Yet another Sunday passes, and we are still at home
By George Ghattas, Justice and peace, Jerusalem

A week end no longer holds the same meaning of "an end of" a week. The day
when you wake up late, have a splendid breakfast, spend time with the
family, do the things you could  not do during the week days and prepare for
Sunday. The day of God. Sunday was a day of jubilation. Actually in our
context Sunday is one of the most important days in our week, for it is the
day that we are reminded of how big a family we are and what colorful family
we have got. During the week days, one is assumed by professional and
personal responsibilities that are usually confined to a limited number of
people and to limited duties. On Sunday we become part of a family that
transcends boundaries, hierarchies, race and sex, we become one in God.
Sunday is the day we are reminded, spiritually and physically, of how
blessed we are to be alive while having faith in God.

But Sunday is also about getting dressed for another reason than to work, to
leave the house for another reason than buy groceries. It is about getting
dressed, getting the kids dressed up too, planning the shortest way to get
to church on time, avoiding traffic and Looney drivers, walking down the
alley of the cradle, the altar, the Nativity, locating the empty bench,
kneeling to pray, and singing along. Hearing and listening to the words of
the gospel, receiving communion in God, getting the blessing for the day and
the week, but most important.... greeting the family and friends, your loved
ones, your neighbors your towns people. The 30 to 45 minutes we spend at the
outside court, just after mass are great too, the shaking of hands, the
hugging the greeting with  a smile and with 'I miss you looks, the young,
the middle aged, the elderly, the priest, the lay, the Catholic, Orthodox,
Assyrian, the Copt. The rich the poor, the cultured the ordinary, the
influential and the influenced, all together .... I miss that.

This Sunday is the 16 Sunday that we are bound to our homes, our souls are
clinging to fading images of St. Catherine's church ambiance, its warmth,
its odors, its candles, its people. Today, I wake up early to prepare
breakfast, the first part of the Sunday ritual, prepare the crepes with
whole nuts and amends, chocolate and sugar, the feast of the morning. the
kids woke up early too, all awaiting the start of the Sunday, the best day..
Once again church is missing, we could still pray of course, at home, we
could put on the radio and listen to mass, turn the TV on and watch church
in Greece, Italy, Spain an the Netherlands, we might nit catch the meaning
but the rituals are similar.. but we actually do not. Our church is only
1200 meters away, its radiant structure and  powerful meaning is enough! We
pray at home.

But it is still a Sunday, in few hours to the west from Palestine, people
are awaking, others are still asleep, others to the east have already had
lunch and are about to sleep, but Sunday is a Sunday. They must have gone to
church, those who practice of course, others would be planning to go. They
must be preparing the Sunday clothes, the Sunday lunch, the Sunday outing,
the Sunday brunch and dinner, the Sunday program, the Sunday talk show, the
Sunday news, the Sunday nap, the Sunday everything. We are the only people
in the world who, on a Sunday, can only stay at home.

Those of you who had already prayed, hope you had us in your prayers, those
of you who are still to pray, do lift up a prayer, a wish or two. Cherish
this Sunday of yours, keep the family close, enjoy every minute of it in
love and in God. Embrace others with peace and welcome strangers to your
life. Plan your day, that time goes by slow, that the Sunday might never
end. Think through this Sunday, of the blessings you have in life, the time
that was given to you to make good in life, but do not take the Sunday for
granted. I did, A year ago, Sunday was one of the "take for granted things
in your life". Sunday will remain a Sunday, it is a day in the calendar, I
used to tell myself, it is the only meaningful day in the calendar, Monday
Wednesday are week days, Sunday is the day of God. I know Sunday will always
be the day of God, that will never change, but it seems that we are the only
people who are requested to improvise, adapt to the new Sunday of curfews.
the Sunday of stay at home all day.

The truth, I do miss it, I do long for setting out free aging to pray, to
exercise my right for free worship and by now means be under curfew. This is
a right that is not bound to political decision and power politics, it is a
heavenly decree, a heavenly promise for better human relations on earth. A
curfew on Sunday or a Friday or a Saturday, is a breach of all human and
ethical laws. All justifications are sinful justifications, for it gives
priority to ethnocentric, egoistic and selfish human curses over peace,
belonging and truth, the fruits of God.

Cherish your Sunday, remember that God is the truth and Life, and God is
love not the new World order!