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A covenant of Blood

First outpouring: Jesus shed blood in the circumcision

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From the Gospel according to Luke (2:21)

“On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.”

Nine months earlier, something happened in the time and space of human existence that irreversibly determined its development. If until then time could have passed in a never-ending circle or could have stopped with our breathing when everything ceases to exist, this now can no longer be the case.

History has now taken a new course; God came down from His throne to unite Himself intimately with Creation. Since that day, every moment of time is imbued with His scent and every corner of space filled with His presence. He has embodied our humanities with our personal stories made of dreams, limitations, sufferings, anxieties, joys, loneliness, falls and wonderful flights. Everything that belongs to our humanity God wanted to touch and be a part of, ‘getting His hands dirty’ with us. In Jesus our blood and our lives flow now, and He has chosen to live each life fully with all that it entails.

He lived hidden in his Mother's womb for nine months and now here He is before our very eyes, eight days after His birth. Little Jesus is so fragile, abandoned in the arms of his Mother. He chose a woman and a man to take care of Him and raise Him, perhaps to teach us that everything and every day of our life is blessed by God, even the days spent in the womb of our mother. And our life is blessed as it is, without us having to do anything to deserve His blessing.

Everyone around Jesus laughs happy while he cries because of the small wound that is inflicted. Those first drops of blood pouring out for us are the sign, in the flesh, of his covenant with the Father. God is in Him and He is in God, always united. And one day, one of the last of His existence in our history, Jesus also asks us to be united to Him as He is one with the Father.

The drops of blood that were shed are the first sign of the love that Jesus asks us to remain in. His life is an invitation to circumcise our hearts, similar to when you make a blood pact with a friend. A cut on His Heart, a wound in our heart, His and ours, two wounds that touch to show all the fragility that is within, all the desire to be united that motivates us and the deep passion that drives us to become one, blood of the other’s blood.

Jesus now weeps for that wound, but he came for a much larger and deeper circumcision. The blood that will pour out from His Heart will make us like Him as children of the Father. But what weapon can pierce the Heart of God? A very sharp weapon, polished with care along the furrows of time of all human history: man's sin. Jesus lets Himself be wounded to open His Heart from which will gush forth the torrent of His infinite mercy.

And Jesus asks us only one thing - to make a small cut on our hearts, too, to unite our blood with His and and be bathed in this source of eternal life. But can a cut be made on stone? Our heart needs to become soft, our humanity needs to rediscover all its fragility. A heart of stone is not aware of being deeply loved, while a heart of flesh knows that this is his deepest truth. We are beloved children!

In many passages of her diary, Luisa refers to the event of the Circumcision. Jesus, as a good teacher, tells her what that little cut a few days after His birth meant for Him and what it represents for humanity. It is a decision from God waiting for the decision from creatures.

In his life, Adam by sinning inflicted a wound on his soul; from this soul issued Divine Will and entered the darkness, miseries and weaknesses that formed the woodworm of all human goods. For this reason, if man possesses goods without the Divine Will, were he to have any, they would be worm-eaten goods, rotten, devoid of substance, and thus powerless and worthless. And Jesus, who loves man so much, in the early days of His life here on earth wanted to undergo the circumcision, suffering a rough and painful cut that made Him shed tears. In this wound He opened the door to the human will to bring it back into His Will. In this way, His wound would heal the wound of the human will by infusing it again in His "Divine Fiat", removing the woodworm, the miseries, weaknesses, the darkness and all its goods, and by virtue of His "Omnipotent Fiat" they would be redone and restored.

Ever since Jesus was conceived and from the first days of His life, He worked for the Kingdom of the Divine Will and to put it to safety in the midst of creatures. This is what caused His long waiting, His tears, His repeated sobs and pains; everything was aimed at restoring the reign of the "Fiat" on earth. For as many goods as Jesus had given, man would never be happy and neither would he possess the fullness of goods and of holiness. Though man was created to be king and ruler, he would always be the weak and miserable man servant. Instead, with the Divine Will reigning in the midst of creatures, Jesus gives man in one single act all the goods, the palace and dominion he had lost. Now Jesus is waiting for our decision to give us the kiss and the Kingdom He has prepared for us. All we have to do is not put up any barriers to such a good, which will be the greatest show of His love.

When we discover that we are loved, our way of living and thinking changes. Our choices are no longer affected by past sufferings, the fear of judgment, or by future anxieties. Instead, everything is conditioned by the certainty of His love that is omnipresent. When this certainty is heartfelt we are no longer afraid of being who we are. If we are conscious of being loved, it is then that we learn to love. By showing us His love Jesus teaches us to follow Him and to love as He loves. The roads along which He leads us are not the easiest; often, and perhaps always, they are not what we had imagined them to be, but they are the only roads that lead us to true life and to the full realization of ourselves.

Joseph, the foster father, knew this well. Nine months before the birth he imagined his life in a totally different way - quiet and spent between home and work, a family with many children, and if time had allowed even grandchildren. He would have lived happily and for plenty of days, rich with offspring that would have kept his name and his memory. But our plans do not always coincide with God’s, and life’s events call us to put everything in a new perspective.

When God manifests Himself in the life of a person, He turns it around. Confusion is a natural element. One feels lost and frightened when faced with something new and unexpected. The fact that God has manifested Himself does not make fear disappear; it remains. But when God enters history, He exacts a choice. One can no longer live as before and pretend that nothing happened. Joseph knew this and accepted his new mission with courage: to be the father of the One who comes to save mankind from sin.

Now Joseph feels guided by God. He knows that his steps are not only his, but also those of God. There is a greater plan to accomplish that concerns all men. The poor carpenter from Nazareth will lay the first foundations of a house that will welcome many children like his Jesus.

As he witnesses the rite of circumcision and looks at the spilled blood, Joseph wonders what will become of Jesus, what He will be like and if He will resemble him a little. These are the questions every father asks. No one except Joseph knew that the life of Jesus is a gift he has received that does not belong to him. But Joseph is entrusted with the mission of taking care of Him, like any good parent. He lifts his eyes toward the heavens and thinks back to the words of the angel. He breathes a sigh and then smiles. Joseph is a happy man.


Oh Child Jesus,

with the first Blood shed for our salvation

You reveal to us the value of life

and the duty to face it with faith and courage,

in the light of your Name

and in the joy of Grace.


by don Marco


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