THE MOST HOLY NAME OF JESUS (Opt. Memorial) White
First Reading: 1Jn 2:29-3:6; Psalm: 98 R. v. 3cd; Gospel: Jn 1:29-34
THE LORD OUR SALVATION
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Today is the optional memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. In the third century, the names Jesus Christ were abbreviated or shortened as ‘IH’ and ‘XP’. ‘IH’ stood for Jesus and ‘XP’ for Christ. These abbreviations were made subsequent to the persecution of Christians to protect them from their persecutors. The name “Jesus” is a form of the Hebrew name “Joshua” meaning “The Lord is salvation.” As Joshua led Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land, Jesus would save the world through the baptism of his death into the Promised Land of heaven.
In the gospel of today, John rightly announced Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Jewish people were only familiar with the sacrificial lamb killed every year as expiation for their sins. So it was new and strange to them that John had to address Jesus in this manner. Jesus would ratify this testimony of John by his death on the cross. His blood which he smeared on the cross would save the world from eternal condemnation unlike the blood of the Passover lamb that saved Israel temporarily from the angel of death.
Jesus proved his name by his death on the cross. Indeed, he is the Lord our salvation. The name Jesus saves till today and forever. “For God has exalted him and gave him the name above every name; so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and very tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11). No true Christian should ever be ashamed to witness to the name of Jesus by word and deeds. For such witnessing is the way to salvation.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus Christ, we adore and believe in the power of your most holy name. Please, save us from every evil that may come our way. Amen.