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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Circumcision of Our Lord

Christmas: January 1

The feast of the Circumcision has been celebrated since the sixth century. Eight days after His birth, Christ underwent, like all the Jews, this rite enjoined on Abraham by God as a pledge of his faith, and He received the name of Jesus.

When Our Lord submitted to the cut in His flesh at the Circumcision he began His work as Redeemer. He commenced that shedding of Blood, which would reach its highest point of generosity in the Passion and Death.

In giving to Abraham the law of circumcision, God bestowed on him his new name — Abraham. With the Jews henceforward, the giving of a name had a spiritual significance; like circumcision it meant that the person belonged to the people of God. The bestowal of the name of Jesus has an even loftier significance: it is an assertion of His mission as Savior of the world.

New Year's Day

"When eight days were fulfilled for His circumcision, His name was called Jesus" (Gospel). Thus does a New Year begin! Jesus immediately sheds a few drops of His precious Blood as a pledge of His complete Bloodshedding later on.

One new year began at our Baptism. Then were we reborn; then were we given a Christian name. Today, Jesus is marked as a victim for sacrifice. He will take our "government . . . upon His shoulder". Now it can be said: "All the ends of the earth have seen . . . salvation". Why He "gave Himself" is explained in the Epistle, namely, to "redeem us." Moreover, it is through Mary "we have deserved to receive the Author of Life, Jesus Christ". We implore her aid that our sacrificial "offers" and Communion may "wash away our guilt".

Excerpted from My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood

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