Monday After Epiphany
(or January 7 where the Epiphany is always January 6)
1 John 3:22—4:6 + Matthew 4:12-17,23-25
I will give you all the nations for an inheritance.
Some years, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord—which is the final day of Christmastide—is celebrated on a Monday, which makes for a shorter season of Christmas. Most years, however, the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated six days later on a Sunday, which gives us many more weekdays of Christmastide. These weekdays—today being one such—help us appreciate better how and why the Epiphany is the culmination of Christmastide.
These weekdays focus our attention upon the significance of the Epiphany. The refrain of today’s Responsorial is an example: “I will give you all the nations for an inheritance.” Proclaimed by the Church, these words from Psalm 2 can be understood from a Trinitarian perspective. That is, the words of this psalm foreshadow the Church’s doctrine about the Most Holy Trinity.
This refrain can be understood as God the Father speaking to God the Son about the fruit of the Son’s earthly mission. The Son accomplishes His divine mission through His Death, Resurrection, and Ascension. The fruits of what the Son accomplished are the saint of God Church, beginning on the day of Pentecost. These saints are His “inheritance”. These saints are the members of Christ’s own Mystical Body, and this Church is meant by God to be universal: that is, to consist of “all the nations”. The Epiphany is the beginning of Jesus’ mission: revealing Himself to the nations so that they might place their faith in what He accomplishes for them.