A New Year, A Solemnity of Mary, and a Forgotten Feast
Today marks the beginning of a New Year. Many people are using this day to turn over a new leaf, by losing some of that extra weight that they have gained over the last couple of months, quitting a filthy habit, or a slew of other ways to improve their quality of life. It is admirable for people to begin anew and try to get rid of the things in their life that do not help them to grow into better people. People are always looking for a fresh start.
As Catholics, we begin this year as we have for the last 46 years, by celebrating the Solemnity Feast of Mary, the Mother of God, but it wasn’t always so. Before this current feast, we would celebrate the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus. But, I have to wonder why we no longer celebrate Jesus’ circumcision.
I know, people don’t want to think of Jesus that way, it’s gross. But instead of putting ourselves in a position in which we are not open to Church teaching and thank God that we are no longer celebrating this older feast, I think it’s important that we look into why we celebrated it in the first place.
In Jewish law, baby boys were circumcised on the 8th day of their birth. Notice it is the 8th day of their birth, not eight days later. Jesus, being born on Christmas, would count as day one. January 1, even though it is only seven days later, qualifies as the 8th day. It is similar to how the 1st day of Christmas is Christmas itself; we are currently on the 8th day of Christmas. Mary would eventually have also presented herself to the temple regardless of the sex of her child because, in Judaism, women are considered “unclean” after they gave birth.
Mary, being a faithful and devout Jewish girl, along with her husband Joseph, would have brought Jesus to the temple to have him circumcised. In fact, we read this in the Gospel of Luke:
And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child. And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb. And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons. Luke 2:16-24
I have a suspicion as to why the feast of Jesus’ Circumcision was removed from the calendar and replaced with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. As has been evidenced in other books and blog posts, many enemies within the Church took advantage of the Second Vatican Council, as well as Pope St. John XXIII, and abused the opportunity to damage the faith. These Modernists removed and replaced many feasts from the calendar.
As Catholics, we learn a lot about our faith through the Liturgy, at least, that is how Catholics learned for many years. The removal of the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus, I believe, was done intentionally to undermine Jesus’ obeying of the valid Jewish law that God enacted before He walked this Earth. By removing this feast, it allowed for the question as to whether or not Jesus was circumcised, regardless to what the Gospel of Luke says. The removal of this feast set the stage for all enemies of the faith to begin to question everything Jesus and the Church have done.
If Jesus wasn’t circumcised, then that means that Jesus didn’t follow the laws of Judaism. If Jesus didn’t follow the laws of Judaism, then that means that laws can be ignored. If laws can be ignored, then the laws of Jesus and the Catholic Church can be ignored.
The logic above sets the stage for those who dislike the Church to brandish those who love the laws of the Church and Jesus Christ, as “Pharisees“. After all, Jesus did not like the Pharisees and rebuked them throughout the Gospels. Though, the Pharisees were not those who obeyed the Jewish law to the tee, but rather, those who would enact new laws not rooted in Judaic law, and instead prevented the people from reaching God, all while not observing these laws themselves.
While I love and adore Mary, as I have written throughout this blog, I firmly believe that this replacement feast to honor Mary was established to snuff out the authority of Jesus Christ. After all, what better cover to hinder Jesus’ authority than by praising Mary? No one would dare question a feast of Mary, as Catholics love her so much. While we can still venerate Mary on this feast day, I suggest we also venerate Our Lord Jesus Christ, as this day marks the anniversary of the first time in which He shed His blood.
Good post. What I find interesting is that I can’t find the supposed or given reason why it was eliminated. Presumably you don’t change the title and focus of one of the handful of Holy Days of Obligation without offering some explanation as to why you’re doing it–whether it’s a full or honest one or not. If such a reason was given, it doesn’t seem to have left any historical trail, or at least any historical trail on the internet.
More authentic Catholic wonderful. THANK YOU, JEFF! “By My Holy Face you will work WONDERS.” ~ Jesus to Sr. Mary of St. Peter
Especially for you and yours, Jeff, following that wonderful conclusion to your post. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
“I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person.
“I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin’s heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God.
“I adore You enclosed in the veins of Jesus, preserved in His humanity like the manna in the golden urn, the memorial of the eternal Redemption which He accomplished during the days of His earthly life.
“I adore You, Blood of the new, eternal Testament, flowing from the veins of Jesus in Gethsemane, from the flesh torn by scourges in the Praetorium, from His pierced hands and feet and from His opened side on Golgotha. I adore You in the Sacraments, in the Eucharist, where I know You are substantially present….
“I place my trust in You, O adorable Blood, our Redemption, our regeneration. Fall, drop by drop, into the hearts that have wandered from You and soften their hardness.
“O adorable Blood of Jesus, wash our stains, save us from the anger of the avenging angel. Irrigate the Church; make her fruitful with Apostles and miracle-workers, enrich her with souls that are holy, pure and radiant with divine beauty.”
~ Saint Albert the Great
The feast of the Mother of God was on that day for centuries: http://holyfamily.org/the-solemnity-of-mary-mother-of-god-january-1/ I don’t think its so much an undermining of authority or a focus on not seeing the law as important. Mary gave birth to Christ who came on Christmas to fulfill the law. The focus is on the fulfillment of the law at a time that’s right after Christmas.