The Precious Name

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

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Today, in Mercy, our passage from Acts describes a sacred practice of the early Church – the invocation of the Name of Jesus as a source of spiritual power.

acts3_6 Name

Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”

These first Christians were so invested in the Gospel of Jesus Christ that they claimed the right to act in his Name. They also clearly believed that they had no power themselves, but only in that blessed Name.

To call someone by their given name is an act of familiarity, if not intimacy. For those closest to us, we often have nicknames or pet names, conveying a unique understanding of each other.

Calling God by name is an act of both intimacy and worship. In the book of Exodus, God takes the first step in that deeper friendship:

God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord.
I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob
as God Almighty,
but by my name “the Lord”
I did not make myself fully known to them.

With the Incarnation of Jesus, God took the ultimate step in loving friendship with us. To help us understand the nature of this friendship, Jesus gives himself some “nicknames” throughout the Gospel:

  • Good Shepherd
  • Lamb of God
  • the Vine
  • the Way, the Truth, the Life
  • the Bread of Life
  • the Light of the World

Each of these names helps us to enter more deeply into the infinite love God has for us.

Do you have a special name for God? Sometimes, early in the morning when First Light touches my window, I pray with that Name. I ask my Bright God to light my life and the lives of those I love this day. At night, that same window is full of Sweet Darkness, a Name I call God as I ask that we all find a peaceful, protected sleep.

We might also ask if God has a special name for us. At different moments and moods of your life, does God speak to you with a personal, loving “nickname”? If you haven’t heard it yet, why not ask God to whisper it to you in your next prayer?

Jesus, Jesus
Let all creation bend the knee to the Lord.

In Him we live, we move and have our being;
In Him the Christ, In Him the King!
Jesus the Lord.

Though Son, He did not cling to Godliness,
But emptied Himself, became a slave!
Jesus the Lord.

He lived obediently His Father’s will
Accepting His death, death on a cross!
Jesus the Lord.

3 thoughts on “The Precious Name

  1. Dear Renee, your daily reflections, full of beautiful images, poetry, songs of praise and deeply felt belief in a loving God who wants to save us invites me out of myself and into community. The power of God’s Word is greater than anything we can imagine so thank you for sharing your deep spiritual insights with us.
    Peggy Miros

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Marian Catholic

    I’ve often wondered how intimate a bond Simon of Cyrene (an ancient Greek city on the North African coast, as far as I know) and Jesus had formed while both of them were laboring under the weight of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa supporting each other in mutual corroboration. Other than the Virgin Mary, who carried God in her womb for nine months, I can’t think of any other biblical person who physically and emotionally bonded with God in such close proximity and personal intimacy. We can only imagine what sympathetic words the two exchanged between themselves, so personal and private that none of the evangelists could hope to record in their gospels; a dialogue that is none of our concern and should be kept only between the two who were joined so close together and isolated from the raging crowd as mock companions to those who jeered. Jesus would have embraced Simon if the Roman soldiers would have let him lay down his Cross, just for a brief moment. It was Simon who smelled God’s blood and felt its stickiness while he helped our Lord bear the Cross in his humanity. But I’m sure Jesus said, “Thank you, Simon.” What a blessing that would be to hear God thank us by our own name with humble and sincere gratitude. The Cross Bearer hasn’t yet entered the Catholic index of saints, but he is a saint in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. But I believe that he made it to heaven. His shared ordeal on the road to Calvary must have been a conversion experience for him as he looked into God’s eyes and touched His broken body. The hug that our Lord desired to give Simon should have to wait until he met Jesus again at the gates of Heaven. And what a hug it should be.

    Liked by 1 person

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