Nm 6:22-27; Gal 4:4-7; Lk 2:16-21
For the folks at Gesù in Miami …
Jan. 1, the octave day of Christmas, is a bit of a liturgical casserole. Presently we call it the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. At different points in history, however, New Year’s Day has also marked the feasts of the Circumcision of Christ and of the Holy Name of Jesus. We still see all three ingredients in the Gospel, for example, which features Mary’s role as mother, Christ’s circumcision, and the giving of the name Jesus. Surprisingly, however, it’s the theme of the Holy Name that ties together all our readings. In the reading from the Book of Numbers, for instance, God teaches the priests to call upon His name, saying, “So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them” (Nm 6:27). In the reading from Galatians we hear that the Holy Spirit empowers us to call God by the name “Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6). Seeing that our Church is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, I’d like to dwell on this theme for a bit.
We’re probably so used to calling God by name that we hardly give it a second thought. But many religions traditions would find the practice strange. I’m thinking especially of two groups. Read the rest of this entry »