Ss Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, the Most Holy Name of Jesus

This weekend is Saturday the 2 January, the feast of saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen and Sunday the 3 January,  feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.  


The monks of Glenstal Abbey sing Cantate Domino, a psalm of praise: ‘Sing to the Lord, alleluia.  Sing to the Lord, bless his name, tell of his salvation from day to day, alleluia.  Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.’  


Ecclus 51:11-17

I will praise your name continually,
and will sing hymns of thanksgiving.’
My prayer was heard,

for you saved me from destruction
and rescued me in time of trouble.
For this reason I thank you and praise you,
and I bless the name of the Lord.  


This Sunday marks the optional memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus – a special day for many in the Catholic Church who have a particular devotion to the name of Jesus. The Jesuits – members of the Society of Jesus – take their own name from the one that in Aramaic means ‘the one who saves.’ What does the name Jesus mean to you? How do you react when you hear it?  


In the Orthodox Church there is an ancient tradition of meditating on the name of Jesus. Try repeating it now slowly and silently to yourself a few times. Jesus … What does this name contain or express for you? Where does it lead you? Notice if you feel you want to add some words of your own or if it leads you into silence.  


As you listen to today’s reading again, remember that Jesus’s name means ‘saviour’; ‘the one who saves’. Is there is a place in your life where you feel Jesus has saved or rescued you? Where in the world do you or we need a saviour at the moment?  


Take some time now to talk or be with the ‘one who saves’, who is with you, who has called you by your name. How do you want to respond?  


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.