Tuesday, October 27, 2009


In October, 2005 a Synod of Bishops met in Rome to discuss The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church. Pope Benedict in turn pulled together their thoughts and discussions and wrote an Apostolic Exhortation entitled “Sacramentum Caritatis.” In section 73 he wrote about the importance of participation in Sunday Eucharist and we will reflect on part of that section as we pray that all Catholics may see the need for weekly Sunday Mass in their lives.

The life of faith is endangered when we lose the desire to share in the celebration of the Eucharist and its commemoration of the paschal victory. Participating in the Sunday liturgical assembly with all our brothers and sisters, with whom we form one body in Jesus Christ, is demanded by our Christian conscience and at the same time it forms that conscience. To lose a sense of Sunday as the Lord's Day, a day to be sanctified, is symptomatic of the loss of an authentic sense of Christian freedom, the freedom of the children of God. … 

Sunday thus appears as the primordial holy day, when all believers, wherever they are found, can become heralds and guardians of the true meaning of time. It gives rise to the Christian meaning of life and a new way of experiencing time, relationships, work, life and death. On the Lord's Day, then, it is fitting that Church groups should organize, around Sunday Mass, the activities of the Christian community: social gatherings, programs for the faith formation of children, young people and adults, pilgrimages, charitable works, and different moments of prayer. For the sake of these important values – while recognizing that Saturday evening, beginning with First Vespers, is already a part of Sunday and a time when the Sunday obligation can be fulfilled – we need to remember that it is Sunday itself that is meant to be kept holy, lest it end up as a day "empty of God."

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