Friday, January 3, 2014

The Name

Today we celebrate the Holy Name of Jesus. Until the 15th century in keeping with the gospel and Jewish tradition, the Church celebrated the circumcision and the naming on the same day, January 1. Later we separated it into two separate feast and in our current calendar we celebrate the name only. In Aramaic (Yeshua), Hebrew (Yehoshua), and in English (Jesus).

On one level there was nothing unique about the name. It was common among first century Jews. The gospels had to call him Jesus of Nazareth, or son of Joseph, or son of Mary to identify whom they were talking about.

What makes it unique is that it's meaning "God saves" or "God is salvation" is brought to perfection in this Jesus.

On this 10th day of Christmas we are reminded that the Holy Name of Jesus is more than a name; it is a statement of faith. When we call the name of Jesus, we are proclaiming our belief that 2000 years ago God brought the ultimate salvation into our world. Forgiveness of sin and so much more, a share in the divine life of God.