THE FILM PRESENTATION ON YOUTUBE:
|Giovanni Bellini, c. 1459, "Presentation at the Temple" Venice, Italy|
Gospel Tradition According to St. Luke (2.21) NRSV
Ceud Mile Fàilte!
Ceud Mile Fàilte!
Luke 2.16-21, the shepherds come to see the new baby king. It starts with Mary who places her child in a manger. Why a manger? A manger was a feeding trough for the beasts of burden.
Immediately we are reminded of one of Christianity’s holy sacraments, that of the Eucharist. Eucharist comes from the Greek meaning, “thanksgiving.” Our Thanksgiving holiday is a feast, is it not? The sustenance for life is food. Someone had to give his or her life so that we may live. We are thankful for the gift. We are also grateful for all we have. We live in hope to living on through the next cycle, the next year, so we can celebrate the mystery of what it is we call life once again. Thus, we honor those who gave all they are.
Speaking of new encounters, the shepherds had their new encounter with the Holy Family. Likewise, the Holy Family had a new encounter of the shepherds. Encounters are a reciprocal act. One sees and experiences an-other (another). That other also experiences you. An exchange made from one to the other. The shepherds tell their story of yet another encounter with heaven, through the angels. They leave in great joy, because they know that what the angels told them was spot on. Mother Mary, we see, is pondering these words. Treasuring them. She is completely devoted to what they reported. Just as we would expect a matriarch to be.
Interestingly, angel also comes from the Greek. It means “messenger.” This is a root word for another that we use in English, which is “evangel.” The “ev-” comes from a Greek prefix meaning “good.” Sometimes, the “ev-” is “eu-” which is how we get another word, like “euphoria.” “Evangel,” then, is “good message.” It is equivalent to our “Gospel.” This is why we sometimes refer to the Gospel writer as the “Evangelical.” With this in mind, we can see how each one of us could be an “angel” or, better yet, an “evangel” at any given point in time, provided we are spreading good cheer.
Leviticus 12.3). This is a big event! All the locals gather to celebrate the birth—a week later—welcoming the newcomer into the community. This tradition got started by the patriarch Abraham (Genesis 17.12). Today, Christians do this not by circumcision, but through baptism. Our baptism is our “circumcision of the heart.” It is a way that our community can see the newborn, accept him or her in to the community, and promise to protect, teach and care for the child to the best they can. Since there is no difference between Jew or Greek, male or female and freeman or slave; we baptize everyone, not just the males. All are welcomed to the table of the Lord!
Today is the Day that our Lord gets his new name. The name of Jesus. Yeshua in Aramaic. It means "Yah Saves!" It is the very idea that salvation belongs to God alone. Yeshua was a common name throughout the Aramaic speaking world during the time of Christ, but it is significant that the Angel who saw Mary previously said his name should be this particular name. A name above all names.
Though the New Revised Standard Version and many other English translations circumcision of Christ came “after” the eight days were over, the Church celebrates this day, the eighth day, to coincide with the Torah and to match up with the “eighth” day of a new cycle. Chances are, the Holy Family waited until the Sabbath after the eighth day of the Child’s life to have that happen for the sake of convenience (John 7.23). This may be why the Church decides to baptize on or around the “eighth day.” Everybody is there regularly at that time.
The eight also signifies the “Eighth Day” that concluded “Sukkot,” the Feast of Booths or, Tabernacles, the last holiday of the religious year of Judaism. That day also pointed to the Eighth Day, the Resurrection of the Lord. New day, new week, new month, New Year then new life, the new creation. All of this alluded to and condensed in six verses!
The popular Christmas song called "The Twelve Days of Christmas" says about this day:
|taken from judithloganart.com|
On the eighth day of Christmas
my true love sent to me:
Eight Maids a Milking
For more about the Twelve Days of Christmas, click on the link.
See you on Epiphany (on Tuesday, January 6th, 2015)!
This is Amhas Jack Douglas+ in Fayetteville, AR wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!
Beannachd Dia dhuit!
May the Blessings of God be with you!