New Year's Day for Christians is the octave of Christmas. It is not just an extended continuation of the celebration of the birth of the Messiah. It is also the day we commemorate the first victory of the Redeemer over the disorder of sin: He shed His innocent blood to begin His work of redemption. The disorder from which He redeemed mankind was that of the abuse of the body, particularly that of abusing the means of propagating the human race. Beginning with His birth in a stable, Our Lord gave this as a visible sign as to true values: namely, that the spirit is more important than the flesh. This, as we know, is the fundamental disorder in creation: Instead of the flesh obeying the spirit, the spirit obeys the flesh.
The fact that Abraham had been incontinent is not evidence that God permitted promiscuity. If this were the case, then the words of Genesis as quoted by Jesus Himself concerning the sacredness of the marriage bond would be meaningless.
We are told in the Book of Genesis that God commanded Abraham to be circumcised. We are permitted to pose the question: Is this the true meaning of the words of the Old Testament which we have only through the teachings of heretical Rabbis? The fact that all the first Apostles were Hebrews (Israelites) and that none of them enjoined circumcision as a condition for salvation or belonging to the kingdom of God (the Church), would indicate that more study of this matter is needed.
It is justly to be abhorred that God would require such a peculiar gesture to ratify a divine covenant. Novatian, one of the early Fathers of the Church, had explained the true meaning involved in the prohibition of 'eating unclean animals.' He pointed out that the rabbinical interpretation was erroneous and that the meaning of these words could only be taken in a spiritual sense. Novatian wrote a book likewise explaining how and why physical circumcision could not have been meant by God because this would involve a contradiction. This, of course, is impossible. It is not the Scripture that errs; it is man's interpretation of the Scriptures.
Jesus was physically circumcised not to give credence to the act, but in order to abolish it! He did not approve of circumcision.
It has become a widespread and lucrative imposition of Jewish doctors to have infant males circumcised after their birth. This outrageous mutilation of helpless infants must be stopped. Parents are often unaware of the consequences of circumcision and naively believe the nonsense told them ( if they are told anything at all!) about the supposed "hygienic" purpose of this sadistic blood-letting.
Parents who are still able should make it emphatically known to hospital attendants that circumcision is against their will. And if they are Christians, they should know that this is against their faith. Furthermore, parents should let it be known that if their wishes are not respected, that the hospital and all those involved will be subject to legal action.
No one has the right to mutilate one's own body or that of another
Circumcision was practiced by many tribes and nations before Abraham. It is perhaps mistakenly interpreted as an "hygienic" procedure. This, however, is ridiculous. What most people do not understand is that the Law condemns man because it cannot save him. This is the meaning of the words 'The letter kills.' And those who profess to live 'according to the Law' necessarily court disaster because it is only the Spirit that can give life. The letter has no power of itself. It is the Holy Spirit that gives the grace to observe what the Law commands. The Talmudists, therefore, who observe the rite of circumcision show themselves to be in error by attaching to something that was meant as a figure - in view of their pagan-like promiscuity - a reality that was never meant to be physical mutilation.
St. Justin Martyr, who is considered the first prominent defender of the Christian faith against non-Christians and the enemies of the Church, quotes from the Prophet Isaias "Wash yourselves, be clean, and take away evil from your souls." And adds: "Thus does God order you to be washed in this laver, and to be circumcised with the true circumcision."
St. Justin further says to the Pharisee, Trypho: "We, too, would observe your circumcision of the flesh, your sabbath days, and , in a word, all your festivals, if we were not aware of the reason why they were imposed upon you, namely, because of your sins and your hardness of heart."
"If we patiently bear all the evils thrust upon us by vicious men and demons, ask mercy even for our persecutors and do not wish that anybody be requited with even a little of them, as our new Lawgiver decreed, why is it, Trypho, that we should not observe those rites which cannot harm us, such as the circumcision of the flesh, the sabbaths, and the festivals?"
The Talmudist Pharisee, Trypho, answered: "That is precisely what we are puzzled about - why you endure all sorts of tortures, yet refuse to follow the [Talmudic] customs now under discussion."
St. Justin answers: "As I have already explained, it is because circumcision is not essential for all men, but only for you Jews, to mark you off for the suffering you now so deservedly endure. Nor do we approve of your useless baptism of the wells, which has no connection at all with our baptism of life. Thus has God protested that you have forsaken Him, 'the fountain of living water, and have digged for yourselves broken cisterns which can hold no water.' (Jer.2,13)."
Therefor, concludes St. Justin, "You Jews who have the circumcision of the flesh, are in great need of our circumcision, whereas we, since we have our circumcision, do not need yours.
For if, as you claim, circumcision had been necessary for salvation, God would not have created Adam uncircumcised; nor would He have looked with favor upon the sacrifice of the uncircumcised Abel, nor would He have been pleased with the uncircumcised Henoch, who 'was seen no more, because God took him.'
The Lord and His angels led Lot out of Sodom; thus was he saved without circumcision. Noe, the uncircumcised father of our race, was safe with his children in the ark. Melchisedech, the priest of the Most High, was not circumcised, yet Abraham, the first to accept circumcision of the flesh, paid tithes to him and was blessed by him; indeed, God, through David, announced that He would make him a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech. Circumcision, therefore, is necessary for you Jews, in order that, as Osee, one of the twelve Prophets, says, 'thy people should not be a people, and thy nation not a nation.'
Furthermore, all these men were just and pleasing in the sight of God, yet they kept no sabbaths. The same can be said of Abraham and his descendants down to the time of Moses, when your people showed itself wicked and ungrateful to God by molding a golden calf as an idol in the desert. Wherefore, God, adapting His laws to that weak people, orderd you to offer sacrifices to His name, in order to save you from idolatry, but you did not obey even then, for you did not hesitate to sacrifice your children to the demons. Moreover, the observance of the sabbaths was imposed upon you by God so that you would be forced to remember Him, as He Himself said, 'That you may know that I am God your Savior.' (Dialogue with Trypho, chap.20)
Thus, no Christian who has been redeemed through the sacrament of Baptism has any need for submitting to the grotesque barbarism of circumcision.
Nor should anyone be intimidated by the medical fallacies that would insult the Creator by suggesting that it was for 'hygienic' reasons that circumcision was performed. Even by stretching the imagination and admitting that such might have been the case (though we reject the idea), why would this 'hygienic' medical ritual be imposed without the permission of parents in an environment where people are able to wash?
Circumcision was performed by many tribes as a ritual akin to human sacrifice. It is still widely practiced in Africa and similar places where collective sadism has not yet been rooted out through Christian grace.
We would invite those well-meaning adherents to mistaken ideas and interpretations of the Scriptures to join us in serene measuring and meditating on the inspired words of St. Justin.
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