January 1 : Circumcism of Our Lord & Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Circumcism of Our Lord and Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God 

Jesus was subjected to the sacrament of the Old Law: Circumcism eight days after his birth, during which he received the name announced by Gabriel to Mary. Obviously, there was no need for Jesus to be circumcised to be marked as one of the chosen ones of God, but He subjected Himself willingly and freely.

Many have listed reasons for Christ's circumcision. Concisely, as our Lord identified Himself with humanity by becoming a man, so He identified Himself with the Jews by unity of blood and religion and suffering, thus proving Himself to be that man foretold by the prophets.

Historically viewed, the Feast of the Circumcism is at the same time a celebration of the Octave of Christmas, of the Virgin Mother's special role in the Incarnation, as well as a penitential protest against the pagan excesses of the New Year.

More recently, emphasis has been placed on honoring Mary as the Mother of God on the first day of the year.