The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.”
And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today the Church around the world has the choice to celebrate an optional memorial: The Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. Called the titular feast of the order, members of the Society of Jesus will especially honor the name of Jesus today.
La compania de Jesus. I like the translation “companions of Jesus” best. Not being a Jesuit (having not joined the “company”), I identify with it the most. To be Jesus’s friend – that’s what Christianity is all about.
As we reflect on our friend Jesus’s name, it would be good to take moment to remember how you met your friend. When, for you, did the name Jesus change from historical figure to intimate companion? Where were you? What inspired the change? How did meeting Jesus feel? If you have trouble identifying Jesus as “friend”, pray today for that grace.
—Mark Bartholet is a John Carroll University alumnus who coordinates the Contemplative Leaders in Action program and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at St. Peter Catholic Church, the Jesuit parish in Charlotte, NC.
O God, who founded the salvation of the human race on the Incarnation of your Word, give your peoples the mercy they implore, so that all may know there is no other name to be invoked but the Name of your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
—Collect prayer from today’s Mass