Wednesday, 3 January 2018 : Weekday of Christmas Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the feast of Our Lord’s Most Holy Name, Jesus Christ, the Name He was given before His conception in the womb of His mother Mary, revealed to her by the Archangel Gabriel. His was the Name above every other names, the one and only Name with the power to save all of us mankind.

There is no other name with this power, for His Name, Jesus Christ, is the Name of God, the Divine Word Incarnate revealed unto us. No man or Angel has this same power and authority, and for that reason, we have to keep in mind that we should not make use of the Lord’s Name in vain, or worse still, desecrate the sanctity of His Holy Name by misusing it or even misrepresent it before others.

In the past, according to the traditions of the Israelites, the Name of God was not to be uttered or mentioned, as His Name was so holy that it could not be uttered by mere men. But through Jesus Christ, not only that God has revealed His image and appearance to us in the flesh, but He also revealed to us the truth about His Name. That is the Name and the only Name on which all creatures of the Lord, upon hearing it, will bow down and kneel in homage.

Yes, indeed, even Satan, the great enemy of all of us the faithful, and the one who had wanted to seize God’s throne in his pride, had to submit to the Lord’s authority as the Master and Creator of all things. At the Name of Jesus Christ, Satan himself had to submit, and bend the knee to Him, paying homage in utter powerlessness and incapacitation, as much as surely he loathes doing so.

That is why, as we heard the words of the Scriptures, taken from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in the city of Philippi, the Lord has exalted His Son, Jesus Christ, because of His humble and perfect obedience, having willingly accepted death, death on the cross for the sake of all of us mankind, by offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our complete and total reconciliation with Him.

This act of ultimate and perfect love shows all of us just how great and loving Our God is. And it is for the same reason that we adore Him and worship Him, as Our Lord, Master, Creator and King. It is why the Church instructs us all to bow our heads at every mention of the Holy Name of Jesus in the celebration of the Holy Mass. This act reminds us that through that Name alone, we have been saved, and not by any other name.

Yet, it is truly sad to know that in reality, in our world today, many of us no longer respect and hold the Name of the Lord sacred as we should have done. We just utter His Name in vain, using it in all sorts of circumstances, many of which less than ideal. We even used His Name in vulgarities and coarse language. That is not how we should be using His Name. And indeed, we should be ashamed and embarrassed, if only we know that even Satan has to bend his knee at the mention of the Name of Our Lord and Saviour.

Not only that we do not bend our knee and humbly worship Him, but in fact we proudly refused to acknowledge Him as Our Lord and Saviour, and preferred to walk in our own path rather than to follow His commandments and ways. As a result, we have fallen further into sin, the same sin which brought down Satan, once a great and mighty Angel of the Lord, who because of his pride, rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven.

It is ironic that while even Satan has to acknowledge God as his Lord and Master, but many of us mankind refused to do so. Instead, we persisted in our pride and hubris, and in our wicked ways, while God Himself has been so kind and so loving, to the point that He willingly laid down His life for our sake. That is the ultimate proof of God’s love for us, and each and every one of us should acknowledge that, by honouring and glorifying the Holy Name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

It may be difficult and a weird experience for us to go through in the beginning, but believe me that, if we begin to appreciate the experience of bowing at every mention of the Holy Name of Jesus in the Mass, slowly but surely, if we do it with full understanding and awareness of how Jesus Our Lord has influenced our lives and how He has loved us greatly, we will grow to love the Lord all the more, and eventually, we will walk more and more faithfully in His ways.

That is the power that God’s Holy Name can have on us, and we have to realise this, brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all pay our due respect to the Holy Name of Our Lord and Saviour, and spend time to reflect on how great is the love that God has given to each and every one of us. Let us all seek to love Him all the more, and devote ourselves to Him. Amen.

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