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Thoughts for the Week


The Most Holy Name of Jesus

Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk 
3rd January 2016

Feast of The Holy Name of Jesus

"God also hath exalted Him and hath given Him a Name which is above all names" (Phil. 2:9).

We Christians do not hesitate to call on the name of Jesus, because we know that He is the source of all power and grace. He Himself has assured us of His readiness to help all those who invoke His name: "Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do; that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask me anything in my name, that I will do" (John 14:13-14).

When we say the Holy Name of Jesus with reverence and love, we do as the Apostles and disciples of our Lord did. They taught and preached in the name of Jesus. "For," says St. Peter, "there is no other name under Heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts. 4:12). It was "by His name" that the Apostles worked so many miracles (Acts. 4:10) and they "rejoiced" when "they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus" (Acts. 5:41). The early Christians loved to surround themselves with symbols representing the Holy Name of Jesus. Many of these symbols are still used by the Church today.

One of the most familiar is the sign I.H.S. These letters are, in fact, the first three letters of the Holy Name, Jesus, in Greek. We must share with the Apostles and early Christians their deep reverence and love for the Holy Name.

What feelings of love and gratitude the name of the Saviour should inspire in us! We all know the sacrifices made by numerous missionaries that the name of our Lord may be more widely known. Generosity of the same kind, though not in the same way, is expected from us in our ordinary lives. By our encouragement and example souls who have grown weak in the Faith can be brought back to the grace of God. It often happens that we are the chosen instruments of God. Such opportunities of proving our love should never be neglected. We live in times of frequent panic and crisis. Men everywhere are seeking 'security' and 'peace'. We already have the security of knowing that Jesus, our Saviour is with us "all days" (Matt. 28:20). We have the peace of soul given us by the "Prince of Peace" (Is. 9:6). We must show a calm confidence, born of faith, in the power of Jesus. By living the full Christian life, based on solid conviction, we can show men where true peace and happiness are to be found. We repeat the Holy Name of Jesus with faith, reverence and love. It reminds us of our privilege as members of the Mystical Body, of which He is the Head. It is through our union with Him that we make progress in virtue. We know that He is "always living to make intercession for us" (Heb. 7:25).

But it is with love, above all, that we call on His name.

We remember His promise: "If any man love me, he will keep my word. And my Father will love him: and we will come to him and will make our abode with him" (John 14:23). Indeed, the very name of Jesus is, in itself, a perfect prayer.