Dies Domini 59-60: The Fulfillment of the Sabbath

What began with the Old Testament Sabbath finds a fulfillment in the day of the Resurrection:

59. This aspect of the Christian Sunday shows in a special way how it is the fulfilment of the Old Testament Sabbath. On the Lord’s Day, which — as we have already said — the Old Testament links to the work of creation (cf. Gn 2:1-3; Ex 20:8-11) and the Exodus (cf. Dt 5:12-15), the Christian is called to proclaim the new creation and the new covenant brought about in the Paschal Mystery of Christ. Far from being abolished, the celebration of creation becomes more profound within a Christocentric perspective, being seen in the light of the God’s plan “to unite all things in [Christ], things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph 1:10). The remembrance of the liberation of the Exodus also assumes its full meaning as it becomes a remembrance of the universal redemption accomplished by Christ in his Death and Resurrection. More than a “replacement” for the Sabbath, therefore, Sunday is its fulfilment, and in a certain sense its extension and full expression in the ordered unfolding of the history of salvation, which reaches its culmination in Christ.

60. In this perspective, the biblical theology of the “Sabbath” can be recovered in full, without compromising the Christian character of Sunday. It is a theology which leads us ever anew and in unfailing awe to the mystery of the beginning, when the eternal Word of God, by a free decision of love, created the world from nothing. The work of creation was sealed by the blessing and consecration of the day on which God ceased “from all the work which he had done in creation” (Gn 2:3). This day of God’s rest confers meaning upon time, which in the sequence of weeks assumes not only a chronological regularity but also, in a manner of speaking, a theological resonance. The constant return of the “shabbat” ensures that there is no risk of time being closed in upon itself, since, in welcoming God and his kairoi — the moments of his grace and his saving acts — time remains open to eternity.

I don’t think Seventh Day Adventists and other similar groups would be convinced, but this pretty much outlines the modern Catholic view on Sabbath, Sunday, and the tradition laid down in the Torah.

The Vatican site has Dies Domini in its entirety.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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