One of the major concerns we have today as Catholics are the fleeing of our Catholic brethren from the faith. While some of our brothers and sisters leave the faith for other religions or churches, most of those who walk away avoid religious identification or affiliation. A good number of them, directly or indirectly, prefer to be identified as “non-practicing Catholics.” In addition, I recently found out that some people leave the Catholic faith because of their doubts over some of our Catholic Christian teachings and practices.
I recently met a young adult who stopped attending Masses and other Church activities when she discovered that Saturday is the Sabbath according to the Bible. Still, Christians ignore it and observe their Sabbath on Sundays. I gently inquired from her what efforts she made to find out why this “wrong practice.” She explained that she came across that in her study of the Bible and never bothered to make a further inquiry from anyone since the Bible is the highest source of truth for Christians. I appreciated her efforts to read her Bible – a practice that is, unfortunately, rare among many Catholics today. But I also encouraged her not to limit her search for the truth in her Bible studies. Sometimes, asking questions for clarifications from Catholic friends and families or sharing ideas with them can be helpful.
Although old and very established text, the Bible is a living text with deep spiritual, theological, and historical elements. These things make the Bible, sometimes, more challenging to understand than it may appear. For this reason, reading and studying it and sharing the fruits of our studies with others increases our chances of a deeper understanding of the Bible texts.
It is easy to agree with me for encouraging the young lady not to limit her search for the truth in her studies of the scriptures and share with others and ask questions. But unfortunately, we live in a time and culture where radical individualism and subjectivism have become moral virtues instead of the social vices they are. Regrettably, individualism and subjectivism as social ills have continued to negatively impact how we live our lives, not only as Catholic Christians but as human beings in general.
While I took time to explain why most Christians celebrate the Sabbath on Sundays instead of Saturdays, I will summarize my explanations here.
The realization of Saturday as the Sabbath and not Sunday is most probably a product of a plain reading of the Old Testament bible. This O.T is a story of the revelations that God made in and with his people – the Ancient Jews. While these revelations are still true and valid for us Christians, Jesus Christ – the Son of God and second person of the Trinity, is the fullness of God’s revelations. Therefore, while everything in the O.T is still true and valid, Christ, who is the fullness of God’s revelations and his teachings in the New Testament, completes the O.T.
Jesus Christ resurrected on a Sunday – the Easter Sunday. His resurrection is most critical for the salvation of humanity and very central in our entire Christian life and practice. Therefore, instead of celebrating the Sabbath on a Saturday as the people did during the Old Testament times, Christians choose to celebrate this wonderful day of rest and worship on Sundays to honor Christ and mark the glorious day Christ signed our salvation.