Monday, January 01, 2018

The Feast of the Circumcision 2018

He that is cut off (circumcisus) from the vices is deemed worthy of the vision of God, for the eyes of the Lord are upon the just. (Ps. 33, 16) You see that all the course of the old Law was a type of the future; for the circumcision signified the purgation of sins. But since the fragility of man’s body and mind, being yet inclined towards a certain longing to sin, is tangled up inextricably in the vices, the circumcision on the eighth day prefigures that complete cleansing from sin (which we shall have) in the age of the resurrection. This is the reason for the words, “Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy unto the Lord.” For in these words of the Law was promised the child-birthing of the Virgin; and truly was He holy, for He was without blemish. Finally, the words repeated by the Angel declare in the same way that He is the one designated by the Law: “The Holy One that shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1, 35) For alone among all that are born of women was the Lord Jesus Christ holy in all ways, Who in the newness of His immaculate birth, felt no contagion from human corruption, and in His heavenly majesty drove it away. (From St Ambrose’s Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, the homily for the feast of the Circumcision in the Breviary of St Pius V.)

The Circumcision of Christ, by Peter Paul Rubens, 1605
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