Happy New Year, Everyone!


I like seeing that,  I like saying that.

There is a kind of quiet, steady rhythm to anticipate within each new year.  The holidays and  the feast days of the  year pass by,  some of them major, some of them minor –  but they all help mark the comforting passage  of expected milestones of each year.


We can start with today, January 1st.   It is the Octave of Christmas,  the day we commemorate the Maternity of Mary,  who is the Mother of Jesus,  and therefore the Mother of God the Second Person of the Trinity.   Many good writings about that, accumulated for nearly two thousand years.       Wisdom and insight offered, for those who want it and understand their value.

It is also the day in which the Infant Jesus becomes Eight Days old.  According to the Law of God,  a baby is circumcised on his eighth day.   Yes, it still happens today.   Here is a modern-day family gathering for the occasion:


And, no, baptism is not the “new circumcision.”  The two have different purposes and meanings.

When I was young, I was always curious about “why the eighth day”?

Well, I worked on a pediatrics floor of a hospital during my college days, and I often took my coffee breaks near the shelves of medical textbooks.  One day I came across some medical instructional information about circumcision.   There was a chart printed on those pages, a chart showing the incidence of possible pain, discomfort, and infection for the  baby boys.  Very small –  it hardly ever happens.  But much to my surprise,  the chart showed a drastic dip in any complications on the eighth day of life!    First time I ever experienced the confirmation of science for something in the Bible.

So,  this first day of the new year gives us a feast day with a couple of things to think about.  Each is an actual physical event . . .  each has spiritual significance, rich and complex, and able to make one a better person.

Remember the post I just wrote about the Babe lying  on the Wood of the manger, foreshadowing the Man lying down on the Wood of His Cross?  The Baby came to die; sent, as we say,  by God the Eternal Father to save our souls.

The Passion of Christ will come up a little later in this rhythm of this new year’s holy days,  but we still see a foreshadowing here.   “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin and guilt” is what we are told in Hebrews 9:22.

All the Old Testament sacrifices were for this purpose of atonement with God, forgiving our sins.     These bloody animal sacrifices are no longer necessary since Jesus gave Himself to be our sacrifice.     All New Testament – present day – Masses look back to His one sacrifice in a non-bloody offering of Himself for us.

Same sacrifice:  animal,  Christ Himself,  and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.      Jesus could not have done it any other way.

He gave His whole life to redeem  us;  and His work begins with His first shedding of blood — a tiny little bit at his circumcision.

Much to ponder here.

Then we can look forward to January 6th –  the Epiphany!  May Light dawn on all of us and we have an “epiphany”  of understanding!



Explore posts in the same categories: Christian Analysis, Forgiveness, Holy Days

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  1. Pat Says:

    How very interesting. As I have a brother, raised Catholic, converted to Judaism for his upcoming marriage to his Jewish fiancé’ 35 years ago, so Jewish traditions come to my mind. How interesting to see in medical texts that there is a drop in any complications on the eighth day of life. I love your blog!

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