The Holy Spirit saw that in the future some men would say that the world had always existed, “In the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts, saying: ‘Where is His promise or His coming? For since the time that the fathers slept, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For of this they are willfully ignorant, that the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God.” God, therefore, wished that one day should be set aside in memory of the fact that He created all things in six days and that on the seventh day He rested from the creation of new creatures. This is why the Lord placed this Commandment in the Law, saying: Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day…
The Jews kept the Sabbath in memory of the first creation, but Christ at his coming brought about a new creation. For by the first creation an earthly man was created and by the second a heavenly man was formed…This new creation is through grace…
GOD’S GREATEST GIFTS
Thus say the Lord…
Remember not the events of the past,
the things of long ago consider not;
See, I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
In the desert, I make a way,
in the wastelands, rivers.
The people whom I formed for myself,
that they might announce my praise.
Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob,
for you grew weary of me, O Israel.
Instead, you burdened me with your sins,
and wearied me with your crimes.
It is I, I who wipe out,
for my own sake, your offenses;
your sins I remember no more.
ISAIAH 43:16, 18-19, 21-22, 24B-25
Longed for Savior, in your birth is our hope in being formed anew from an earthly creation to heave’s sons and daughters. I now perceive who I was formed to be: the present announcement of God’s praise. I am charged with setting aside one day each week to honor the person I have been created anew to be. Give me the discipline and the fortitude to stay awake to this truth, to live and act out of that sacred memory in each effort, event, and encounter of the other six days. Then my hope born in Christ’s coming will be born in others, and my whole life will become a living Sabbath in Christ’s memory.
How do you keep holy the Sabbath in memory of not just the first creation, but of the new creation that the coming of Christ accomplished in you? This week, set aside a morning or afternoon as time strictly for the Lord, to rekindle the memory of the new person the coming of Christ brought about in you and continues to bring about in you. On that day, spend time in prayer such as spiritual reading, praying the rosary, visiting a sacred place, or watching a movie with a religious theme.
Reproduced with permission from Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Thomas Aquinas, by Fr. Andrew Carl Wisdom, O.P., published by Liguori, 2009.