The Feast of Circumcision
On January 1st the church celebrates the Feast of the Lord's Circumcision.
According to Old Testament law a son was to be circumcised on the 8th day; and so Jesus who was "made under the law" (Gal. 4:4) was presented for this Old Testament type of Baptism.
While "this Cup" of his blood IS the New Covenant, it was at 8 days of age that divine blood was first spilled: for us men and for our salvation. But there is more significance yet to the Lord's circumcision.
It demonstrates that the Eternal Son "begotten of the Father from eternity," is also "true man born of the Virgin Mary!" It teaches and assures us that as he shares our humanity, we too now share in his divinity. Because he is forever True Man, redeemed humanity is now on the throne with God. He is, further, our High Priest who intercedes for us in a world without end. In the words of Hebrews 4:14-16
"Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Because the Word "became flesh and dwelt among us" the Christian religion is not primarily an interior reality, but an exterior one, marked by signs, sacraments, ceremony, celebration and a life of love and purity that is visible to all. It begins with baptism, the sacrament of faith which replaces circumcision; and culminates in endless, loving, Holy Communion with the Blessed Trinity.
This is our inheritance and future as children of God in Christ.