The Circumcision of Christ.
ALMIGHTY God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man; Grant us the true Circumcision of the Spirit; that, our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Epistle Reading: Philippians 2.9-13
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 2.15-21
Barbee and Zahl:
“This Collect ( . . . ) was taken from the Gregorian Sacramentary. ( . . . ) When you meditate on a written prayer such as this one, ask yourself first, what is being asked for here? When you take away the address (“Almighty God, which . . . ”), and the formal pleading (“through the same thy son . . . ”), what exactly is being prayed for? In this prayer, on the occasion of the Feast of the Christ’s Circumcision, the petitioner – and we are the petitioner – is asking God for “the true circumcision of thy spirit.” The idea is that the Holy Spirit alone can cleanse us and prompt us to accede from the heart to the design of God for our life. A transformed will results in changed actions. The Holy Spirit “circumcises” us from within. The consequence is an inward desire to obey God. Such a will bears the fruit of good works. ( . . . ) What we do results, rather, from who we are, or better, from what the prior grace of God has helped us to become” (12-3).
Primus Pilus II