Saturday, September 04, 2010

Longing for the Sabbath

St Paul continues defending his ministry among the Corinthians in today's first reading. With his typically ironic style, he admits that the Corinthians "have already grown rich," while he and the other Apostles are disrespected, hungry and thirsty, roughly treated, wandering homeless, ridiculed, persecuted and slandered. Sounds a lot like the treatment Jesus and the disciples receive in the Gospel for today! That means we should...expect this to be the norm for Jesus' followers through the ages.
And yet even under that kind of treatment, Jesus remains the Lord of the Sabbath who can still say "Come to me, all of you; you will find rest."
In the Scriptures, the Sabbath stands for all sorts of wonderful things, rest being only the first-named. The Sabbath represents the fullness of creation, delight, presence, contemplation, Godlikeness, dignity, stillness, peace, detachment, providence, contentment, "enoughness." Jesus is the Lord of each of those Sabbath qualities.
All of which gave the Apostles, like Paul in the first reading, the wherewithall to bear with so much "in Christ."
How many people live without a Sabbath! Even if they do have leisure (not everyone does), that down time can be so unrestful. Do our Sundays have these qualities of rest, delight, contemplation, peace? If not, is Jesus really the Lord of our Sabbath?
What can we change, as the vacation "season" ends and the work year begins, to maintain a sense of Sabbath?

1 comment:

gran24 said...

The best place to start to maintain a sense of Sabbath is to return to the only day on which God placed His blessing, the sabbath of the 4th Commandment, (not the 4th suggestion). "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth,the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20:8-11