Sabbath Renewal Saint Gregory Palamas — Another reason why the Sabbath day was blessed is that He who formed this world in six days foresaw that man would turn towards evil and would, as a result, go back to the ground, descend to Hades, and be imprisoned there; and this whole world would grow old and useless beause of man, but would be renewed by God becoming man.
This renewal was effected when God incarnate descended into Hades through death and declared there on the Sabbath the recall of souls. It was because He foresaw that this would happen on the sabbath that He rightly deemed it the only day worthy to be blessed.
However, although this work was secretly made ready on the seventh day, the Sabbath, everything was clearly brought to light and accomplished when the body had been summoned to immortality through the Lord’s Resurrection on the eighth day.
This is why we call it the Lord’s Day.
As Friday, the day of preparation, stands in relation tot he Sabbath, so is the Sabbath in comparison with Sunday, which is obviously superior to it.
As perfection and reality surpass beginning, pattern, and shadow, so is Sunday more excellent and honorable, because on it the exceedingly blessed work was finished and on it we await the General Resurrection of all the perfect entry of the saints into the divine rest and dissolution of the world into its elements.
Saint Gregory Palamas
Courtesy of Holy Myrrh-Bearers Church of Swarthmore.
Saint Gregory was an archbishop of Thessaloniki in the 14th century. He may be best known today for Hesychasm in which peace is sought through uninterrupted Jesus prayer, which is a major plot device in J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey.