"The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is even Lord of the Sabbath." In this pronouncement, the Lord Jesus made clear that the welfare and salvation of man is the ultimate goal of any law. It is man who has a soul and is need of salvation. Man is God's greatest creation. In fact, he was created in God's image and likeness. The Psalmist says that man had been made a little less than a god and have lavished their hearts with God's love. Given with dignity and honor, he was given the authority to rule over all! What a privilege! Compared to a mere law (composed of letters and ideas), man is more important than any creature, hands down!
Sabbath had been designated by God as a "special" day. Not that it is longer, higher in dignity, or very different. It is just any other day save for the fact that it has a distinct purpose. It is separated because God wants man to have a time for himself and God apart from and without the concerns of work and other day to day activities. The separation or sacredness is not in the day itself but the very intent of that day. If man will just work and work, he might not have the time to relate with others and reflect on what is happening in his life. Sunday worship is very helpful here. It is the time to commune with others and God. It is a perfect activity for Sunday.
But Sunday should be celebrated in context and not just as it is. We come to Sunday mass aware that we belong to a community. We hear the Word of God and break bread together symbolizing our unity with each other and God. Vatican II had made a lot of headway in this aspect by making some changes in the way mass is celebrated. Now, there is interaction, exchange, and dialogue. It is hard to imagine a Sunday mass goer praying alone! It defeats the very purpose of the separated day.
There are those who take for granted the Sunday worship. They come in late. They do not participate in the singing and the responses. They do not pay attention to the readings. They do other things like texting, playing games, imagining, reading, and worse, sleeping! They attend just for the sake of it. Maybe to lessen their guilt about not doing something they have been asked to do since they were young. Maybe they are afraid of the consequences of not attending even though they lack belief in it. There maybe a lot of reasons but the fact remains; it is not truly and aptly appreciated. Thus, it is boring to some and optional to many.
The challenge is to know and live its true meaning in our lives. When we are asked to attend it, it is meant to help us be saved. We are not supposed to serve the mass but it must serve us instead. God does not owe us our attendance, rather, we owe it to God and to ourselves. Knowing, loving, and serving Him does not mean the same as we know, love and serve another. What God wants us to do for Him is actually for our own sake. Indeed, everything God commanded is for our good!