How do we keep the Sabbath holy? Do we take time to remove ourselves from work, technology, and the confines of schedules to enjoy family and friends, appreciate our health, and explore the wonders of God’s world around us?
The seventh day of creation became a day of rest in order to sanctify the marvels of God’s handiwork. We are called to keep this seventh day—the Sabbath—holy in God’s name.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us of the meaning of truly honoring the Sabbath. Under the close watch of the Pharisees, Jesus heals a man plagued by dropsy, and then questions them about the lawfulness of this act. (Today’s medicine refers to dropsy as “edema,” a swelling of soft tissues—especially in the legs.) With their silence speaking loudly, Jesus brings the act into their context by asking how they would respond if an ox, or even their own child, were to fall into a well on the Sabbath. Once again, the Pharisees’ silence speaks loudly.
Through this Gospel, Jesus reminds us of our duty on the Sabbath, which is a gift of rest—an opportunity to take a break from our busy weekly routines. We are invited to use the day to rejuvenate our spirits and renew our appreciation of life’s little blessings. But we are also called to heal—to spend time with a lonely friend or ill family member, to cultivate relationships by spending quality time with loved ones, and to care for the beautiful nature surrounding us.
This Sunday, let us resolve to keep holy the Sabbath day. We can take a walk—without a phone or ipod, alone or with a companion—to truly rest, renew, and rejuvenate. In doing so, may we find healing for ourselves and others, a refreshed spirit, and deeper appreciation for the gift of life.
Katie Carter ’12
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