Good message for the Octave of Christmas...
Or if you use the older missals this is for the Circumcision of the Lord.

Why does the Church celebrate this on January 1 besides just it being the "Octave" of Christmas?

The Church does this because Christ is God. He's not just a philosopher, teacher, or one with a good message but of course Our Lord. In truth we would rather him be the former than the latter of being God because with the former we can all just say "Well he has a really good message" or "Well he was such a nice person" (except when he used a whip to drive the moneychangers from the temple). But if he is really God then we must ask ourselves, since God humbled Himself by being born of woman and became flesh and loved us so much that He died for our sins have we really given Him our thanks. Have we tried to avoid the occassions of sin? Have we truly devoutly worshipped the Lord not just on this day but all the days of our lives? And so on the first day of the new year this is celebrated so the Church can tell the world that Jesus Christ is God.

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