Tuesday in the Second Week of Ordinary Time
[Scripture Readings: 1 Sam 16:1-13; Mk 2:23-28 ]
“Remember to keep the Sabbath holy.” Martin Luther, in his Large Catechism, writes, “This is the simple meaning of the third commandment: people must have holidays.” 1
That's what Sabbath means. It comes from the Hebrew word to take a break, a rest. After six days of creation, God rested. In the Catholic Catechism we read: “If God rested and was refreshed on the seventh day, we too ought to rest and be refreshed” (#2172). Because, “The Sabbath was made for us, not us for the Sabbath.” Our Cistercian brothers at the monastery of Our Lady of Divine Grace in Vietnam apply this to recreation. They play Ping-Pong, volleyball, or soccer on Sundays, the Christian Sabbath.
But refreshment is only one half of this commandment. The other half is to keep that rest holy, not just to set aside our labors of the week, but also on the day of rest to worship and give thanks for all God's gifts to us. The root meaning of holiday is from Old English for holy day. So, a real holiday will be both a day of healing, rejoicing and refreshment, and a day of prayer with thanksgiving for God's love. So, next time you hear someone wishing you a “Happy holiday,” it really means have a “Happy holy day!”