Circumcision of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Time passes and does not return. God has assigned to each of us a definite time in which to fulfill His divine plan; we have only this time and shall have no more. Time ill spent is lose forever. Our life is made up of this uninterrupted, continual flow of time, which never returns. In eternity, on the contrary, time will be no more; we shall be established forever in the degree of love which have reached now, in time. If we have attained a high degree of love, we shall be fixed forever in that degree of love and glory; if we possess only a slight degree, that is all that we shall have throughout eternity. No further progress will be possible when time has ended. We must give God every moment full amount of love, and make each passing moment eternal, by giving it value for eternity. This is the best way to use the time given us by God. Charity allows us to adhere to God’s will with submission and love and thus at the “evening of life” (St. John of the Cross) we shall have realized God’s plan for us; we shall have reached the degree of love which God expects from each one of us: thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind (Mt. 22.37).
Eight days after the birth of the Divine Infant, He is already beginning His redemptive mission. He has not yet spoken; the world does not know Him; but He is already shedding His Blood for the salvation of mankind. Contemplating Him, we shall learn that deeds are better than words, that the greater the sacrifices they require, the greater the proof they give of real love. Furthermore, every undertaking must receive its baptism of blood in order to be fruitful.
A new year, a new life! A new life indeed! – for if we circumcise in ourselves the old man… corrupted according to the desire of error (Eph. 4.22) with his vices and passions, the “Christian” can grow in us; we can become new creatures, purified by the Blood of Christ, vivified and nourished by His grace through the Holy Eucharist, so that it may no longer be we who live, but Christ liveth in [us] (Gal. 2.2). The new year which begins today will acquire value only if lived in this light. Only by this daily circumcision of the heart will grace triumph in us, thus making the Christ-life an ever-increasing reality in us.
Jesus’ humble submission to His Father’s will, manifested by His obedience to the law*, is another lesson to be learned from today’s Feast.
* The law of circumcision, cf. Gen. 17.12-13, could in no way affect Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Holy One (Acts 3.15; Is. 43.3), but He willed to submit to it for as St. Paul says, it behooved Him in all things to be made like unto His brethren… that He might be a propitiation for the sins of the people (Heb. 2.17).
It is an invitation to us to be docile to God’s will, whatever it may be – Our Lord’s disposition: my meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me(Jn. 4.34). None of us knows what awaits us in this new year, but God knows. His will has already prepared our path; every detail of our life is already determined in His mind. Let us be ready to accept, or rather to embrace with courage and readiness, everything that God wishes or permits, certain that in His holy will we shall find our peace, our salvation, and our sanctification.
A blessed new year to all!