Why should Sunday be devoted exclusively to God?

Why should Sunday be devoted exclusively to God?

Because it is but proper that man, who is created for the service of God only, should reserve at least one out of the seven days of the week for that service, and for the salvation of his own soul; again, in the beginning, God ordered that on the seventh day or Saturday, on which He rested after finishing the work of creation (Ex. 20:11), man should also rest (Ex. 20:8‑10), abstain from all worldly employment, and attend only to the worship of God. This was the Sabbath, or day of rest, of the Jews which they were required to keep holy (Lev. 23:3).

But the Catholic Church, authorized 6y Christ, inspired by the Holy Ghost, and directed by the Apostles, has made Sunday, the first day of the week, the day of rest for Christians. The holy martyr Justin (+ 167 A.D.) makes mention of this fact. Sunday was designated as the day of rest for the Christians partly to distinguish them from the Jews, as well as for the following reasons: On this day God commenced the creation of the world, so too on this day He crowned the glorious work of our Redemption by Christ’s Resurrection; on this day, as Bellarmine says, Christ was born, was circumcised, and was baptized; and on this day the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles.

Excerpted from the English translation of the “Explanation of the Epistles and Gospels” by the Rev. Leonard Goffine (1874).

Submitted by Bob Stanley

This Week’s Ask Alice: A Question About Sunday – the Lord’s Day – and the Sabbath.



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Charles C. asks: Why is the Sabbath mentioned many times in the N.T. and Sunday only mentioned TWICE in over 30 years after Pentecost strengthened the disciples to evangelize? Paul: One time—commands work (gathering an offering to be collected at a later date) to the Corinthian church with a high commandment-keeping Jewish contingency (1 Cor. 16:1-3), See that church’s formation in Acts 18. Luke: One time (Acts 20:4-14)–talks of communion service on Saturday evening (all the disciples used Jewish reckoning, sunset being the new day), then tells of SEVEN commandment-keeping Jews boating all day Sunday with Luke, and Paul hiking throughout the daylight hours of Sunday to Assos.

Alice answers: The Bible does not furnish a complete account of every event that ever happened, throughout the long history of the Judeo-Christian faith tradition. Nor is the Bible a complete catechism, detailing every recommended belief and practice of the Christian faith.

The Bible is the Holy Spirit inspired, infallible Word of God … as faithfully compiled, written (in part), preserved, certified and translated, by the Catholic Church. It’s also important to remember that the Church was already 400 years old, and firmly established, by the time all of this was actually accomplished.

Attempting to determine specific historical details from the scant accounts appearing in the Bible alone … some 2000 years after the fact, without reliance on authentic Catholic tradition … is generally an exercise in futility, leading nowhere … or worse, into serious error.

The simple fact is, there was never a need to put into writing that which the church had always and everywhere, from the earliest days, publicly proclaimed and put into actual practice, since (before the Protestant Reformation) every Christian, in every place (even the illiterate) would certainly know such things by memory and through force of habit. Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and even most Protestants, still do.

Now, for the specifics:

The Catholic Church permits Saturday evening “Sunday” worship. Saturday evening worship generally and customarily fulfills the existing Sunday worship obligation.

There are eight New Testament references to “Sunday” … which officially replaces the Old Testament Saturday sabbath, as the Lord’s Day.

First and foremost, Sunday is the day of Jesus’ resurrection … and ever since, Sunday has been celebrated as the primary Feast Day of (virtually) all Christianity.

1: Jesus rose from the dead early on the first day of the week…

2: He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast out seven demons. (Mark 16:9)

3: That same day Jesus appeared to two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:33-35)

4: On the evening of that first day of the week, even though the disciples had locked the doors of the place where they were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood before them. (John 20:19)

5: A week later (Sunday) Jesus appeared to Thomas to dispel his doubts about His resurrection. (John 20:26)

6: Pentecost, the birthday of our Church, occurred on a Sunday.

7: While in Corinth, Paul takes up a collection for the relief of needy believers on a Sunday. (Acts 11:27-30)

8: During a Sunday meeting in Troas, Paul preached so long that a youth named Eutychus, who was sitting on a window sill went to sleep, then fell from the third story and died. Paul restored him to life and continued preaching. (Acts 20:3-14)

In two other New Testament sabbath passages we have St. Paul explaining that Christians are NOT required to observe the Jewish sabbath. One key example:

No one is free, therefore, to pass judgmenton you in terms of what you eat or drink or what you do on yearly or monthly feasts, or on the sabbath. (Colossians 2:16)

Paul often preaches in Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath. However, he does not preach in synagogues as a religious obligation, but rather because that is the place where he can reach the largest number of his Jewish brothers and sisters.

Under the Old Covenant, the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews were obligated under the Mosaic Law to keep the sabbath. Non-Jews were never required to do so.

Under the New Covenant, the awesome and virtually unrestricted power of binding and loosing … on earth and in heaven … was given only to the one, holy, apostolic and universal (Catholic) Church. In the words of Jesus Christ:

And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

Now, there would be “The People of God” – the members of the Catholic Church … and universal, Sunday, Eucharistic worship … according to the express command of our savior:

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall proclaim the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.
(1st Corinthians 11:23-27)

Jesus Christ gave us an all new, Christian covenant, based on his grace … not on the old law … and on the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of his universal (Catholic) Church … not the old Jewish Temple Worship System, which itself would soon pass away.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, neither Jews nor Gentiles were required to keep the old Saturday sabbath, since the purpose of the old law had been served, and the Old Covenant (in its entirety) had been fulfilled and respectfully set aside by Christ, in favor of the New, grace empowered and saving Covenant, which he instituted for us at the Last Supper, paid for on the cross with his own blood, and confirmed through his glorious resurrection:

For there is no distinction of the Jew and the Greek: for the same is Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:12-13)

The Catholic Church … the only living “eye-witness” for Jesus Christ, and for all the events of the New Testament … explains in its official Catechism, the important differences between the sabbath of old, and Sunday, the Lord’s Day:

Sunday – fulfillment of the sabbath

2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man’s eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord’s Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.

2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship “as a sign of his universal beneficence to all.” Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.

In Christ’s love,

Alice

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Sabbath

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Seventh-Day Adventists and others who attempt to make observing a 7th day (Saturday) sabbath some sort of  “proof test” … please take heed:

The 7th day (Saturday) sabbath applied ONLY to Israel. NEVER to the Christian Church!

Exodus 31:16  Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant.

Exodus 31:17  It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

Nowhere in scripture is the Church EVER obligated to observe a Saturday sabbath. In fact, just the opposite is true:

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit: according to the tradition of men according to the elements of the world and not according to Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead corporeally.
Col 2:10 And you are filled in him, who is the head of all principality and power.
Col 2:11 In whom also you are circumcised with circumcision not made by hand in despoiling of the body of the flesh: but in the circumcision of Christ.
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism: in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God who hath raised him up from the dead.
Col 2:13 And you, when you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he hath quickened together with him, forgiving you all offences:
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he hath taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross.
Col 2:15 And despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them confidently in open shew, triumphing over them in himself.
Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink or in respect of a festival day or of the new moon or of the sabbaths,
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come: but the body is of Christ.
Col 2:18 Let no man seduce you, willing in humility and religion of angels, walking in the things which he hath not seen, in vain puffed up by the sense of his flesh: Col 2:19 And not holding the head, from which the whole body, by joints and bands, being supplied with nourishment and compacted, groweth into the increase of God.
Col 2:20 If then you be dead with Christ from the elements of this world, why do you yet decree as though living in the world?

The 7th day sabbath applied ONLY to the Jews … NEVER to Christians, who are under the grace and peace of the New Covenant … and who find constant rest and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ … NOT in any jot or tittle of the old law … the law which was definitively and perfectly fulfilled, then respectfully and perpetually set aside by Christ … in favor of the new and better covenant, which Jesus paid for with his own blood.

If you’re authentically Christian, then your primary “Feast Day” and the day officially set aside by the Church to worship God and to fellowship with his people, is SUNDAY!

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Sunday – fulfillment of the sabbath

2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man’s eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:107

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord’s Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.108

2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship “as a sign of his universal beneficence to all.”109 Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.

“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath.”

The Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians consists of only four short chapters, but it covers a lot of “ground”. In fact, there’s much that today’s Christians might learn from it.

For one thing, St. Paul makes it clear that Christians are no longer bound to the Old Covenant (Mosaic) system of things, which has been totally replaced by the New Covenant … which is a much, much better “deal”.

For those who still prefer to believe that the sabbath day observance is limited only to Saturday, and/or that Christians are somehow obligated to observe any of the Old Testament feast days (or other requirements, like circumcision) St. Paul teaches clearly to the contrary:

Colossians 2:16
“Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath.”

Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses (and many other Christian denominations) would be wise to consider the full impact of St. Paul’s clear teaching, which remains at odds with their beliefs and practices, while Catholics should understand what St. Paul obviously did … that Jesus wasn’t kidding when he gave the Catholic Church (alone) the awesome and virtually unrestricted power of binding and loosing, on Earth and in Heaven.

Read the referenced Bible text

Read the corresponding Haydock Commentary

More about the sabbath

Why don’t we (Christians) keep the Saturday Sabbath?

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Q: I understand that we are not under the law because Jesus fulfilled the law. However, we still try to obey the ten commandments. Jesus didn’t tell us we had to stop obeying them. We even fight here in the US to keep the ten commandments on court house walls. We don’t murder. We try not to covet. Etc…etc….

So, my question is, WHY DON’T WE KEEP THE SABBATH? I have read that the Catholic Church was the one that changed it from Saturday to Sunday. I don’t know if that’s true or not. Regardless, we try to keep all of the other commandments, including the two that Jesus commanded, so why not the Sabbath?

A: Nobody perfectly keeps the commandments, not even those who try.

Jesus perfectly fulfilled and respectfully set aside every aspect of the old law, with no exceptions.

If he had not, then we would all still be stuck with every jot and tittle of the old law, until the end of time.

The New Covenant was indeed all new, not a rehash of the old, and it is based on the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. Not any law.

The Catholic Church, given the awesome and unrestricted power of binding and loosing by Jesus Christ, readopted and readapted the spirit of the old commandments to the new covenant realities.

Hence, the ten commandments of the Church are different in both word and application from the commandments of old.

This would explain the difference in the way the sabbath is observed today, by most Christians.

Instead of the curse of the law, we now enjoy the grace, mercy, and peace of Jesus Christ, who alone is the definitive end of the law.

Much more on this here:

https://douglawrence.wordpress.com/christ…

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c1a3.h…

Why do Christians worship/rest on Sunday when the original day was Saturday?

Q: Why do Christians worship/rest on Sunday when the original day was Saturday?

A: From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

ARTICLE 3
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.90
The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.91

* I. THE SABBATH DAY

2168 The third commandment of the Decalogue recalls the holiness of the sabbath: “The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD.”92

2169 In speaking of the sabbath Scripture recalls creation: “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.”93

2170 Scripture also reveals in the Lord’s day a memorial of Israel’s liberation from bondage in Egypt: “You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with mighty hand and outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.”94

2171 God entrusted the sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of the irrevocable covenant.95 The sabbath is for the Lord, holy and set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on behalf of Israel.

2172 God’s action is the model for human action. If God “rested and was refreshed” on the seventh day, man too ought to “rest” and should let others, especially the poor, “be refreshed.”96 The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money.97

2173 The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day.98 He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.”99 With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing.100 The sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honor God.101 “The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”102

II. THE LORD’S DAY

This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.103
The day of the Resurrection: the new creation

2174 Jesus rose from the dead “on the first day of the week.”104 Because it is the “first day,” the day of Christ’s Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the “eighth day” following the sabbath,105 it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ’s Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord’s Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:
We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.106
Sunday – fulfillment of the sabbath

2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ’s Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man’s eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:107
Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord’s Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.108
2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship “as a sign of his universal beneficence to all.”109 Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.

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