Today’s Thoughts: Today we celebrate the Most Holy Name of Jesus and our scriptures, especially our Gospel, once again focus us on our relationship with Jesus. What might we take always from the celebration of this feast and our scriptures today?
For me the focus today is on the Name of Jesus. I have always found a name to be important. I am very proud to be named after my father and I think one of my sadness's of life is that I never had the chance to continue the tradition and name a son, Paul Raymond. I also struggle with names, especially remembering the names of people that I have met. I am in awe of people who can and do remember names. Names identify people, names honor people, names define people and place people in the context of history and life.
I have always wondered why over the centuries Jesus' name became such a focal point of disrespect. Often when I lead young people in an examination of conscience before the Sacrament of Reconciliation, I will talk about how our words often hurt. I ask those present this, "How would we like it if every time something went wrong, every time someone got angry, every time someone expressed anger, they would use our name?" The answer is always a universal, "I would not like it at all!" Yet, isn't that what we do with Jesus, with God? Why is that? What causes us to say, "God dammit!" or "Jesus Christ!" with anger and disrespect?
As I said yesterday if we know ourselves, we have a better chance of knowing God. If we respect ourselves, we have a much better chance of respecting God and others! I am sure all of us value our name. It is important to us to be respected for who we are. It is important for us to be known by our name. It is important for our name not to be disrespected. Likewise, it is important for God, for Jesus to be respected too! As we live this day let's make a conscious effort to honor, respect and cherish The Name of Jesus! When we use it let us use it to grace life with hope and love – not fill it with anger!
Every morning and evening I begin prayer in the Passionist tradition by praying, "At the name of Jesus every knee must bend in heaven, on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the Father." It keeps me focused; perhaps it can for you too!
Have a great Thursday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...