Saint of the Day – 1 January – Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord
“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.” – Luke 2:21
Excerpt from the Catechism of the Council of Trent,
(Part IV – “Hallowed be Thy Name“”)
In the Old Law (Gen. 17:12), it was required that every male child should, on the eighth day after his birth, be circumcised and thus admitted among God’s chosen people. The rite of circumcision in the Old Law corresponded to the Sacrament of Baptism in the New Law and was the means of remitting original sin. Our Lord, although free from every sin, submitted to this rite, in order to show that He was a true Son of Abraham, to manifest respect and obedience to the established law and, to prove that He had a real human body. At the time of circumcision, a name was given to the child. Our Lord was called Jesus, which signified His office as Saviour. On this Feast of the Circumcision, therefore, it is most appropriate that we should meditate on the first petition of the Lord’s prayer, “hallowed be thy name.”
I. The first petition of the Lord’s Prayer. In the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer we ask that God’s Name may be honoured, which shows that God’s glory should be our chief desire. This petition does not mean that God’s essential glory or perfection should be increased, nor that the honour given Him on earth, should be equal to that shown Him in Heaven.
II. The objects of this petition. We ask: That we may praise God with our hearts and lips; That those in error may be brought to recognise and revere His Church; That sinners may be converted to His service; That men may learn to refer all blessings to Him as to their Author and source.
CONCLUSION. Our conduct should be in conformity with this petition. Catholics must not cause the Name of God or of His Church, to be profaned by their own evil words and actions. On the contrary, by clean speech and good example, Catholics ought to excite others to exalt the Name of God, to respect the Faith of Christ, and to honour His Church. Good resolutions for the New Year!