Commentary on Father Médaille's Contemplation on the Mystery of Circumcision:

There is no text found in the primitive manuscript that we have of Father Médaille, but we do know that he chose this as one of the mysteries that he wanted to include in his "spiritual exercises". (It is listed in his introductory table of contents.) Our Abba must have seen how this mystery, when contemplated, could further bring out, "the being emptied of self and at the same time filled with God."

We have only one verse from the Scriptures where this event was recorded of the life of Jesus.

When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised they gave him the name, JESUS, the name the angel had given him before his conception."
(Luke 2:21)

Through this sign of circumcision, as prescribed by the Jewish Law, Jesus became a member of the people of Israel. Jesus truly identified himself with humanity, a particular family, a particular homeland, a nation, a people - Israel. Through this action, we learn that God really does want to be identified with His people. God wants to be immersed in creation, in the world. Jesus' spiritual journey home to the Father is going to be a passing all the way through creation.

Jesus shows obedience and submission to the Law. His Father has given this Law to the People of Israel as a "sign" of the Covenant with them. Jesus can submit to this Law even though He participates in a Covenant relationship with the Father that is beyond Law. He accepts the human need for an outward sign of an inward reality. At the same time He points to a living relationship that transcends this outward observance.

"Yahweh will circumcise your hearts." (Deut. 30:6)

It's the inward, spiritual, not the outward, physical action that is important. As we contemplate this mystery with the Scriptures, we ask ourselves:

Are our hearts emptied, so as to be filled with God?
Where do I experience the need for a circumcision of my heart?

It is by a stripping away of the clutter, the impurities, the idols, the ego, that God emerges living ever more fully within us.

On the feast of the circumcision, the child was given a name. For Jesus, the being given a name that had already been prophesized before his birth:

"His name will be Jesus, which means Savior." (Matthew 1:21)

Jesus is the one born to lead the people to their eternal Promised Land. He "is the one who is to save his people from their sins." (Mt. 1:21) One's name signifies one's mission.

We might spend some time in reflection upon our name. What does your name mean? What is your particular calling/vocation? "I am called by name." Our vocation too is intimately linked with our being called by a particular name.

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,
I called you by your name, and I consecrated you and sent you..."
(Jeremiah 1:4)

Most parents in the anticipation and expectation of a new child coming into the family decide before the moment of birth upon a name for their child. The name announces the child's gift, special and unique, for this time and for this particular mission. Each person's name has a meaning.