“Love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your MIND”--Matt 22:37
Question: Why do Catholics go to church when the Sabbath is --don't the Ten Commandments say to "Keep Holy the Sabbath"?
Short answer: Because Christians are not actually bound to observe the Sabbath--we have fulfilled the Sabbath through Christ, and now we celebrate the Lord's Day, Sunday, the day of His Resurrection.
Of course, Catholics are still bound to obey the Ten Commandments, not dismiss them as "already fulfilled" in Christ: Since they express man's fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbor, the Ten Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations. They are fundamentally immutable, and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can dispense from them. are engraved by God in the human heart. Catechism of the Catholic Church 2072
There is a branch of Christianity, the Seventh Day Adventists, who feel so strongly about this particular issue that they left mainstream Christianity and formed their own denomination over this matter (primarily). They profess: "The ** of God's unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the , worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath."
They feel that Catholics are violating Scripture by worshipping . Adventists claim that the mark of the Beast (mentioned in Rev 13:16-17) is to worship on Sundays. Since Catholics worship on Sunday, this makes them minions of Antichrist. In addition, they believe the Catholic Church to be the Whore of Babylon referred to in Revelation 18:4: Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Depart from her, my people, so as not to take part in her sins and receive a share in her plagues."
So this is not a minor issue to millions of Christians, many of whom, sadly, are ex-Catholics.
(Time Magazine states that Catholics are the largest religious group in the US, and that ex-Catholics are almost the second largest religious group!) These folks were poorly catechized in our faith and were then easily led astray after being shown a few Bible verses which appeared to contradict the Church's practices.
So how is a Catholic to respond? Are we truly violating the commandment to Keep Holy the , which is Saturday?
"Of course, the moral principles contained in the Old Testament law are still binding on us, including the moral principle behind the sabbath commandment. This was that we should set aside sufficient time for worship and rest. We no longer have to do this on Saturday, since the is gone, but we still have to do it.
To ensure that people will set aside sufficient time for worship and rest, the Church has decreed that all Catholics must refrain from menial labor on Sunday and by attending Sunday Mass. Exceptions to this law are made in cases of necessity, just as with the Old Testament sabbath law (see Matt. 12:11-12, 1 Macc. 2:38-41.) For example, for those who are obliged to work on Sunday, the Church permits attendance of an anticipatory Mass on Saturday instead.
By requiring Sunday worship the Church is simply following the lead of the apostles. There was clearly a day which the early Church considered specially consecrated to the Lord. John tells us that he wrote the book of Revelation because of a vision he saw "on the " (Rev. 1:10).
Elsewhere we learn which day that was. In 1 Corinthians 16:2, Paul tells his readers, "On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come." Paul exhorts his readers to get their church's contribution together ahead of time so it won't have to be put together when he arrives (see 2 Cor. 9:3-5).
He tells them when to contribute to the gift: every first day of the week--. Why? Because that is the day the early Church met for worship. Even though the Old Testament sabbath had passed away, the early Church commemorated Christ's resurrection on Sunday, the first day of the week, because that was the day Christ arose (Mark 16:9, see also Mark 16:2 and Luke 24:1)." source
(**Note: many Christian denominations have a different numeric system for the Ten Commandments. We list the as "Honor your father and mother". Their Scriptures state the 4th Commandment is to "Keep Holy the Sabbath day".)
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"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" - 1 Peter 3:15