By Anni Harry

 

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”  ~ John 1:29

Merry Christmas!

In a world where trees and decorations are being taken down almost overnight following New Year’s celebrations, we continue to celebrate the coming of one Babe Who offered us salvation through His life.

In 2002, the Church reinstated the Optional Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.
Everywhere we turn in these modern times, it feels as if we are faced with a barrage of phrases taking the Lord’s name in vain. One of the most common is the secular phrase “OMG.”

Yet, the clear challenge from today’s Gospel reading is to emulate the phrase of John the Baptist, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).
Succumbing to the pressure to take Jesus’ name in vain is easy. At every Mass, the priest elevates the Precious Host right before we begin to head up for communion, saying the words we hear in today’s Gospel reading.

Many people ushered in the New Year with resolutions to change and amend a part of their lives. Other people are still trying to figure out how to mark 2024 in the most meaningful way possible.

The Name of Jesus

Let us turn our spiritual resolution to the Holy Name of Jesus.

He, Whose birth we still celebrate in its liturgical season, was given the name by a messenger of God. His blessed mother and his earthly father oversaw that the instructions were carried forth. The name carries a weight, which we hear in Philippians 2:10-11, “that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, 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.”
Let Jesus’ Holy Name shine forth and guide you in 2024.

 

Prayer

Loving Father, we thank You for the gift of Your beloved and precious Son. Help me always to speak His name lovingly and reverently, emboldened by the desire to love both You and He in all my thoughts, words, and actions. Amen.

Call to Action

Write a spiritual New Year’s resolution for 2024, which includes reverently marking Jesus’ Holy Name. Whether it is to pray the Divine Praises or an Our Father, or bow your head when you hear the name of Jesus (regardless of where you hear it), mark His Holy Name in a meaningful manner this year.

 

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