Did you know that the month of January in the Church is traditionally dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus?
The name of Jesus is radical! On one hand, proclaiming the name of Jesus can call down the power of God and drive out demons. On the other hand, many people today use the name of Jesus as they curse.
This reminds us of an amazing story from one of our Pilgrim Center of Hope pilgrims. When her superior used the Lord’s name in vain during a meeting, our pilgrim confronted her boss (who was not a Christian) and told her how much this offended her. She also assured her, “I will be praying for you.”
Time passed, and our pilgrim grew closer to her Holy Land pilgrimage journey. She approached her boss and said, “I’m going to the Holy Land soon, and I would like to leave a prayer intention for you at the Wailing Wall.” Her boss replied, “Not just there; pray for me everywhere you go.”
So, our pilgrim did just that: At every holy site we visited—most of which are related to the life of Jesus, she prayed.
Not long after our return from pilgrimage, her boss approached our pilgrim and said, “Thank you for praying for me. You helped me to discover God.” She joined the Church!
The name Jesus means, in Hebrew: “God saves.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us: “At the annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both his identity and his mission. Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, ‘will save his people from their sins’.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 430)
This month, try a simple prayer:
Speak the name, “Jesus,” slowly, and with reverence.