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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

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Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Seventh Day

And God rested on the seventh day.

To most of us, Sunday is a day of rest and recreation, spending time with our families, watching movies or pirated DVDs, catching up on weekend chores, bumming around the house, reading up on books, play pick-up sports and devoting an hour for Sunday Mass or church service.

In Exodus 20, we are reminded by the 3rd Utterance “Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy”. For the Jews, it meant a total stoppage from work. When he was running for Vice-President of the United States, Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Jewish senator, refused to campaign on the Sabbath day.

For Catholics and Christians, the “no work” policy is not rigidly observed since Jesus himself justified the plucking of corn by his disciples and declaring that the “Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath”.

When we are told to keep Sunday holy, it does not mean wearing sack clothes or long faces, or praying for long hours before the statues of Our Lady or the saints, or reading the Bible from cover to cover, or showing off how much we are blessed and how woeful is the fate of a non-believer.

To be holy means to “set apart”. We turn from our work and set apart Sunday for God. It means turning from the pursuit of capitalist values in the marketplace and remembering the bountiful goodness of God and thanking Him for that.

During the Manchu dynasty where Chinese coins had square holes in the middle, a rich man was once walking down a street. His wealth was audibly heard because the coins, which were looped together by a small rope, were jingling from his waist belt. Upon hearing the passing of the rich man, a beggar approached him for alms. Taking pity on the man, the rich man gave him 6 gold coins leaving one for himself. No satisfied with the six, the beggar followed the rich man and tried to steal the last coin from the rich man.

God gave us six days to enjoy life for ourselves, to conduct whatever pleasures or work we so prefer. He only asks for one day out of seven for Himself and sometimes, even that, He is deprived.

Let us keep the Sabbath day holy by taking time off from the bustle of busyness, by turning our thoughts from the secular to the divine, by realizing the here and now is a passing fancy and eternity is what matters. And in that belief, leading lives of righteousness in relation to others confident with the belief that everything works for the good, inspite the present realities. And most especially, thanking God that He became man in order that we might become god. With that worldview, maybe we can make the rest of the week holy just as well.

Being holy is not external religiosity. Being holy is a mindset, an attitude, a lifestyle, if you will. And knowing that, we may excel as the king's good servants, but above all, we are God's first. Amen.

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