UP Catholic 06 17 2016 E Edition Page 4

W hen I ask school children to tell me their favorite subject in school, a frequent response is recess. They have the right idea. In fact, recess, figura- tively speaking, is one of the Commandments. In my last message, I reflected on the Second Command- ment. In this message, I would like to reflect on the Third Commandment: Keep Holy the Sabbath Day. According to the Catechism, we keep this commandment by avoiding work and business concerns that stand in the way of attending Mass, the joy that is proper to the Lord's Day or the proper relaxation of mind and body (CCC, 2193). In other words, Sunday is to be a day of worship, joy, rest and recreation. Sunday is recess time. The Eucharist is the summit and source of the Christian life, according to the Second Vatican Council (LG, 11). This truth is evi- dent in the very words of Jesus in the Gospel of John: Jesus said to them, Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. (John 6:53-56) If we really believe these words of Jesus, then we would never want to omit Mass. Thus, freely and deliberately missing Sunday (or Saturday evening) Mass is a mortal sin. Deliberately skipping Mass to do something else is saying that we prefer something else to the gift of everlasting life that God wants to give us. Of course, this does not apply to circumstances when we miss Mass due to things that are beyond our control, for example when we are sick. Remember that Sunday is recess time. Everyone needs proper rest, time with family and friends, leisure and joy. These are such important human needs that God commands that we meet these needs. It is too easy to let the cares of life, the demands of work and all the other tasks that we have to do build up pressure, stress and anxiety in our life. If we never take a break from working, how would we ever be able to nurture our relationship with God or with anyone else. What a blessing it is, then, to keep holy the Sabbath! The school children are right. Recess is the best subject. 4 June 17, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC www.upcatholic.org JOY OF THE GOSPEL Bishop John Doerfler Recess time After sending the Little Sisters of the Poor case against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) man- date back to the circuit courts on May 16, the United States Supreme Court sent two more cases, including Michigan Catholic Conferences, back to lower courts on May 23 for reconsideration. The cases challenge the accommodation process for non-profits who oppose the HHS's mandate, which requires these groups to cover contraception, ster- ilization, and abortion-inducing drugs in employee health plans. The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bish- ops, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, said that the bishops wel- come the continued opportunity to oppose the mandate, as we do not wish to push people of faith and their ministries out of charitable workor leave freedom or religion protect- ed only in private worship. MCC case against federal HHS mandate returns to lower court

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