POPE BENEDICT PROMOTES SUNDAY REST FOR COMMUNITY SOLIDARITY.
In a letter Pope Benedict XVI sent to the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family regarding the 7th World Meeting of Families, which will be held in 2012 in Milan, Italy, he stated the following:
Sacred Scripture (cf. Gen 1-2) tells us that the family, work and holidays are gifts and blessings to help us to live a fully human life. ...
In our day, unfortunately, the organization of work, conceived of and implemented in terms of market competition and the greatest profit, and the conception of a holiday as an opportunity to escape and to consume commodities, contribute to dispersing the family and the community and spreading an individualistic lifestyle. It is therefore necessary to promote reflection and commitment which aim at reconciling the needs and schedule of work with those of the family. They must also aim at recovering the true meaning of celebration, especially on Sunday, the weekly Easter, the day of the Lord and the day of man, the day of the family, of the community and of solidarity.
The scripture referred to is:
Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Gen 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
That clearly testifies that the seventh day of creation week was set aside by God as a day of rest, the only weekday blessed and sanctified by God. However, Genesis makes no reference to the first day of the week as a weekly holy day.
The Pope then bemoans the "individualistic lifestyle" of our time that is responsible for "dispersing the family and the community". This is the result, in his opinion, of considering the religious holiday as a day of escape from work to go shopping. The solution to this fragmentation of family and community proposed by the Pope, is for the community as a whole to recover the true meaning of the Sunday as a religious holiday, by which he means it should be a day of rest, as found in Genesis 2:2-3.
74. Finally, it is particularly urgent nowadays to remember that the day of the Lord is also a day of rest from work. It is greatly to be hoped that this fact will also be recognized by civil society, so that individuals can be permitted to refrain from work without being penalized. Christians, not without reference to the meaning of the Sabbath in the Jewish tradition, have seen in the Lord's Day a day of rest from their daily exertions. This is highly significant, for it relativizes work and directs it to the person: work is for man and not man for work. — Pope Benedict XVI, APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS, Feb. 22, 2007.
Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
Mark 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Applied universally, the Pope is maintaining, Sunday would be the common rest day, a day of family and community "solidarity", which would halt the "individualistic lifestyle" that is so detrimental to family and community.
God in scripture does give us a weekly day of rest, a day to be kept holy from labor:
Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
As instituted at creation, the seventh day of the week, Saturday, is specifically designated by God as a day of rest, a memorial to Him as Creator, especially blessed and sanctified for that purpose. This distinction is not applied in all of scripture to any other day of the week. Sunday as a day of rest has only Catholic Tradition to commend it, as attested to repeatedly by the Catholics themselves.
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