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Living the Gift of Sunday

As a tool for Catholics throughout southeast Wisconsin, Archbishop Listecki has published a reflection called The Gift of Sunday. The full reflection and study guide can be found at https://www.archmil.org/Sunday-Initiative/Reflection.htm. Additionally, the archdiocese has published a booklet called Living the Gift of Sunday. Living the Gift of Sunday contains ten weeks of reflections on how Sunday is a great gift for us, and how we might live that gift out in our everyday lives. Over the next ten weeks, excerpts from Living the Gift of Sunday will be shared here.  You can pick up your copy of Living the Gift of Sunday in the back of church or find it online at https://www.archmil.org/ArchMil/offices/Synod/GiftofSunday_EasterBooklet_Englishforweb.pdf.

Sunday is A Day of Christ’s Resurrection

“St. Luke’s Gospel story of the two disciples and their encounter with the risen Jesus on Easter Sunday on the road to Emmaus (24:13-35) beautifully connects how we come to know our risen Lord through Mass every Sunday. As the disciples walked and discussed Sacred Scripture with him they believed him to be a stranger, but they realized that it was the risen Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Each Sunday our hearts are stirred by Jesus in the word as he prepares us to receive his Real Presence in the Eucharist.”

Sunday is A Day of Peace

“Christ’s atoning sacrifice for our sins on the cross makes reconciliation possible. Pace and harmony are possible. Through the restoration of our relationship with God, we can begin to recognize the other relationships in our lives that are also in need of healing. Reconciliation requires an admission of our own responsibility for sin before God. At every Mass, we start with the Penitential Act, acknowledging our sins announce our trust in God’s mercy.” The Roman Missal

Sunday is the Day That Belongs to God

“As Christians, we believe that God is at the very center of our lives. Our spiritual journey on earth is one of deepening our relationship with God, and that includes listening intently to His word. The deepest expression of that listening is hearing the communal proclamation of Sacred Scripture in the Liturgy of the Word. We listen to God speak so that we might internalize His message and put it into practice.”

Sunday is A Day of Rest

“Throughout the week, our lives are filled with busyness, social media, and tending to the day-to-day necessities of life. Distractions are constant. We need rest to be able to relax our bodies, clear our minds and refresh our spirits. Taking time away from work, shopping, and our daily routines is essential for our spiritual, mental and physical wellbeing…Catholic recommendations to rest on Sunday do not hinder participation in ‘ordinary and innocent occupations.’ In the spirit of the Sabbath, Catholics ought to observe a day of rest from servile work, which also becomes ‘a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money’ (CCC, 2172 – Cf. Neh 13:15-22; 2 Chr 36:21).”

Sunday is A Day of Worship

“The celebration and worship of the Eucharist enables us to draw near to God’s love and to persevere in that love until we are united with the Lord whom we love. The offering of our lives, our fellowship with the whole community of believers and our solidarity with all men and women are essential aspects of…spiritual worship, holy and pleasing to God (Cf. Romans 12:1), which transforms every aspect of our human existence, to the glory of God.” (Sacramentum Caritatis, 94)

Sunday is a Day of Loving Sacrifice

“In one sense, becoming a living offering means connecting our own suffering to the sufferings of Christ. It is an act of faith, trusting that just as the cross was not the end of the story for Jesus, it is not the end of the story for us. The love and mercy of God will prevail. On another level becoming a living offering means dedicating ourselves to lives of service and self-giving love. Sunday is a day to dedicate our lives to the ways of Jesus, who came not to be served but to serve: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life’ (John 3:16).”

Sunday is a Day of Family

“We, the baptized, are God’s adopted sons and daughters. We seek to understand what it means for us to be brothers and sisters in Christ, a family of believer in the Church. We also realize the importance of the domestic Church – praying together as a family, attending Mass together, and being together as a family uni8t on the Lord’s Day…out Sunday rest allows us time and space to enter into a period of family recreation and refreshment, limited not only to our nuclear families at home, but also in a spirit of charity and unity with the parish family, and, ultimately, with the whole Church, visible in common fraternity and worship of Almighty God. ”

Sunday is a Day of Mission

“Each Sunday we hear the Good News proclaimed – God’s own communication of love and mercy. Each Sunday we receive the Body of Christ to become the Body of Christ in this world. At the end of Mass, the celebrant sends us forth on a mission to proclaim the Good News with our lives, and to be Good News for others by being instruments of God’s love.”

Sunday is a Day of Unity

“Parishes gather people who think about things differently, experience life differently, and live their life differently, yet can meet around the same Eucharistic table despite their differences and receive the Body and Blood of the Lord together. Any movement toward unity that takes place in parishes has its origins in the Eucharistic feast. Different people with one faith sharing in one meal are drawn closer to one another in Holy Communion.”

Sunday is Our First Day

“Sunday is the first day, a day of new life, a day that inspires hope, a day that launches us into a new week and new opportunities to share God’s love. The decision is yours. You can make Sunday the last day of a weekend or truly make Sunday the Lord’s Day, an intentional beginning to a new week abundant in the promise of meaning, purpose and value…The power of Sunday is in the rest it provides, not the work it produces; in receptivity, not in activity; in its celebratory affirmation of the deeply ordered goodness of creation, all of which nurtures our relationship with Christ. Its power is in moving us from a focus on ability, talent, achievement, and calculating results, and toward the healthy and necessary realization of what is done to and for us – all that can only be received and accepted – and ultimately toward the grace that points us to what is authentically human, to who we should be. It is a holy time, not for us to work on things but for God to work on us.”