The most Holy Name of Jesus

What shall we call people? People we don’t know, for example. During the days of Communism, in the Soviet Union, one simply would call someone “tovarishch” – “comrade” – and that worked just fine. But once Communism ended, what? I heard peple simply say “muzhchina” or “zhenshchina” – “man” or “woman.” After all, other titles were relegated to a “bourgeois past” and the Communist comrades were also gone. So all were reduced to saying to strangers: “man” and “woman” – kind of like saying “hey you.”

Civil life of course has all sorts of titles with which we call people, often shielding both parties from the direct use of a first name.  But there is a remarkable exception. The Lord of the Universe when He came to earth had a simple name: “Jesus” – which means “God saves.” Of course, He also has received many titles, starting with “Christ” – the “Anointed or Messiah” – and then, the divine title itself, “Lord.” They are wonderful titles- the best! – and yet what is more beautiful than the name “Jesus”? There is no other name under Heaven, we are told, by which men are to be saved….

And so, let us breathe that name with infinite tenderness, let it circulate around our hearts and give life to our entire being, for it is the Name of God Himself. There is no longer an unnamed God – no “hey you” that we call to the Heavens! The Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ has given us His Son in infinite tenderness and generosity, shielding Himself by no title, entirely vulnerable, entirely generous: let us praise and reverence His holy name, which is the key and door to Heaven itself. And may we, at the end of our life’s journey, hear Him tenderly call our own names and lift us from our graves into His glory!

January 4th, 2016