January 1, 2020, Feast of Circumcision and Naming of Our Lord. A reflection on Luke 2:15-21.
“After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” (v21)
Today is the eight day of Christmas and the feast day of the circumcision and naming of the son of Mary and Joseph and the name given Jesus, following the angel’s advice to Joseph. Therefore as a Christian my greetings for today is Merry Christmas and a Happy Fiesta! I also deemed it necessary to inform my readers that in my past parishes and in my present diocese, there is no longer eucharist celebration in the evening of December 31 though we make it a point that all families will have to make a family prayer as they anticipate the coming of another year in the Gregorian calendar. It is because the church does not require it and also to prepare the faithful for a great festivity of the church on January 1, today.
Most dictionaries will translate Jesus’ name (which was apparently more properly translated to Joshua than “Jesus”) to be “God is salvation.” “God is salvation” is a phrase that ascribes a passive quality to God. … Yah is short for Yahweh, and shuah is from yeshuah which means “to save, save alive, rescue.”
If he is the God of Salvation or the savior, he should be the Christ. The word Christ was a title or office (“the Christ”), not a given name. It derives from the Greek Χριστός (Christos), a translation of the Hebrew mashiakh (משיח) meaning “anointed”, and is usually transliterated into English as “Messiah”. In the Old Testament, anointing was reserved to the Kings of Israel, to the High Priest of Israel (Exodus 29:7, Leviticus 4:3–16), and to the prophets (1 Kings 19:16).
Jesus is also the Immanuel in the prophecy of Isaiah which means a sign that God will protect the descendants of David, the great king. In the Gospel accounts especially according to Matthew it is interpreted as the prophecy of the birth of the Messiah. It was also believed to be the fulfillment of that part of the Scripture and pointed out to the person of Jesus.
As Christians we should have known how Jesus the Christ live out His ministry and the task of salvation that He accomplished. We should have known him from the womb of Mary to the empty tomb or from conception to resurrection.
Here are some biblical stories that we should know in a compact about Jesus the Christ.
The Love of God – John 3:16, ““For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 1:1, 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.”
The Mission of Jesus – Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Matthew 25:31-46, “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”
The plot to kill Jesus – John 11:45-50, “Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.”
The Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus – Matthew 27:32-56; John 19:38-42; Luke 24:1-12
His name is Jesus, the Christ. What is your name? We are the Christians. Me, I am Antonio, Christian. You are also Christian. You are Peter, John and James the Christians. The Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos), meaning ‘follower of Christ’. By virtue of our baptism we have become one and identified with Jesus the Christ and we must live it out. We have to live out our being the followers of Christ. Now let us know how to imitate the love of Jesus. In 1-John 3:16, “We know love by this that he laid down his life for us— and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.”
Let us live out our name for others.
Until next for the second Sunday of Christmas and the Feast of the Epiphany.