Christ would have liked to abide visibly with the apostles forever, but the world, hating Christ, was unable to contain His sojourn with it. The world, hating Christ, could condemn Him again and again to death. The world could no longer behold Christ because of its wickedness, which the Holy Spirit, having come into the world, was to convict.
The holy Church wants to prick our souls with the spectacle at which the angelic powers marvel with trepidation: as the Master Who “rules the ungovernable waters of the heavens… is embraced by the flowing waters,” as He Who adorns the heavens with clouds is adorned Himself with the waters of Jordan, as the Creator of man Himself is stripped bare to cover the nakedness of Adam, to vest him anew in the light garments of spiritual rebirth, and to warm by these garments the fallen human soul cooled from the winter of passions.
Even if only St. Andrew and Epiphanius saw the Protection of the Mother of God, don’t we know that her Divine Protection invisibly spreads across the whole world? Could it be that the one who from the very first days when her Divine Son began His preaching to the world asked Him about the wine running out at the marriage in Canaan of Galilee, would after departing to heaven cease to ask and pray for the human race?
How often and with what indifference do we abandon the word of God, which is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12), and turn to earthly wisdom, the rudiments of the world (Gal. 4:9; Col. 2:8), which does not in the least reveal to us the divine wisdom hidden throughout the world and in the life of mankind!
“The Lord of all endures circumcision, and He circumcises man’s sins, for He is good.” This is the meaning of today’s Church feast. The Circumcision was established by God and commanded through Abraham to all the chosen people of the Jews. It was a sign of entering into the Covenant with God, the seal of the promise to be always in Obedience to Him from childhood, to be faithful to Him unto the shedding of blood.