Tuesday, January 5th: There will be no noon mass.
January 1: The Holy Name of Jesus
This feast dates from the end of the 15th century, and had its origins Germany, Scotland, England, Spain, and Belgium. It is meant to encapsulate and sum up the mystery of our salvation in one commemoration; that life, reconciliation, healing, peace, and every good thing have one and only one source: Jesus. Today we set our minds on the abundance of all that God has done, is doing, and will do for us by, with, and in his only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
January 6: The Epiphany
“Epiphany” comes from the Greek word for “revelation” or “manifestation”. On this day we celebrate the Lord’s manifestation of himself to the world, in two events. First is the manifestation of the Lord to the Wise Men, as recounted in Matthew 2. Traditionally the Church has seen in the arrival of the Wise Men to worship Jesus the manifestation of the Messiah to the Gentiles (the wise men were probably not Jews). Their arrival at the Christmas crib meant the beginning of the fulfillment of the Lord’s promises, through the prophets of the Old Testament, that the coming of the Messiah would mean redemption and salvation not merely for Israel, but for all the nations and tribes and peoples of the world. Secondly, we remember on this day the Lord’s Baptism at the hands of St. John the Baptist in the River Jordan. The Lord’s Baptism was the beginning of his public ministry. And it was at his Baptism when God the Father first bore visible witness to Jesus as the Anointed One, the beloved Son of God. Thus the Lord’s Baptism was all an “epiphany” of the God, as the identity of Jesus was disclosed to all those who looked on. It was traditional on this day, in the Western Church, to bless the houses of the faithful with chalk blessed by the priest. A formula was inscribed on the door, or the doorpost, of the house, comprised of the initials “C.M.B.” which stood for “Christus mansionem benedicat” – “May Christ bless this house” – along with the form of the cross, and the numerals of the current year. C, M, and B, are also first letters of the traditional names of the Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.