|Faith and the Marketplace--God Rested On The Seventh Day. Do You?||
by Fr. John Rausch
|When Trutt Cathy started his diner in 1946, he opened 24 hours a day, six days a week. On Sundays he closed. Based on biblical reasons Cathy observed Sunday as a day of rest and a day for the family.|
The teaching on Sabbath rest represents a neglected insight about economics, ecology and the worship of God. The Third Commandment offers a path for meeting the material needs of people while respecting God and creation. In the biblical story after creating the world in six days, God "rested on the seventh day" ( Gen. 2:2). Later God used the Sabbath to remind the People of Israel that He liberated them from slavery (Deut. 5:15.) "The Sabbath is for the Lord, holy and set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on behalf of Israel," reads the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Sabbath, observed as Sunday to symbolize the Resurrection as the New Creation, offers a healthy rhythm that balances work and commerce with prayer, rest and play.First, Sabbath keeping addresses the treatment of workers. Workers can never become simply an input to production. The Sabbath calls for a just wage so no one need work two jobs without leisure. It also rescues the approximately four million workers wanting full time employment from the trap of part-time jobs with few benefits. The Sabbath stands as a symbol of freedom from slavery, whether that be political or economic. Secondly, Sabbath calls for a renewed appreciation of creation as a gift from God. People who enjoy hikes, plant gardens and marvel at the world's beauty will find creative resolutions to the false dichotomy of "jobs versus the environment." Simpler life styles will save resources, lessen pollution and decrease waste caused by producing frivolous things.
Finally, the Eucharistic celebration on the Lord's Day motivates believers to visit the sick, help the poor and care for the elderly. The Day of the Lord becomes a day for the family.Western Europeans spend one-third the time shopping as Americans. Workers enjoy four to six-week vacations, and many work 35-hour weeks. The Sabbath promises to change society's emphasis on the bottom line for a better quality of life.
Read other articles of spiritual enlightenment in the June 1999 edition of The San Francisco Charismatics or return to the Main Menu by clicking on the blue. Fr. John Rausch, a Glenmary priest, teaches at the Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center, Berea, Ky. His column appears monthly in many Catholic journals and in ours beginning this month, courtesy of the Friends of the Good News. When you purchase books, videos, etc. from Amazon.com this site, we receive a referral fee from them that support the work of the Friends of the Good News.