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Friday, April 20, 2012

Did Catholics change the Sabbath?

The following question was asked on one of Connecticut Catholic Corner's Youtube videos...

NadinaFraser29 asked: Is it true that the Catholic's changed the Shabbat from Saturday to Sunday? And if the answer is yes, how does that differ from the Crucifixion. The established word of God in anyway changed by man is the Crucifying of Jesus all over again because He died for the truth which is The Word of God.

Deacon Ron answers: First of all Christ died for the salvation of our souls, not to preserve any particular truth or to make any kind of a statement.

If I understand your question properly you are questioning why Catholics keep Sunday as the Sabbath and not Saturday. I will try to explain.

There seems to be some confusion here about "the seventh day" and "Shabbat". Although often used interchangeably in modern times, the concepts are not exactly identical. Shabbat is the Jewish observance of the seventh day as a day of rest. It does not mean the seventh day itself. "Seventh” is not a direct translation of "Shabbat".

This observance is done in response to the Lord's commandment to keep the seventh day holy. But what is the seventh day? If you consider Sunday to be the first day of the week, then the seventh day is Saturday. But if you consider Monday to be the first day of the week, then the seventh day is Sunday. The ancient Jews considered Sunday to be the first day of the week as a matter of human tradition. It was not ordained so by God.

How would the ancient Jews know on what day to begin the count of the seven days? The bible does not specifically say that the first day of creation was a Sunday. If you interpret the bible literally starting from the day that Christ died, which is known to be a Friday, and count back all the years, months, and days back to the day of creation, then the first day of creation actually calculates out to be a Thursday!

Catholics, in fact all Christians, keep the seventh day as holy, Except for Seventh day Adventist, all Christians begin the count of seven with Monday so that the seventh day coincides with the resurrection of Christ. How fitting that our holiest day of the week coincides with the holiest event in our Christian faith!

It is true that our calendar week begins on Sunday, but so what? Socially and economically our first day of the week is Monday. What day we begin the seven day count on is not specified in scripture and what we call the first day of the week is irrelevant. What matters is the every seventh day we take time to out to take care of our spiritual lives, to rest from our work, and worship God.

If I have mis-understood your question, please clarify.

God Bless, you,

Deacon Ron
[Deacon Ron is a contributor for Connecticut Catholic Corner]

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