Posted by: fvbcdm | January 3, 2014

Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (3 January 2014)

In our life of worship of God, we may if we wish celebrate Mass today in honor of the Holy Name of Jesus. We did so this morning here at the monastery.  The Christmas octave ends with January 1, the solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.  But the Christmas season continues until our celebration of the Baptism of Our Lord, which this year falls on Sunday, January [12]. During this period we celebrate, after the birth of our Lord, the Holy Family into which he was born, then the solemnity of his mother who, by reason of giving him birth, became the Mother of God, now the holy name of Jesus, given him by his Heavenly Father through the message of the Archangel Gabriel to both Our Lady and St. Joseph, then the solemnity of the Epiphany when the incarnation is first manifested to the Gentile world, and then finally, the Baptism of Jesus at which all three Persons of the Holy Trinity appear for the first time in Scripture.  The Father by his words; the Son by his physical presence, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.

It is the prerogative of a father to name his children. Therefore God the Father exercises that privilege in choosing a name for his divine son who now becomes a human. The name he chooses is “Jesus,” which means “Savior.” And furthermore, the name is imposed upon the son of God in a rite—circumcision—which involves bloodshed.  Thus in the first shedding of his precious blood, Our Lord becomes “Savior” both in name and in fact, and this rite prefigures the definitive shedding of the blood of this paschal lamb on the cross. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, the famous Cistercian mystic of the middle ages, spoke beautifully of the holy name of Jesus. “Jesus,” he tells us in one of his sermons, “is honey in the mouth; music in the ear, a shout of gladness in the heart.” And each time we recite the Divine Praises after Benediction, we say, “Blessed be the name of Jesus.”

Every time we make the sign of the cross, we bless ourselves “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Those are their divine, eternal names. But Jesus is the human name assumed by Our Lord in his humanity. We have great devotion to that name which reminds us that, upon coming into our world, our race, our history, he comes in order to save us from eternal exile. He comes to reopen the gates of heaven, to give us hope, to reanimate us with the joy of looking forward to being with him forever. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

 Note:  This is a CDM composed by Father Brown in the past.

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