January 2, 2017

The Most Holy Name of Jesus

The Most Holy Name of Jesus

Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

January 3rd

Veneration of the Most Holy Name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, dates back to the apostolic period. The name "Jesus" means "Yahweh saves". Saint Paul reminds us that, " [Christ] Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, of those 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 2:10-11).

Father Pius Parsch observes "Persons who played prominent roles in the history of salvation often received their names from God Himself. Adam - man of the earth; Eve - mother of all the living; Abraham - father of many nations; Peter - the rock. The Savior's precursor was given the name God assigned him. According to divine precedent, then, the name of the Redeemer should not be accidental, of human choosing, but given by God Himself. For His name, should express His mission. We read in Sacred Scripture how the angel Gabriel revealed that name to Mary: "You shall call His name Jesus." And to St. Joseph the angel not merely revealed the name but explained its meaning: "You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." The Messiah should not only be the savior, but should be called Savior. With Jesus, therefore, the name actually tells the purpose of His existence. This is why we must esteem His name as sacred. Whenever we pronounce it, we ought to bow our heads; for the very name reminds us of the greatest favor we have ever received, salvation." (The Church's Year of Grace)

Prayer to the Holy Name of Jesus

Eternal Father, who didst give to thine incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we beseech thee, the love of him who is the Saviour of the world, even our Lord Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Jesu Dulcis Memoria

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
with sweetness fills my breast,
But sweeter far Thy face to see
and in Thy presence rest.

Nor voice can sing nor heart can
frame, Nor can the memory find
a sweeter sound than Thy blest
name, O Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek to those
who fall, how kind Thou art,
how good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah
this nor tongue nor pen can show;
the love of Jesus, what it is none
but His loved ones know. Amen.

Collect Prayer

O God, who founded the salvation of the human race on the Incarnation of your Word, give your peoples the mercy they implore, so that all may know there is no other name to be invoked but the Name of your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen.

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