In the traditional Roman calendar today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.
The Holy Name should bring to mind everything the Lord did for us so that we might be saved.
We revere His Cross and make the sign of the Cross. We also revere His Holy Name. When we hear His Holy Name we remove our hats and, during worship in the traditional form of the Roman Rite, we at times are directed by the rubrics to bend the knee.
What does the Lord Jesus Himself say about His own Name?
In John 16:23 Jesus reveals His unity with the Father and the power of His Name saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name.” In Mark 9:38-39 we read an exchange between the beloved disciple and the Lord: “John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me.’” The Gospel of John says that, “these [signs] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (20:31).
His Name points to His Person, and His Person is our path to everlasting life.
Signs and wonders are connected with Jesus’ Holy Name. The Apostles and disciples worked many miracles through the Name of Jesus (cf. Acts 2:38; 3:6; 3:16; 4:7-10; 4:29-31; 19:13-17). The Apostle Paul wrote to his flocks about the Name of Jesus. What he taught reveals a fundamental aspect of God’s will for us who are His images. St. Paul wrote: “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
God focuses in the Second Commandment on what we might do with our hands (Exodus 20:4: “You shall not make for yourself a graven image…”) and in the Third on what we might say (Exodus 20:7: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain”).
The Holy Name is worthy of our love and our fear.
Keep in mind not only love for the Name but also the fear which is Its due. Do not exclude from your thought about God or your devotions the healthy fear, reverential awe. In Scripture forms of words for “fear” occur hundreds and hundreds of times. Christians having a loving reverential fear for God.
Scripture is imbued with loving fear of God. For example, this passage the Book of Revelation which can teach us something of awe and fear which is God’s due and is the “beginning of wisdom”. Consider the liturgical worship where you are. Is the liturgical worship of God where you are imbued with sense of awe? Think about that question as you read this:
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself. He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.” (Rev 19:11)
Our liturgical worship is to be a glimpse of mystery, a glimpse of heaven to come.
God’s Holy Name is sacred. “God fearing” men and women need not have terror of the Lord, but speaking and hearing His Holy Name will warm them with His love. Reflection on the Holy Name will also teach us something about our place before God and all He has done for us and desires to do.
In the Name of Jesus we obtain every blessing and grace for our sojourn in this world and for our eternal reward in heaven. Jesus said:
“If you ask the Father anything in my name he will give it you.” (John 16:23)
For those of you who desire healing of body and soul, consider also this about the Name of God. This must apply to the Holy Name of Jesus. We read in Malachi,
“But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall” (Malachi 4:2).
Amidst the vicissitudes of this world we depend in fear and love on His Holy Name, which we invoke in our neediest moments. Let us never invoke it in vain or frivolously!
Blest be His Holy Name.