Tags

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Gospel

So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

First Reading Numbers 6:22-27

Psalm 67:2-6,8

Second Reading Galatians 4:4-7

Background

Male circumcision is a Jewish rite passed on from Abraham down to all generations after him. It is a sign of covenant between God and Abraham (Genesis 17:9-14) wherein God promised Abraham to make him the father of all nations. In Hebrew, this ritual is called brit milah. Christians are not obliged to be circumcised because the Church gives more importance to the Sacrament of Baptism. In predominantly Christian countries, male circumcision is still practiced, not as a religious ritual, but as a cultural practice and health hygiene.