The Circumcision of Our Lord
CIRCUMCISION was a sacrament of the Old Law, and the first legal observance required by Almighty God of the descendants of Abraham. It was a sacrament of initiation in the service of God, and a promise and engagement to believe and act as He had revealed and directed. The law of circumcision continued in force until the death of Christ, and Our Saviour being born under the law, it became Him, Who came to teach mankind obedience to the law of God, to fulfil all justice, and to submit to it. Therefore He was circumcised that He might redeem them that were under the law, by freeing them from the servitude of it; and that those who were in the condition of servants before might be set at liberty, and receive the adoption of sons in Baptism, which, by Christ's institution, succeeded to circumcision. On the day that the divine Infant was circumcised, He received the name of Jesus, which signifies SAVIOUR, which had been given Him by the angel before He was conceived. That name, so beautiful, so glorious, the divine Child does not wish to bear for one moment without fulfilling its meaning; even at the moment of His circumcision He showed Himself a SAVIOUR by shedding for us that blood a single drop of which is more than sufficient for the ransom and salvation of the whole world.
Reflection. —Let us profit by the circumstance of the new year, and of the wonderful renewal wrought in the world by the great mystery of this day, to renew in our hearts an increase of fervor and of generosity in the service of God. May this year be one of fervor and of progress! It will go by rapidly, like that which has just ended. If God permits us to see its end, how glad and happy we shall be to have passed it holily!
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Is. 9, 6
A child is born to us, and a son is given to us: Whose government is upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called the angel of great counsel. Ps. 97, 1. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: because He hath done wonderful things. Glory be …
O God, Who, by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary, hast bestowed upon mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may evermore experience the intercession in our behalf of her through whom we have been found worthy to receive the author of life, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee.
Epistle • Titus 2, 11-15
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Titus.
[How he is to instruct both old and young. The duty of servants. The Christian's rule of life.]
Dearly beloved, the grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men; Instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly, and godly in this world, Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works. These things speak, and exhort: in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Gradual • Ps. 97, 3, 4, 2
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God: sing joyfully to God all the earth. The Lord hath made known his salvation: He hath revealed His justice in the sight of the gentiles.
Alleluia, alleluia. Heb. 1, 1-2. God, Who diversely spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days hath spoken to us by His Son. Alleluia.
Gospel • Luke 2, 21
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[The birth of Christ. His presentation in the temple. Simeon's prophecy. Christ at twelve years of age, is found amongst the doctors.]
At that time, after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb.
Offertory • Ps. 88, 12, 15
Thine are the heavens and Thine is the earth: the world and the fullness thereof Thou hast founded; justice and judgment are the preparation of Thy throne.
Accept our offerings and prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord; cleanse us by Thy heavenly mysteries and graciously her us. Through our Lord.
Communion • Ps. 97, 3
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
May this communion, O Lord, cleanse us from sin and, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, make us partakers of the heavenly remedy. Through the same.