The other Sunday, I was teaching class and this idea just popped into my head. We were talking about God and how He enters into our time, how He enters our lifespans in the Sacraments; our years in the Seasons of the Church; our months in the Liturgical Cycles; our days in the feasts of the Church and the Mass; our hours in the Liturgy of the Hours and our every minute in the advice of St. Paul to pray without ceasing. A God who lives in eternity and calls the universe His domain, steps into our limited time frames to meet us face to face.
As we kept talking about how beautiful such a love is and how we important then to meet this love that reaches us to meet us, we talked about Sundays. How we live in a world where we are measured by our productivity during the workweek. Our value depends on how we do during the week- assignments completed, projects that go-live successfully, money earned, exams and quizzes passed, chores completed, tasks checked off the to do list, people to catch up with to meet our quality time spent with XYZ quotas.
All our lives, we’ve been measured by the quality of our workweek and we’ve gotten so used to it that we measure ourselves that way too. If we aren’t successful in all tasks in the week, well then I’m useless, unable to start and finish anything successfully, unable to spend time with others- unable to love or be useful. We let this sense of uselessness then justify us spilling those same expectations into our weekends. All so we can meet the world’s standard of measure – ‘What do you bring to the table?’, ‘How useful are you?’ ie, how much love and attention do you deserve?
We spend our time trying to prove ourselves and show how deserving we are of that promotion, that grade, degree, attention, love, respect. We wear ourselves thin and drive ourselves to insomnia to try and “make it”. And where we fail to make ends meet, we’ve got a solution for that too. Simply faking that we deserve all these things till we finally get to them, as now defined by the go to maxim- “fake it till you make it”. So now it’s not enough we get to where we want to go, we gotta also pretend like we know we deserve it- it’s like a jenga of masks out here.
Enter God. He watches our whole week and how bent out of shape we get trying to fake it and make it and, He simply smiles and prepares the meal. He doesn’t ask us to rest on Sundays so we can make the time to rest on Sundays, but so we can learn how we deserve to be loved, by showing us that even when we “rest” and do nothing special, we hold infinite value in His eyes. As if to say, “You don’t have to work for me to love you, I already do. You don’t have to prove anything, or make anything, or pretend. I do not measure your worth by what you turned in on time or what you did. I only want you to be fully free to love. Relax, and be loved”. And the Lord who basically runs the universe, clears out his schedule to enter into finite time and wait for us. Not for His sake, but as always, for our own. When He comes to meet us in the Blessed Sacrament, He is there so we may throw our yoke upon Him and rest. When He asks us to rest on Sunday, it is not to add one more thing to our to do list, it is to return us to right order.
He turns the week on it’s head and teaches us to unlearn the behavior and the expectation the world has instilled in us. Martha resides in our bones- don’t we all know it. And Infinite Love doesn’t waste much time telling us how wrong we are about what love looks like. Love casts aside eternity to be with us for a moment; Love casts aside spiritual and infinite forms to become food and pulse through our veins as healing and nourishment; Love pours out love and attention like rain – to wash away all lesser forms of other loves and all the scars it’s left behind.
So you want the love of God to sink into your heart from your head? Then take Sunday off. Don’t schedule it in, just waste it – in adoration, in prayer, gardening, writing, in love- falling back in order with becoming who are as a person, not a worker-bee. Let Him do what He does like no other- love you. It will re-form everything you ever thought or understood to be true- it will change your life tangibly from within. It will set you free.
And really, when the Lord of time tells you that you can take a day off, who are you to disagree?