January 2024 — Overview for the Month
The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of January 2024
For the Gift of Diversity in the Church: We pray that the Holy Spirit may help us to recognize the gift of different charisms within the Christian community and to discover the richness of different traditions and rituals in the Catholic Church. (See also https://www.popesprayer.net/)
Feasts for January 2024
1. MARY, MOTHER OF GOD, OCTAVE DAY OF CHRISTMAS, Solemnity
2. Basil the Great; Gregory Nazianzen, Memorial
3. Wednesday of Christmas Time; Most Holy Name of Jesus , Opt. Mem.
4. Elizabeth Ann Seton (USA and CAN), Memorial
5. John Neumann, Memorial
6. Saturday of Christmas Time; André Bessette (USA) , Opt. Mem.
7. EPIPHANY OF THE LORD, Solemnity
8. Baptism of the Lord, Feast
13. Hilary, Opt. Mem.
14. SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, Sunday
17. Anthony, Memorial
20. Fabian; Sebastian, Opt. Mem.
21. THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, (Sunday of the Word of God), Sunday
22. Day of Prayer for Unborn (USA), Opt. Mem.
23. Vincent of Saragossa (US), Marianne Cope (US), Opt. Mem.
24. Francis de Sales, Memorial
25. Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, Feast
26. Timothy and Titus, Memorial
27. Angela Merici, Opt. Mem.
28. FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, Sunday
31. John Bosco, Memorial
Focus of the Liturgy
The Gospels for the Sundays in January during the Christmas season follow the annual readings from St. Matthew, St. Luke, and St. John. The remaining Sunday Gospels in Ordinary Time are taken from St. Mark following the Lectionary for Cycle B, and the Weekday readings follow Year II.
Matthew 2:1-12: We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.
John 1:35-42: They saw where he was staying and they stayed with him.
Mark 1:14-20: Repent and believe in the Gospel
Mark 1:21-28: He taught them as one having authority.
Highlights of the Month
In the first part of January we continue to rejoice and celebrate Christ's coming at Bethlehem and in our hearts. We have the wonderful feasts of Mary, Mother of God, where we honor Mary's highest title, and then we follow the Magi to the crib as they bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh on Epiphany. Finally we reach the culmination of this season with the Baptism of Our Lord by St. John the Baptist. With a touch of sadness we take down our decorations and enter into the liturgical period known as Ordinary Time where we will devote ourselves to the mystery of Christ in its entirety.
This is a time of growth and an opportunity to allow the dignity of Sunday to shine forth prolonging the joy of Easter and Pentecost. Besides those previously mentioned the month's saint days include:
Mary Mother of God (January 1),
Holy Name of Jesus (January 3),
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (January 4),
St. John Neumann (January 5),
St. Andre Bessette (January 6),
St. Anthony, Abbot (January 17),
Sts. Fabian and Sebastian (January 20),
St. Francis de Sales (January 24),
Conversion of St. Paul (January 25),
Sts. Timothy and Titus (January 26),
St. Angela Merici (January 27),
St. Thomas Aquinas (January 28)
The optional memorials of St. Raymond of Penafort (January 7), St. Agnes (January 21), and St. John Bosco (January 31) are superseded by the Sunday liturgy.
The Winter Seasons
The opening days of January may be cold and nature bleak, but the domestic church still glows warm with the peace and joy of Christmas. We dedicate the New Year to Mary on the January 1st Solemnity honoring her as Mother of God; and on January 8, the Solemnity of Epiphany, we rejoice with her, as her Son is adored by the three Wise Men.
Herald John, who ushered in the Advent season, is present once again to close Christmastide on the feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (The First Luminous Mystery), and to open the Season of Ordinary Time. He points to Jesus, the Lamb of God who unites time and eternity in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and even January’s diminishing darkness seems to echo St. John’s prayer: “He must increase and I must decrease.”
In this liturgical season the Church eagerly follows Our Lord as he gathers his apostles and announces his mission. At Cana’s wedding feast (The Second Luminous Mystery) he performs his first public miracle at the request of his Mother, and his disciples saw his glory and believed in him.
We, his present-day disciples pray for a like faith as we contemplate the eternal wedding feast of the Lamb and the unique role of the Blessed Mother in the plan of salvation. May we wholeheartedly obey her words of counsel: “Do whatever he tells you.”
This item 12538 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org