Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shabat Shalom

Today's first reading reminds us of the importance of keeping the Sabbath holy.

If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the LORD’s holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice
Then you shall delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

While for Christian the obligation is transferred from Saturday to Sunday, the day of the Lord, the obligation is no less binding. In his 1998 Apostolic Letter Dies Domini, Pope John Paul II reminded us "Every seven days, the Church celebrates the Easter mystery. This is a tradition going back to the Apostles, taking its origin from the actual day of Christ's Resurrection — a day thus appropriately designated 'the Lord's Day"

The obligation to keep the sabbath is not simply some arbitrary requirement of the Old Testament or the Catholic Church but is rooted a deeper understanding of the human person. We were not made to run 7 days per week like some machine. We need the sabbath, what the Holy Father describes as a day of "Joy, Rest and Solidarity." Perhaps this Lent is a time for us to restore the place of Sabbath in our life.

Shabat shalom is the traditional greeting on the Sabbath, perhaps if we live the Sabbath, we can have the Shalom.