Bishop Kemme: Reclaim Sunday as the Lord’s Day
Although families across the Diocese of Wichita are sheltering from home during the Coronavirus pandemic, Sunday is still the Lord’s Day, Bishop Carl A. Kemme said from his home Sunday, March 29.
“Sunday belongs to God and he has invited us in good times and in bad to live this day in union with him in prayer and reflection,” the bishop said in a video he uploaded to Facebook.
Although the faithful could not be with the priests at the altar of the Lord that day, “you can nonetheless spiritually connect with our Eucharistic Lord and perhaps, if possible, even visit him, accessing social distancing, as he waits for us in the tabernacle of our churches and chapels.”
Sunday, despite the restrictions to movement, is a Eucharistic day, Bishop Kemme said. “A day when we unite ourselves either physically, or spiritually in communion with Jesus, our Lord, who remains with us on this journey of life.”
Connect with family, friends
The Day of the Lord is also a day to connect with family and friends, he said.
“And what a great opportunity this is for us, now in an even more intense way, to spend time with our loved ones, to rest, to take good care of ourselves, to read a book, to listen to good music, to take walks, if appropriate to be together, and to be at rest with each other in relaxation.”
God commanded the Israelites centuries ago to keep holy the Sabbath, to refrain from unnecessary work, and to live it in union with God and with each other, Bishop Kemme said.
“It’s a beautiful, beautiful tradition of our holy faith. And we have surrendered that in so many ways in our culture,” he said. “It’s my hope and prayer and that of our whole diocese, that we reclaim that for ourselves, that we take that back and live this day as it was meant to be lived, every week throughout the whole year, as a way of growing in holiness, growing in faith, growing in love and devotion for God and for one another.”
Bishop Kemme said he believes with all his heart that if the faithful reclaim Sunday they will progress spiritually and find themselves in deeper communion with God and with each other.
“I think it will have a profound effect on all of our lives,” he said. “Take this time to learn how to reclaim Sunday. It’s God’s gift to you and to me, and how precious that gift is.”
We will be raised to new lives
Bishop Kemme then comments on the day’s Gospel story about the raising of Lazarus and how he has always been amazed that Jesus raised Lazarus “to the same temporary life, the same transitions of life, the same experiences of life that he had before.”
When we are called forth from our tombs, the bishop said, we will not return to the same lives we had before we died.
We will be resurrected “to a newness of life, to a glorified life, to a life that is not subject to pain, or sorrow, or distress, or even any of the trials that we are facing now…our life will be a new and completely glorified life because we will be with Him in the fullness of life.”
Our resurrected lives will not be subject to pain, sorrow, distress or illness – none of the trials we are facing today, he said.
“We can begin to live that life and salute it even from this distance and from this vantage point by faith, calling on Jesus who is the resurrection and the life.”
Look to Easter
We are called to see ourselves in the light of that moment every Sunday of Lent, Bishop Kemme said, “when we will be called forth from our tombs and our souls that have gone to God…will be reunited with our bodies, our glorified bodies, never to experience death again.”
What a profound mystery of faith that is, he said, urging the listeners to ponder and reflect on that.
As Easter draws near, he said in closing, “Let our hearts be filled as we move ever closer to those great mysteries of our faith. Knowing that God’s love is so real and so powerful in our lives, a love that will conquer sickness, a love that will restore health and happiness, and joy and life.”