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Third Sunday

His sorrow when he saw Jesus' blood shed in circumcision;
his joy in giving him the name Jesus.

Introductory Prayer

O glorious Saint Joseph,
who faithfully obeyed the law of God,
your heart was pierced
at the sight of the most precious blood
that was shed by the infant Savior during
his circumcision,
but the name of Jesus gave you new life
and filled you with quiet joy.

By this sorrow and this joy,
obtain for us the grace
to be freed from all sin during life
and to die rejoicing,
with the holy name of Jesus in our hearts
and on our lips.

Reading Lk 2:21

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.


"A son's circumcision was the first religious obligation of a father, and with this ceremony (cf. Lk 2:21) Joseph exercised his right and duty with regard to Jesus.

"The principle that holds that all the rites of the Old Testament are a shadow of the reality (cf. Heb 9:9 f.; 10:1) serves to explain why Jesus would accept them. As with all the other rites, circumcision, too, is ‘fulfilled' in Jesus. God's covenant with Abraham, of which circumcision was the sign (cf. Gn 17:13), reaches its full effect and perfect realization in Jesus, who is the ‘yes' of all the ancient promises (cf. 2 Cor 1:20)." 7

"At the circumcision, Joseph names the child ‘Jesus.' This is the only name in which there is salvation (cf. Acts 4:12). Its significance had been revealed to Joseph at the moment of his ‘annunciation': ‘You shall call the child Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins' (cf. Mt 1:21). In conferring the name, Joseph declares his own legal fatherhood over Jesus, and in speaking the name he proclaims the child's mission as Savior."8

Here the Litany of St. Joseph (p. 543 f.) may be prayed, as a conclusion. Or the following prayer may be said.

Concluding Prayer

V. Pray for us, blessed Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

Almighty God,
in your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary,
the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth,
may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

7. GR, 11.
8. GR, 12.

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