Living in Accordance with the Lord’s Day
We continue our journey through Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI’s 2007 Apostolic Exhortation on the Holy Eucharist (¶72) this week by examining what the Church means when she tells us to live in accordance with the Lord’s Day.
Ever since the beginning of the Church in Apostolic (even Biblical) times, the Christian faithful always recognized the radical newness which the Eucharist brought to our lives. They understood the profound effect that the Holy Eucharist had on their everyday lives. St. Ignatius of Antioch (AD35-AD108) expresses as much in his Letter to the Magnesians when saying that the Christians of his timed were, “(T)hose living in accordance with the Lord’s Day,” and a little later in time St. Justin Martyr (d.AD165) in his masterpiece First Apology declares that celebrating the Sabbath defines the form of a life renewed by an encounter with Christ. Both of these early Church examples show us that the Sabbath, now recognized on Sunday, the first day of the week and in honor of the Resurrection of Jesus, was of deep obligatory value to the Christians early on.
Pope Benedict powerfully states that, “(Sundays) are defined by something more than the simple suspension of one’s ordinary activities, a sort of parenthesis in one’s usual daily rhythm. … Sunday is thus the day that Christians rediscover the Eucharistic form which their lives are meant to have.” Living in accordance with the Lord’s Day means living in the awareness that Christ free you from sin and death, and that we are no longer slaves to this world. It gives us an opportunity to give a self-offering to God so that the grace we receive from him may give us the power to be strong and reveal to the nations this new life-changing existence He offers all of us.
NEXT WEEK: Living the Sunday Obligation