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37. Legal Observances Regarding the Christ Child

1. Our Lord submitted to the circumcision: (a) to provethe reality of his human nature; (b) to lend approval to a ceremonydivinely instituted; (c) to show his descent from Abraham who firstreceived the law of circumcision; (d) to remove an obstacle thatwould prevent Jews from believing in him; (e) to give us an exampleof obedience; (f) to indicate that sin is to be cured by pain ofsense; (g) to take up the burden of the ceremonial law that hemight relieve others of it.

2. Our Lord was called Jesus by divine command(Luke 1:31). The name means Savior, and it signifies the gratuitousgrace bestowed on Christ as man that through him all might besaved, that is, brought safe to heaven.

3. Our Lord was presented to God in ceremonious functionin the Temple at Jerusalem. This was in fulfillment of the law(Exod. 13:2) which reads, "Sanctify unto me everyfirst-born." The presentation was a kind of officialconsecration or dedication of the first-born to God. Our Lord wasnot bound by the ceremonial law requiring the presentation, for heis God as well as man, and his divine Person is not obligated bycreatural regulations, even those of divine origin. But our Lordwilled to be obedient to the law, for the benefit and edificationof mankind.

4. And Mary was obedient, in imitation of her divine Son,to the ceremonial law. She submitted to the requirements of thePurification, although she had no need of purifying, since therewas no conveying of original sin in the conception and birth of herSon. St. Luke (2:22) says that the days of Mary's purification"according to the lawof Moses" were accomplished.St. Luke thus pointedly indicates that the requirement for thepurification was on the part of the law, and not because of anyneed in Mary.

"Obedience is a short cut to perfection."
St Philip Neri

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"God has no need of men."
St Philip Neri

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