sunday and Holy Days- or eve days-, following it with care and attention. For this reason, we must arrive promptly, listen carefully the readings and the homily and be quiet and attentive for a better participation in the act.

6. Resting on holidays

    Human life is a combination of work and rest. Sunday rest helps everybody to enjoy their resting time, giving us a valuable time to be with our families and to have a cultural, social and religious life.

    On Sunday and holy days, Christians must avoid works and activities which prevent us from being grateful to God and better enjoy the happiness of a day dedicated to God’s workship and take rest mind and body.

    We can rest with healthy competitions, like sports or trips, with our family and friends... But without offending God, primarily on holy days.


Curso de Catequesis. Don Jaime Pujol Balcells and Don Jesús Sancho Bielsa. EUNSA. Navarra. 1982. With permission from the authors.


  C. There are 6 true sentences and 3 false ones. Choose the correct ones.

  The Church has impossed the obligation of listening mass on Saturday

 It forces Christians who are older than 7 years to go to mass

  Those who don’t go to mass commit a mortal sin

  We can be absent from mass with a serious and just cause

  The Church has authority to dictate laws

  We can be in mass distracted and without paying attention

  On Sunday, we can work as the rest of the week

  This day is to enjoy resting our body and mind

  We can be with our family, do sports, trips, etc.

  Questions from the catechism

1. Which is the message of the third commandment?  The message of the third commandment is to dedicate Sundays and holy days of obligation to worship God and to develop spiritual values, resting from ordinary work.

2. How is this obligation ordered by the Church?  The Church ordered the attendance of mass on Sunday and holy days, and the abstention of work and activities that hinder the worshipping of God, the joy of the Lord’s day, the practice of mercy works and the proper rest of spirit and body.

3. How sin those who can go to mass on a holy day and choose to not do it?  Those who can go to mass on holy day and choose to not do it commit a mortal sin.

  D. Choose the right answer. Options are below.  

 QUESTIONS

 ANSWERS

  Which is the message of the third commandment?

  How is this obligation ordered by the Church?

 How sin those who can go to mass on a holy day and choose to not do it?


 POSSIBLE ANSWERS
 A   Committing a mortal sin.
 B  Ordered the attendance of mass on Sunday and holy days, and the abstention of work and activities that hinder the worshipping of God, the joy of the Lord’s day, the practice of mercy works and the proper rest of spirit and body.
 C  To dedicate Sundays and holy days of obligation to worship God and to develop spiritual values, resting from ordinary work.

  Intentions for a Christian life

- To make purpose of fulfil the purpose of going to mass every Sunday and holy days.

- To take care of those who are close of us on Sunday, enjoying ourselves at the same time with healthy amusements.



 
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