Pope Francis stresses importance of Sunday Mass for rest and renewal

Christians need to attend Sunday Mass to sustain their spiritual lives, just as plants grow through nourishment and sunlight, said Pope Francis during his weekly general audience last Dec. 13.

(REUTERS / Damir Sagolj)Pope Francis walks through the cemetery at the Holy Rosary church in Dhaka, Bangladesh December 2, 2017.

Speaking to his audience at the Vatican's Paul VI hall, Pope Francis answered why it was important to attend Sunday Mass instead of just merely following a moral path. The pontiff said a Christian was not capable of sharing the Gospel with others if he does not have the energy needed which can only come from God, Catholic News Service relayed.

"We Christians need to take part in Sunday Mass because only with the grace of Jesus, with his presence alive in us and among us, can we put into practice his commandment and, in this way, be his credible witnesses," Pope Francis said. "Just like a plant needs the sun and nourishment to live, every Christian needs the Sunday Eucharist to truly live."

In addition, the pontiff lamented the loss of the meaning of Sunday in other countries where secularism is on the rise. He also sadly remarked that some people fail to treat the day as a time of rest and renewal of strength.

In an article published earlier this year on Christian Today, author Mark Woods explained that keeping the Sabbath day holy was not just a rule for Israelites. It can be traced back to the time of creation when God rested on the seventh day after finishing his work, and this is a practice which he wants his people to follow, too.

Sabbath Day is God's gift to men to remind them that they would have enough provisions and they do not need to enslave themselves to work in order to eat. It also tells people that they are not slaves to money and that they should not immerse themselves in too much work or play.

Lastly and most importantly, Sabbath Day allows people to make time for God amidst their busy lives. Although the Lord is ever-present, Christians need to regularly dedicate time to consciously pay attention to his presence.