Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Today, in the traditional calendar of the Roman Church, is the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

Holy NameWhat 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 – 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 His images.

God focuses in the First Commandment of the Decalogue on what we might do wrong with our hands (Exodus 20:4: “You shall not make for yourself a graven image…”) and in the Second on what we might do wrong with our words (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”).

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).  The Name of God, of God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, God the Holy Spirit, is worthy of our fear and our love.

Consider the Holy Name of Jesus.

Keep in mind not only love for the Name but also the fear which is Its due.  Do not exclude the fear which is really reverential awe.

In Scripture forms of words for “fear” occur hundreds and hundreds of times.  This a healthy loving fear.  Scripture is imbued with loving fear of God, indeed, an awe leading to love.  Consider, for example, this passage the Book of Revelation which can teach us timor:  “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)   But in the book of Malachi, speaking of the Name of God, we read, “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).

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 fearful love.

Lord, have mercy, (Christ, have mercy.)
Lord, have mercy, Jesus, hear us. (Jesus, graciously hear us.)
God, the Father of Heaven, (have mercy on us.)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God, the Holy Spirit,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Jesus, Son of the living God,
Jesus, Splendor of the Father,
Jesus, Brightness of eternal Light,
Jesus, King of Glory,
Jesus, Sun of Justice,
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary,
Jesus, most amiable,
Jesus, most admirable,
Jesus, the mighty God,
Jesus, Father of the world to come,
Jesus, angel of great counsel,
Jesus, most powerful,
Jesus, most patient,
Jesus, most obedient,
Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Jesus, Lover of Chastity,
Jesus, our Lover,
Jesus, God of Peace,
Jesus, Author of Life,
Jesus, Model of Virtues,
Jesus, zealous for souls,
Jesus, our God,
Jesus, our Refuge,
Jesus, Father of the Poor,
Jesus, Treasure of the Faithful,
Jesus, good Shepherd,
Jesus, true Light,
Jesus, eternal Wisdom,
Jesus, infinite Goodness,
Jesus, our Way and our Life,
Jesus, joy of the Angels,
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs,
Jesus, Master of the Apostles,
Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists,
Jesus, Strength of Martyrs,
Jesus, Light of Confessors,
Jesus, Purity of Virgins,
Jesus, Crown of all Saints,
Be merciful unto us, (spare us, O Jesus!)
Be merciful unto us, (graciously hear us, O Jesus!)
From all evil, (deliver us, O Jesus!)
From all sin,
From Thy wrath,
From the snares of the devil,
From the spirit of fornication,
From everlasting death,
From the neglect of Thine inspirations,
Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation,
Through Thy Nativity,
Through Thine Infancy,
Through Thy most divine Life,
Through Thy Labors,
Through Thy Agony and Passion,
Through Thy Cross and Dereliction,
Through Thy Sufferings,
Through Thy Death and Burial,
Through Thy Resurrection,
Through Thine Ascension,
Through Thine Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist,
Through Thy Joys,
Through Thy Glory,
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, (spare us, O Jesus!)
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, (graciously hear us, O Jesus!)
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, (have mercy on us, O Jesus!)
Jesus, hear us, (Jesus, graciously hear us)

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, Who has said: Ask and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: grant, we beseech Thee, to us who ask the grace of Thy most divine love, that we may love Thee with all our hearts, words and works, and never cease to praise Thee. Make us, O Lord, to have a continual fear and love of Thy holy Name; for Thou never ceasest to rule and govern those whom Thou doest solidly establish in Thy love. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. (Amen.)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. kiwiinamerica says:

    Yep, the feast of The Most Holy Name of Jesus.

    I loathe the modern practice of moving feast days (e.g. the Epiphany, the Ascension ) to the nearest Sunday, as if we might all get spiritual indigestion if we have to go to Mass twice/week. It’s minimalism and it sends entirely the wrong message.

  2. Michael says:

    It kills me how prevalent “Divine Name + an expletive” is nowadays. The name of the Lord is holy, and we throw it around to show anger, disappoint, or disgust. Benedictum sit nomen Domini!

  3. THREEHEARTS says:

    Once when I was talking to a convert and his disciples I mentioned, Jesus as the Sun of Justice. I was condemned. vilified and howled at a too new age for them. How misinformed are so many in the Church today. A church which we must honestly admit is controlled by the Jezebels of Revelations Chapter 2.

  4. Joe in Canada says:

    The feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus is the titular Feast of the Society of Jesus. In Jesuit houses and churches it is celebrated this year on Monday Jan. 4 (as a solemnity). In your kindness please pray for the Jesuits on their titular feast day.

  5. mpolo says:

    The feast was restored (as an optional memorial) to the Ordinary Form some time before 2005 (if memory serves, by St. John Paul II). Of course many liturgical books do not yet contain it.

  6. The Masked Chicken says:

    It is an interesting point to ponder what Jesus means when He says,

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name.”

    Many people think of this as equivalent to, “name magic,” where just tacking on Jesus’s name to a prayer guarantees its fulfillment, but this is not what the sense of the words is. To do or ask something in the name of the King carries with it the implicit idea that the King authorizes the action, that it represents His character, His disposition, His will. Thus, asking for something outside of the Divine prerogative is a form of blasphemy. The best way to invoke the Divine Name is to keep the Commandments and, thereby, reflect the Divine will in ones actions. Then, when one prays, the prayers will be to the honor of the Divine name and even if you ask badly (ignorantly, but not sinfully), since what your really want is the Divine will, it will be done for you.

    The Chicken

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