Sundays must be a day of rest dedicated to God, family, pope says

Pope Benedict XVI greets a baby with a Lourdes bandana during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 6. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The demands of work can’t bully people out of needed time off, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Sunday must be a day of rest for everyone, so people can be free to be with their families and with God, the pope said.

“By defending Sunday, one defends human freedom,” he said during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square June 6.

In his catechesis, the pope told an estimated 15,000 pilgrims and visitors about his trip June 1-3 to Milan for the seventh World Meeting of Families.

He thanked everyone who made the “unforgettable and wonderful event” possible and praised the willingness he witnessed of people striving to live a “Gospel of the family.”

“Humanity has no future without the family,” he said. Young people need to be born and raised in “that community of life and love that God himself wanted,” that is, a family based on marriage between a man and woman, he said.

He reminded young people that they, too, have a responsibility to contribute to the well-being of the family, such as by saying “yes” to God’s will, working hard in their studies, being generous to others, being active in the community and using their talents to better the world.

The pope said when he met government representatives in Milan, he reminded them of the importance of policies and laws that protect the family. The most essential is the right to life, “whose its deliberate suppression can never be allowed.” The identity of the family, based on marriage between a man and a woman, needs recognition, too, the pope said.

During an evening vigil of testimonies, the pope answered the questions of five families from different countries because “I wanted to show the open dialogue that exists between families and the church, between the world and the church,” he said.

He said he was quite taken by people’s testimonies, which dealt with “hot-button issues” such as the difficulties families experience because of separation, divorce, the economic crisis and long hours on the job.

The pope said he wanted to come to the defense of free time, which is “threatened by a kind ‘bullying’ by the demands of work.”

“Sunday is the day of the Lord and of man, a day which everyone must be able to be free — free for the family and free for God.”

Family, work, rest and celebration are gifts from God and important aspects of human life that must find a “harmonious balance” in order to build a more humane world, he said.

He said the World Meeting of Families was a way to send a message to the whole world that “it is possible and joyful, even if it takes work, to live love faithfully forever and be open to life” and that it’s also possible for the whole family to take part in the mission of the church and help create a better world.

— By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service 


  1. I certainly agree with the focus on the family and the challenges families face because of the demands of work these days. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, not the first. Exodus 20:8-11

    • I totally agree that the 7th Day is the Sabbath of the Lord. With that said, we are not to even make Saturday a National Day of Rest. God wants obedience to the 4th commandment to be a choice, not a forced law. And soon in this country (USA) there will be a Sunday Law. It is almost here. We must choose if we will serve God or man. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

    • The Sabbath is Sunday — as documented in Holy Scripture in The Book of
      Apocalypse, 1:10.

      Jesus Christ created a Church (Matthew 16:18); to which He sent the Holy Ghost
      (John 14:26), to teach it in all things, and protect it from error in terms of
      faith and morals. The Church has the Authority of Christ Himself; and so
      from the earliest Apostolic times the Sabbath became Sunday, the Lord’s Day,
      during which the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is praised and glorified through
      the great prayer of the Holy Mass of His Church.

      The synagogue of the Old Testament is the early Hebrew Church, whose feasts
      and sacrifices were fulfilled in Jesus Christ’s Church of Matthew 16:18, which
      is the Holy Roman Catholic Church; and in the Perfect Sacrifice, which is the
      Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary. The old law was fulfilled in
      the Gospel.

      The word “church” is used 77 times in the New Testament, and 26 times in the
      Old Testament. This Church is one of God’s most beloved creations; and it
      and its holy sacraments exist for our sanctification and salvation.

      And remember: If you find yourself corrected, or reproved, with the Words
      of Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 16:18, John 14:26, Apocalypse 1:10), then
      you have no cause whatsoever to feel angry, insulted, or chastened.

      Rejoice, instead — for today you have heard Good News indeed!

      • really SUNDAY is the real Sabbath Day???? are you sure????

        Remember that according to your tradition during the time of Jesus…. when he was crucify,,, he was crucify on the Preparation day…. which is according to the Holy Scriptures it says FRIDAY…. and then the Jews according to the commandment they are preparing for the Sabbath (which is SATURDAY) and on the first DAY of the week Jesus was RESURRECTED…. don’t tell me about SUNDAY that it was SATURDAY…… Luke 23:54 and Matthew 28:1 ( Now after the Sabbath [SATURDAY], toward the dawn of the first day [SUNDAY] of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.)

    • I total agree but as we know from bible prophecy Sunday will be the day the will be enforced. so we need to rededicated our lives to God so that with his help we can be brought to a sinless state in which we are required to be for us to receive the seal of God

  2. This is a quote from the article – “Sunday must be a day of rest for everyone, so people can be free to be with their families and with God, the pope said.” If we are going to offer true freedom to people we must not limit that freedom to the day we understand to be God’s day, be it Sunday, Saturday, Friday, or any other day. People must have the freedom to choose the day they believe to be the Lord’s Day. Afterall, hasn’t God given us the freedom to choose?

    • Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy… But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God. (Not the 1st, 2nd or 3rd but the 7th). You won’t miss it – its Sabatton in Greek, Sabato in Latin, Sabado in Spanish, Saturday in English. Jesus said in John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

    • actually people already have that freedom of choice ,but you are saying “if we are going to offer..” who are “we” exactly? Also you are failing to realize the Holy aspect of the Lord`s Day. The Lord`s Day is Holy, we can not make any day or anything Holy for that matter. Only God can and he indeed did it as it is plainly written through out His Word. Yet His beauty remain as one has a choice to make, Obey Him or not?

    • God has given us the freedom of choosing right or wrong. In the Ten Commandments ( get that??? commandments)God has told us to keep the seventh-day Sabbath, not any other one that you choose….Why is it so hard for most people to see the truth !!! In the last days, there will be two groups of people, those keeping a man made religion, and those keeping the commandments of God….When the Sunday law is enforced, probation will be closed…..

  3. I agree that family is important especially today where we are seeing an attack on the family unit as given by God. If we aught to uphold marriage as an institution given to us by God then we too aught not to leave out the seventh day Sabbath. it was the first of the 2 institutions left for us by God after the fall of mankind in the garden of Eden. Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing and we have to uphold it as much as anything. I choose to worship God on the seventh day. Not out of fear not out of tradition but out of love for MY CREATOR.

  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    “Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:’ “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” “For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His works.” “There remaineth therefore a keeping of a Sabbath to the people of God. For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.” “For by Him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth.”-Matthew 24:20; Mark 2:27- 28; Hebrews 4:4, 9, 10 margin; Colossians 1:16.

  5. The seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God, the true Lord’s Day! The 7th day happens to be Saturday not Sunday. His day will not change because Our Most High God does NOT change.

    • Did I miss something? The Sabbath on the seventh day was under the Old Covenant. Jesus ushered in the New Covenant. The new Christians, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (i.e., Jesus), began having the Mass (re-presentation of the death and resurrection of Jesus pursuant to his directions) on Sunday in honor of the Resurrection.

      • Friend,

        You did miss something. A lot! But if there is a will in you to Honor the most high God, there is no way the ark is leaving without you. Amen. Meanwhile your education is in error. If you continue to believe it, God will be sure to let you. Pray and trust not in yourself in the very least!Be well.

  6. A time is coming when the law of God is, in a special sense, to be made void in our land. The rulers of our nation will, by legislative enactments, enforce the Sunday law, and thus God’s people be brought into great peril. When our nation, in its legislative councils, shall enact laws to bind the consciences of men in regard to their religious privileges, enforcing Sunday observance, and bringing oppressive power to bear against those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath, the law of God will, to all intents and purposes, be made void in our land; and national apostasy will be followed by national ruin. {RH Dec 18 1888}

    Zep 2:1 Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired;
    Zep 2:2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you.
    Zep 2:3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.

    Let us seek Him whilst He may be found.


  7. As a Messianic Jew, I think that Catholics, Protestants and others
    need some basic understanding about the word, “keys.” When Jesus told
    Peter, one of His disciples, that He had given not only Peter, but all
    of His discipels, the “keys of the kingdom,” He was not telling them
    that mere human beings could change any aspect of His gift to
    humanity: the described plan of salvation as contained in His Torah Law.
    He was telling them that, in His soon coming absence, and with the power of the Holy Spirit, they would be given discernment, based on the Torah Law, to know how to live, love each other, teach, and judge situations in the growing church.

    God said that He would “not alter the thing that has gone out of My
    lips.” What was it that God had spoken with His own voice? His Law.
    The Jewish religious leaders in Jesus’ time on earth, with all their issues of selfishness that had undergirded the way they mistreated the
    poor, and cast out those who could not afford the Temple tax, etc., had
    preserved the sacred Torah; the Law of God. That includes not only the
    what Paul called “the traditions” (the yearly holy convocations and festivals, but also included the Sabbaton (seventh-day Sabbath).

    One needs to understand that the Bible describes, in sum total, the plan of salvation. The Torah Law is the legal basis for the Covenant God
    gave to man so that man could come into right relationship to God Who never changes. Thus, Shabbat remains as Yahway had established it. To do
    otherwise is to fall prey to the idea that man can do better than God.
    That is the basis of sin.

  8. The “Old Covenant” and the “New Covenant” are found in the Torah Law.
    The Old Covenant was based on the same Law as the New Covenant. Then one might ask: what is the difference between the two covenants? A huge
    difference. The Old Covenant was based on man’s promises to God when man said, “All that the Lord hath commanded us we will do, and be obedient.

    When Moses prostrated himself before God and refused to stand aside so that God could instantaneously destroy all the people of Israel after their sin of bowing down to an image of a golden calf, God then decided that Moses could be trusted to lead Israel into obedience to His Torah Law. Then God asked Moses to come back up into the mountain to receive
    the Ten Commandments, both on stone written by the Lord’s own finger, but also written by Moses in the Book of the Law along with the ordinances, statutes and judgments, including the 4th Commandment and the yearly holy days and weeks.

    The important thing about that Covenant is that God was the One Who made the promises to man, of forgiveness, grace and sanctification.
    God was telling Moses that he and his people did not have the capability to keep His Law in their own strength. The problem was not
    God’s forever established Law. The problem was with the people. They
    thought that they could worship God any way they chose to. God said “NO.”

    The New Covenant was not ratified by blood of sacrifice until Yeshua (Jesus) died on the cross. There was no new Law. Only God could make such a change. He did not, and said he would not. Man is the one who must change if he wishes to honor God by keeping all His “charge, laws, statutes and ordinances.” Only the specific animal sacrifices have been replaced by the true Lamb of God at Calvary. Jesus did not come, live His Father;s Law perfectly, be handed over to the Roman pagans by those who refused to understand the meaning of their own typical sacrifices, and die so He could end His everlasting Covenant.

    Jesus, while on earth, instead opened up the religion and faith that the Jewish religious leaders had kept to themselves in violation of God
    s command that they should spread it to the world. At Capernaum, a ways from Jerusalem, He observed the Shabbat and the yearly feast days, but infused them with His love and explained to the disciples His plan of Salvation for the whole world, in prophetic words contained in the meanings of the yearly festal cycle.

    Come home, Israel of God. “Turn back to the old pathways. For therein ye shall find peace unto your souls.” Yeshua (Jesus) made it all possible.

    • HalleluYah Baruka Ha be B’shem YaHuWaH!!!!“Turn back to the old pathways. For therein ye shall find peace unto your souls.” Amien and Amien!!

  9. For all you who claim that we in our house will serve the Lord. You may want to ask yourself a serious question. How many of you are going to a church no matter what denomination you are under, that your church is under contract with government rules and laws. Does your church have to abide by these rules? God instructed us to have an orderly conduct about his church, but he never instructed us to organize our churches into a business? The very contract your church has signed, if you are a registered church is called the 501C3, which is a tax exempt IRS document. There are very strict rules and laws that you must abide by in order to keep your status. See Matthew 6:1-4 regarding your tieth and giving. Call the IRS and find out how to get your church un-registered and you will find that all your churches assets will have to be transfered to another 501C3 orgarinzation to un-register. Sounds just like a trap to me. This was set up to keep the church silent and it is working very well. Did God tell us to give in secret? By being any part of the 501C3 you are not being secret? Also look up if your church is Incorporated. If it is than quess what, you are a state run church and not a church where God is the head. You have become a two headed church. You cannot serve two masters. Look at the very first commandment in Exodus 20. So how if we have two heads can we say for me and my house we will serve the Lord? It has been since 1954 when this was put into place. It is past time for the pastors to get rihgt with God repent and pay whatever price we have to, to get out of the shakels that have been place on the church or we need to come out of these state run institutions.

  10. Lets not forget that Sabbathkeeprs AND Sunworshipers killed Jesus on the cross… mere observation of a day does NOT give anybody the right to heaven.
    The right to heaven is given by accepting the righteousness of Jesus Christ as our only hope to heaven.
    Because of this, Jesus said: If you love me, keep my commandments. In other words, buying my fiance Lindt chocolate and honouring her wishes, did NOT make me married to her — out of love for me, she married me, and out of love for her, I buy her chocolates and honour her wishes TO KEEP THE MARRIAGE GOING perfectly.
    No denying it — the Bible teaches only that Saturday is to be REMEMBERED as the commandment to honour our Creator, and teaches not a word about Sunday worship, which was a tradition that came hundreds of years later. In their ignorance many sincere Sunday worshipers have “brought Jesus toffees instead of Lindt chocolate”, which God graciously accepted. However, if I KNOW my wife can’t stand toffees, and I persist in bringing them, it shows her I don’t really love her enough to please her… and sooner or later there will be a showdown on the matter. Revelation 13/14 tells us there will be a final showdown where God will reward those people of ALL religions who love Jesus enough to obey his commandments, including the Sabbath, and reject those who do not love Him enough, but bring their own preferred offering (Abel vs. Caan offering/ Seal of God vs 666 scenario).
    The importance of keeping the right day in the end is thus not a matter of personal preference, but of respect for God and not following our own inclination — thus giving God a true indication of who will be fit to go to heaven — ONLY THOSE WHO WILL NOT BE A RISK IN HEAVEN, BUT WHO LOVE HIM SO MUCH THAT THEY WILL FOREVER RESPECT THE LAWS FOR WHICH JESUS DIED, WITHOUT ANOTHR REBELLION LIKE THE ONE THAT CAUSED THIS HELL ON EARTH FOR 6000 YEARS.
    The quote about all people keeping Sunday is basically an indicator that the Revelation 13 scenario may be closer than many thought, where world crises like ISIS, financial, health, political turmoil and disintegrating society/family will seem like perfectly logical reasons for FORCING everybody to have ONE world order to “stabilize” matters, and all who do not comply will be termed “fundamentalists” and be dealth with severely… but ultimately find the favour of God!
    Our duty is not to argue about the day, but to prepare people to choose God’s will, not their own, like Elijah asked Israel on mount Carmel: How long halt ye on 2 opinions? But choose ye this day whom ye will worship — whether it be God or Baal! As surely as God showed his favour with fire from heaven for Elijah’s TRUE obedient sacrifice, coming from gratitude and not duty, so surely God will reward those who do the same when He comes to make an end to sin forever…

    Friedrich von Hörsten

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