July 2, 2017
During a persecution in 303, at which time Christians were forbidden to gather to worship, one of the martyrs was recorded as saying: “Without fear of any kind we have celebrated the Lord's Supper, because it cannot be missed; that is our law." Today, many Christians break the third commandment which tells us to “remember to keep holy the Sabbath,” which for Christians is “the Lord’s Day” – Sunday.
In a letter titled, “The Lord’s Day” (Dies Domini [DD]), St. John Paul II wrote, “man's relationship with God also demands times of explicit prayer, in which the relationship becomes an intense dialogue, involving every dimension of the person. ‘The Lord's Day’ is the day of this relationship par excellence when men and women raise their song to God and become the voice of all creation.” (DD, 15)
As pastor, it is my responsibility to make it possible for you to have opportunities to attend Mass on Sunday. It’s also important that if we offer Mass, we also make it possible for you to park! I recently realized that multiple groups met on Sunday morning, making parking a challenge, particularly because three Protestant churches within a block or two of us have their service at 10 a.m., and a fourth at 9:30 a.m.
For this reason, I am instituting a policy that forbids groups to meet on Sundays during our Mass times. I am grateful to those groups that have accepted this inconvenient change and understood my reasons. We will also have a special Mass schedule on Easter Sunday that gives more time between Masses – especially when we have two at the same time! I realize that I make exceptions to this rule for parish-wide activities, like the Fiesta and the Campaign Kickoff/St. Dominic celebration August 13, but I will try to limit those.
The Sabbath commemorates God’s “rest” from the act of creation. St. John Paul said this “rest” “is a ‘contemplative’ gaze which does not look to new accomplishments but enjoys the beauty of what has already been achieved.” (DD, 11) I encourage you to reclaim Sunday as a day for family and rest, and as a time to contemplate the good things God has done for you, and the good He has done through you.