Friday, January 01, 2016

Maronite Year XIII

The Feast of the Circumcision always occurs on January 1. In some calendars, the day is also called the 'Celebration of Peace' due to the fact that it's New Year's Day and thus the prayers of the day ask for peace for the coming year. Besides peace, particular emphasis is placed on Christ as fulfilling the law and on circumcision as a sign of baptism, thus making the day look forward to Epiphany.

The Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord Jesus
Ephesians 2:11-22; Luke 2:21

By His circumcision Christ fulfilled the Law.
His Name is salvation to Jew and Gentile;
His name was given by the angel.
In His fulfillment of Law we fulfill Law;
by His consecration we are made holy.

To Abraham God said, "Keep my covenant!
Every male among you shall be circumcised,
to be marked out a people of God."
By this passion He signified the Passion,
and by this seal He signified the promise.

Moses confirmed the law of circumcision,
that Christ might be the fulfiller of the Law.
Hear, O Israel, the Lord is one;
Love Him with all your heart, your soul, and your might;
circumcise your hearts that you may be holy.

Joshua, who shared the holy name of Christ,
at Gilgal renewed the holy covenant,
raising up the sons of Israel.
The reproach of old Egypt was rolled away,
the circle of the promise was completed.

Circumcision is not a mere physical sign;
it a seal of the Law and covenant,
a full consecration of the heart.
In Christ circumcision found its fulfillment,
the circle of the promise was completed.

Christ who is our peace has given us baptism,
in which we are adopted co-heirs of Christ,
dying to the Law but raised to life,
the life of Jesus who was raised from the dead.
By His consecration we are made holy.

Citizens of Israel we have become,
not by our circumcision but through our Lord,
citizens of Spirit, not of blood,
as through our baptism we have received peace
and by this seal He signified the promise.

Let all who have been baptized live their baptism,
the commandment of love to love our neighbor;
we are baptized into Christ's Passion.
Love your neighbor that you may abide in light;
circumcise your hearts that you may be holy.

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