(Taken from the Synaxarion of the Feast.)
The Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord celebrated in our Maronite Church on January 1st, commemorates an event in the life of Jesus which took place eight days after his birth: his naming and circumcision.
According to Hebrew Law, every male child was to be circumcised on the eight day after his birth (Genesis 17:11-12). Circumcision was the sign God gave to Abraham of his covenant with his chosen people. Through circumcision the Hebrew child received the physical sign of his membership in the chosen people of God. At the time of circumcision the child was also given the name by which he was to be known among God’s people.
It is thus that Jesus is circumcised and given his name which means, 'Yahweh is Savior.'
Jesus, as God’s true Son had no need of circumcision and yet, in order to show that he was the fulfillment of the law, he submitted to its prescriptions. Jesus was already a member of God’s chosen people; for, in fact, he was God’s chosen One, the Son of the Most High. And yet, Jesus not only observed the prescription of the law, he also surpassed them since after his death and resurrection, the New Covenant would be established and the Old Covenant would be abolished.
The infant church questioned whether circumcision was necessary for those who wished to become Christians. Saint Paul who brought the gentiles into the Church asserted that circumcision is no longer required in the light of the death and resurrection of Jesus. One becomes a member of the new Israel, not by circumcision of the flesh, but by faith and baptism in Christ Jesus (Colossians 2:11f)."