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Pius Parsch on The Circumcision of Our Lord – Luke 2:21

by pastorjuhl ~ December 30th, 2010

Christ came upon earth to redeem mankind. He could have accomplished our redemption by a single word or act. But He desired to carry out His saving mission through a series of actions and to crown it finally with the supreme work, His death and resurrection. All the various acts and actions were performed for our sake to help us understand the nature and the implications of redemption. To the earliest phase of the redemptive work belongs the circumcision. Today flows the first drop of the Redeemer’s blood; it is the sacrificium matutinum, the morning offering; the evening sacrifice, sacrificium vespertinum, will follow on the Cross. Today a drop, after thirty-three years the full measure of His blood will flow. Today’s feast, therefore, comes between Christmas and Easter, between the crib and the Cross; the child is still in swaddling clothes and already Its blood is shed for mankind.

The circumcision has implications also for us. As we could say at Christmas: Christ is born, we are born with Him (we prayed in the Postcommunion: He is the Author of our divine birth), so we can say today: Christ was circumcised, we share His circumcision. For the purpose of the redemption is to cut off the old man with his sinful impulses. Although we have been sanctified radically in baptism, a sin-slanted nature remains within us. Consequently, there is a constant need for circumcision. Cutting off the old man and putting on Christ is effected through participation in the holy mysteries and by our persevering growth in virtue.

— The Church’s Year of Grace I:245-246

Note: It would have been nice for Parsch to mention faith in Jesus Christ in the last sentence. Parsch is a Romanist, but is far more grace inclined than most Romanists.

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