Expert Answer Forum

sunday work QUESTION from diane June 15, 2000 Hi Brother John-Paul,
I hope you have recovered well from your recent illness....we were praying for you.
My question is this; my husband and I, of course, know that we are not to do work on Sundays. However, since he travels all week, and I have little ones to care for, there is quite a bit of work to do here on the weekends. Usually we can get our work done on Saturdays. The problem is this; my elderly inlaws need our help to do some of the jobs that they can no longer do with ease, such as cutting the lawn, different yard work chores, home repairs, etc. The only way we could get our own chores done, plus do theirs is to help them out on Sundays. Our hope is that we could do this: the grandparents will watch the little ones while we do the jobs, and in a about an hour or two, we will finish and then visit for awhile, have dinner, etc. Of course, we always go to Mass. We are torn between helping out those who need us, and obeying the first Commandment. What should we do?
Many thanks and GOd Bless, Diane
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on July 21, 2000 Dear Mrs. Diane:
Thanks for your prayer concerning my illness. I am afraid my illness is chronic so complete relief will probably only come upon death, or upon God's healing, should He choose to do that. Some days are worse than others, and this time of year is the worse of all because of heat and humidity. Your prayers are appreciated.
I want praise God for you. That is praise God that you have the humility and the devotion to be concerned about the Lord's Day (the official designation for Sunday). For is is the LORD'S DAY and not ours in a special way.
On Sundays, we are to worship (attend Mass), and to refrain from any work or other activity that would detract from the purpose of the Day which is to worship, pray, think of God (study or read spiritual works or the Bible), do works of charity, give alms, rest and recreate, and spend time with family.
What you are doing for you inlaws certainly falls into the category of works of charity and spending time with family.
Expecially if the work part only takes a couple of hours, and then you spend time with the folks and have dinner, that, I believe fits perfectly into what a Sunday can be for.
I would still try to avoid the chores on Sunday if possible, but if not possible, this is a sacrifice of love and that is certainly pleasing to God.
You should of course, be sure that you can rest and recreate on Sunday too a little bit.
I think what your doing is fine. I cannot see any problems with it as long as you do attend Mass, spend at least a little time in additional prayer, some recreation, and rest (even if only for a small amount of time). And if you can try to get in 15 minutes of spiritual reading before bed.
God Bless.
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