Monday, January 2, 2012

On the Ninth Day of Christmas 2011-2012

Circumcision has no religious significance for a Gentile family such as mine; our male babies are circumcised by the doctor back in the nursery before we take them home from the hospital—if my family’s experience is typical, parents are not even present for the procedure.

Once we get home, we do, however, tend to the wound and watch over the healing.

On the day after Jesus’ eighth day Mary and Joseph—I guess mainly Mary, given the culture—would have been tending to his wound and watching over his healing.

It occurs to me that more often than not the first wound inflicted on our male children is inflicted by our choice and is dictated by our standards of what constitutes good hygiene and acceptable appearance. It occurs to me also that that first wound is the first of many that our children will experience because of the imposition of someone else’s choices, standards, and judgments.

Jesus’ circumcision was certainly the first of many wounds that would be imposed on him by other people for their own purposes and for what they no doubt thought were good reasons.

I wonder if, as his mother Mary saw him hanging on his cross, she thought back to that first wound, if she thought back over his many wounds. I wonder if she wished that she could tend to the wounds he was then experiencing even as she had tended to his first one.

Jesus and we share some wounds in common.

Jesus bore some wounds that only he could bear.

By our wounds we are humbled; by his wounds we are healed.

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