Thursday 3 January 2013

What's in a name?

Today, as Franciscans, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. We use Jesus' name a lot and in many ways..some of them not always the best ways. The calling on Jesus' name was been a practice since the earliest days of the Church and it's promotion is accredited to our Franciscan brother St Bernadine of Siena. The famous IHS motive (the first three letters of the name Jesus in Greek), used on many liturgical vestments and cloths, is that of St Bernadine. This was later adopted by the Jesuits as their Congregational Seal.

When we call somebody's name we make them present to us. They come to heart and mind in a real and tangible way. To call on the name of Jesus is to do the same. In addition to this name, Jesus, has many titles which try to describe who He is. I have attached a short video meditation on these names.

The name Jesus is central to all Christian prayer and invocation. We say it often..but how often do we stop to think about what we are saying and who we are calling?

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