Tomorrow is a day of Holy Obligation for the Feast of the Circumcision. Fr. Geckle will say Mass for us at 4:30, with confessions at 4:00 pm.
Here is an excerpt from Dom Gueranger’s Liturgical Year for this Feast:
On this the Eighth Day since the Birth of our Emmanuel, let us consider the great mystery which the Gospel tells us was accomplished in his divine Flesh–the Circumcision. On this day, the earth sees the first-fruits of that Blood-shedding, which is to be its Redemption, and the first sufferings of that Divine Lamb, who is to atone for our sins. Let us compassionate our sweet Jesus, who meekly submits to the knife which is to put upon Him the sign of a Servant of God.
Mary, who has watched over Him with the most affectionate solicitude, has felt her heart sink within her, as each day brought her nearer to this hour of her Child’s first suffering. She knows, that the justice of God does not necessarily require this first sacrifice, or might accept it, on account of its infinite value, for the world’s salvation: and yet, the innocent Flesh of her Son must, even so early as this, be torn, and his Blood flow down his infant limbs.
What must be her affliction at seeing the preparations for this painful ceremony! She cannot leave her Jesus–and yet, how shall she bear to see Him writhe under this His first experience of suffering! She must stay, then, and hear His sobs and heartrending cries; she must bear the sight of the tears of her Divine Babe, forced from Him by the violence of the pain. We need St. Bonaventure to describe this wonderful mystery. “And if He weeps, thinkest thou his Mother could keep in her tears? No–she, too, wept, and when the Babe, who was standing on her lap, perceived her tears, He raised His little hand to her mouth and face, as though he would beckon to her not to weep, for it grieved Him to see Her weeping, whom He so tenderly loved. The Mother, on her side, was touched to the quick at the suffering and tears of the Babe, and she consoled Him by caresses and fond words; and as she was quick to see His thoughts, as though He had expressed them in words, she said to Him: If thou wishest me to cease weeping, weep not Thou, my Child! If Thou weepest, I must weep too. Then the Babe, from compassion for the Mother, repressed his sobs, and Mary wiped His eyes and her own, and put His Face to her own, and gave Him her Breast, and consoled him in every way she could (Meditations on the Life of Christ, by St. Bonaventure).”
And now, what shall we give in return to this Saviour of our souls for the Circumcision, which he has deigned to suffer, in order to show us how much He loved us? We must, according to the teaching of the Apostle, circumcise our heart from all its evil affections, its sins, and its wicked inclinations; we must begin, at once, to live that new life, of which the Infant Jesus is the sublime model. Let us thus show Him our compassion for this His earliest suffering for us, and be more attentive, than we have hitherto been, to the example He sets us.
Read the whole post at Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals