I stated this question in another thread, but the thread is largely about another topic, so I am going to start a new post. This question puzzles me even today. Sunday is the day most worship on, yet… the translation for Saturday in most european languages is to call it Sabbath. Anyone want to fill me in on this one.
This question is to catholic and non-catholics alike… What do you personally believe? Again, like in my other posts, let’s keep it scholarly and not use this as a forum to beat up someone elses beliefs.
I noticed that you are joining the Church. If you have serious doubts, please speak to your priest or a deacon. There are so many conflicting ideas here and some will claim to be something they are not. This is a great place for debate, but not for spiritual guidance. Maybe the apologetics thread would help, but I still recommend your Church as a source. And prayer should not be secondary
I wish you all the blessings of the Holy Spirit in your journey.
Note that in the NT Jesus restated every commandment EXCEPT “Keep the Sabbath day holy”.
The story of the Sabbath can be a long one. Suffice it to say the Catholic Church changed it to reflect the Christian Sabbath, for instance, the resurrection which occurred on a Sunday. That is what it boils down to, to keep it simple. I’m sure some will come along to add to this.
Jesus upheld and honored all the Commandments, including the one about the Sabbath. And He came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill. That’s the key to understanding Sunday.
You see, the Sabbath is a day of rest because God finished His work of creating the world by resting on the seventh day, and it is the day that reminds Jews to imitate God: rest as He rests, be holy as He is holy. Hence the Third Commandment.
Sunday is a day of rest because Jesus finished His work of renewing the world by rising from the dead on the eighth day, and it is the day that reminds Christians to imitate Jesus.
Not only that - He called Himself ‘Lord of the Sabbath’ - meaning that it is within His power to alter it. Just as He showed Himself to be, in a sense, ‘Lord of Passover’, by fulfilling the Passover sacrifice by His own passion, after which we are no longer required to celebrate exactly as the Jews did.
Well in that case here’s my two cents worth. These are some thoughts I wrote down a while ago. I have SDA friends and we have many conversations about this and this is a reflection on those conversations:
The Trinity had not been revealed at the time of Creation, at the formation of Judaism, at the time of the Law of Moses or at any other point before Christ’s birth. So at the formation of the Sabbath, the Trinity did not exist as we know it today. There was no glory given to God The Savior because Christ had not come yet. In fact that was the point of Christ’s Passion, to fill that void between us and God.
The keeping of the Sabbath was to give glory to God the Creator because God the Savior had not been revealed and today, the “worshipping of Saturday cannot intrinsically include “The Son” and can actually be considered “exclusive”. There is no connection with God The Savior in the Sabbath. In fact it is the opposite, to do so is to separate ourselves from God The Savior. This is why the Jews still keep the Sabbath. They do not believe Christ is the Messiah so they have deliberately chosen to continue this way so as to give glory to God and not to Jesus. Even Jews realize the true way to give God glory as The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit is to worship on Sunday.
Sunday worship is “inclusive” because when we worship God The Savior we also worship God The Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit which includes the Creator and ALL that God is.
The Commandments must go through a transformation. There is no other way. We cannot simply rewrite what God has written so we must reinterpret God’s Command to us to Worship Him. Does God want us to continue to worship Him in a way that excludes part of the Trinity? No. So we must give God the glory for the Sabbath, but commit the written law to Him as the Savior so as to give glory to ALL that God is. It is the only way to be totally obedient to God.
God said to keep the Commandments. The only way to keep the Commandments AND give glory to God the Savior is to symbolically place Christ into the Third/Fourth Commandment. There is no other way. You would have to choose between the Third Commandment and Christ otherwise, because obviously Christ is not written into the Third Commandment. I believe THAT’S the part that is written on our hearts and is a true mystery because it takes faith to see Christ in the Third Commandment just like it took faith to see the foretelling of Christ coming in the Old Law.
What you see as the “Sabbath Commandment” we as Christians/Catholics now see as “The Lord’s Day” Commandment because it was written on our hearts.
These are just some of my own thoughts after much prayer and deep reflection on this discussion and the thread topic:
We only have two things in this world that have existed in direct connection from God. Jesus and the Commandments.
We have Tradition, Scripture and all sorts of things given by God and inspired by God but only two things that are not “once removed” so to speak, from God.
Is it a mistake to believe that both and not just one transcended the OT? Both are rooted in the Old Law and are part of the New Covenant. That’s clear in Matt. 5:17
And if you believe that, then you must believe that the Commandments were meant to reflect the same change that happened in Jesus.
We all agree the ceremonial laws have been done away, but some still refuse to go the extra 9 yards and bring Jesus into the Third Commandment. So Jesus can wash away the old but not BE the new?
To continue to worship on Saturday IMHO is to refuse to give Jesus his right place not only ABOVE the Commandment but also IN the Commandment. It is in essence to worship the idea of the covenant, but not the reason for it.
Since Jesus is much bigger than the Commandments because He is God’s flesh Covenant with us, why do some refuse to place Jesus within the Third Commandment?
I think the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us how God has done just that. Not the Church, God. By sending His Son, He has rewritten His own Law by resurrecting His Son on Sunday.
It is not logical to worship the Lord our Savior in every way but in the Third Commandment. There is no logic in it. More importantly, there is no faith in it.
So Sunday or Saturday? That depends on whether you are willing to give God ALL His Glory and worship Him for EVERYTHING He is.
Put the Savior in your Commandments, I’ve put Him in mine.
Ah, so THAT’S where everyone is on Sunday morning!
There are some interesting answers here, from a Catholic perspective, and I have no background to comment or add to that.
As a Jew, of course, I find no compelling answer to the question, and quite frankly, I don’t think the answer really matters. You choose Sunday, I choose Friday night and Saturday.
I was taught that to create a successful following you have two options:
Re-purpose rituals that people are comfortable with, so it becomes easy to make the change. For instance, don’t really know when Jesus’s birthday is? Lets celebrate it on the winter solstice, since there is already a party! You know that tree you always brought into your house and decorated? Guess what, THAT is a Christan symbol too!
Eventually, though, you have to remind people that they are now different than before they joined. One theory about the “no milk and meat” law of keeping Kosher was that it forced people that once ate a lamb in its mother’s milk to stop the practice. You can’t be a Pagan and a Jew
So while there are the religious reasons outlined above, there is also the common practice that making this change forces people to decide - are you a Jew or a Christian? Are you going to pick Saturday, or change to Sunday?
Jesus fulfilled the Saturday Sabbath.
God finished creating the world on a Friday, and rested on the Saturday.
God finished redeeming the world (on the Cross) on a Friday, and was laid to rest (in the tomb) for the Saturday.
Sunday He rose from the dead. And so Sunday has become our new Holy Day.