Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

Luke 2:21 "...Et vocatum est Nomen eius IESUS"

Though January 1st commemorated the actual day of the Jewish ceremony which named Our Lord, today is the official day set aside for us to honor the Holy Name. Someone new to the mysterious feast day choices of the Church may wonder a little at this one ~ maybe not so much as at the concept of the Feast of the Circumcision, maybe, but it might seem like a bit of hyperbole over an insignificant thing at first glance, all this to-do about a name. But, goodness, what a Name!

There never has been and never will be another gift more important than the Incarnation of God, made man for our salvation. And this gift to us, the "Word made Flesh" is known to us by the letters of His name ~ Jesus.

Jesus.

The sound should be music to our ears and the pronunciation sweet to our tongues, not only because of His promise to us, but because of the eternity of the love for us that lies within the syllables of His name.

We know that "... in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth." (Philippians 2:10)

And Christ, Himself, assured us that "... if you ask the Father any thing in My Name, He will give it you. Hitherto you have not asked any thing in My Name. Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be full." (John 16:23-25)

How can we not love this Name as we love Him? He has promised so much to us by it. It is the Name of our most truly beloved.

Blessed be the Holy Name of Jesus, now and forever.

Notes on the Day:

How can we revere the Holy Name of Jesus?

* Catholic men remove their hats any time and anywhere it is heard or spoken by them, and all Catholics bow their heads when speaking it or hearing it.

The custom of bowing the head at the mention of His Name was formally written into law at the Second Council of Lyons, A.D. 1274, convened by Pope Gregory X: "Those who assemble in church should extol with an act of special reverence that Name which is above every Name, than which no other under Heaven has been given to people, in which believers must be saved, the Name, that is, of Jesus Christ, Who will save His people from their sins. Each should fulfil in himself that which is written for all, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow; whenever that glorious Name is recalled, especially during the sacred Mysteries of the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head."

* when His Name is taken in vain, the Catholic in the room will (or at least should) make reparation by praying "Sit nomen Dómini benedíctum!" ("Blessed be the Name of the Lord!"), to which another Catholic who might be in the room replies, "Ex hoc nunc, et usque in sæculum!" ("from this time forth for evermore!") or "per ómnia saecula saeculórum" ("unto ages of ages").

* inspired by the example and words of St. Bernardine of Siena (see below), we place the monogram of His Name ("IHS") over our doors for protection, in the same way that the Israelites in Egypt used lamb's blood during the first Passover:
(The three points above quoted from here.)

* take the time to research movies before viewing in order to avoid any films which use the Lord's Name in vain excessively (three is our limit) and turn off television or taped movies in the home, likewise, that offend heaven in this way. (This last point, the goal of our family.)

Craft for the Day: Make sure and run over to see Charlotte, at Waltzing Matilda! She has created some more wonderful coloring pages for us for today's feast day.


As suggested above, it would be a fun and significant project to chalk in (or even paint!) the monogram of Our Lord above the entryway of our homes today!

Music for the Day: The Gardner-Webb choir (not our guys) singing Jesus Dulcis Memoria:




Prayers for the Day:


1 comment:

GrandmaK said...

A wealth of information and glorious music! Thank you! Cathy