Behold a mystery, great and full of wonder! The Child is circumcised, and His Name is called Jesus. Why are these two things thus mentioned together?

It would seem that circumcision should rather be for the saved than for the Saviour; that the Saviour ought rather to be Circumciser than circumcised.

But behold here the Mediator between God and men, how even from His childhood He joins the things of the highest to the things of the lowest, the things of God to the things of men.

[…] In His circumcision, the ceremony gave proof of the reality of the Manhood which He had taken, and that Name which is above every name proclaimed the glory of His Blessed Majesty.

As very son of Abraham He underwent circumcision; He assumed the Name of Jesus as very Son of God.

[…] It is not in Him the shadow of a great Name, but the very meaning of that Name.

[…] After Jesus was born, men called Him Jesus, but angels called Him Jesus, before He was conceived in the womb.

The One Lord is the Saviour of angels and of men; of men, since His Incarnation; of angels, from the beginning of their creation.

His Name, says the Evangelist, was called Jesus, which was so named of the Angel before He was conceived in the womb.

In the mouth therefore of two or three witnesses is every word established; and that word to which the Prophet referred as “abbreviated” is set forth at length in the Gospel the Word made Flesh.

It is no wonder that it should be at His circumcision that the Name of Jesus (which is, being interpreted, Saviour) is given to the Child who is born unto us.

For it was then that He for the first time shed that sinless Blood which is the mean whereby He has chosen to work out our salvation.

It is no matter for the speculation of Christians why the Lord Christ was pleased to be circumcised. He was circumcised for the same reason for which He was born, and for which He suffered.

Neither one nor the other was for Himself, but all for the sake of the elect.

He was not born in sin; He was not circumcised to separate Him from sin; neither did He die for sins of His own, but for ours.

[…] The Angel indeed gave Him that title of Saviour, but not for the first time.

Saviour is His Name from everlasting; He has it of His own proper nature to save.

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153): Homilies 1&2 on the Circumcision (from Mattins of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus in the Old Breviary.

 

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