January 1: The circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ
+ Saints Basil & Gregory
The Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ:
The Old Testament law prescribed that every boy should be circumcised in the eighth day after his birth. In obedience to this law, Baby Jesus was circumcised, according to the Gospel of Luke 2:21: "When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb." “Jesus” is the name given to Joseph by the Angel Gabriel in Mat. (1:21) “She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins”. “Jesus” also was the name given to Mary for her child to be, (cf. Lk ) “Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end”.
Jesus had not to fulfill this mosaic rule, as Saint Thomas Aquinas explains, because He is the Lord of the law. However He wanted to obey the law to show us that He had become truly a man. He also wanted to show us that He too is circumcised, a descendent of Abraham. Third, He wanted to teach us to obey the law, like He did.
Our Savior was circumcised to give us a lesson in taking care of our salvation, so we learn how to circumcise our hearts in the spirit, as
Also in this day is the memorial of Saints Basil and Gregory
Gregory had a pagan father and a Christian mother who took care to give him good education. Gregory was a brilliant student in the
By nature, he loved solitude, and dwelt in it for a while with his friend Basil. At this time his father had been baptized a Christian, thanks to the prayers of his pious mother; he then became a priest, then a bishop on Nezianz. Then he called his son Gregory to help him. Gregory came to help his father, now a bishop, who ordained his son a priest asking him to help him in his eparchial responsibilities. Gregory was a great assistant to his bishop; however he preferred to turn back to the solitude, living an austere monastic life with his old friend Basil.
And when his dad was deceived by the Arian heresy, Gregory left his hermitage and came to rescue him, and brought him back to the true Catholic faith. After that, Gregory was elected the patriarch of
May his prayers be with us. Amen.