January - The Month of the Holy Name
The Holy Name of God Incarnate, the Second Person of the Trinity, is Yeshua or Jesus, which means “Yahweh is Salvation” (Luke 1:31). “And thou shalt call His Name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).
It was a fairly common name at the time, but it perfectly encapsulates the message of the whole Bible. It perfectly summarizes the history of the economy of salvation: from Genesis to the Book of Revelations -- it is summed up in the name “Jesus.”
The name implies the unity of purpose between the Father and the Son, and the love they share -- which is the Holy Spirit -- for all mankind by devising a means for man’s salvation after Adam’s fall.
Truly, it is “the Name above every other name” and “the Name at which every knee should bend” (Phil. 2:9).
The name of Jesus -- that He brings Yahweh’s salvation -- implies that He must possess all Truth, all Goodness, all Beauty, all Knowledge, all Power over all things -- and possesses these traits for all Eternity. Jesus possesses all that we find attractive, admirable, and desirable. As St. Augustine said, “our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”
The name Jesus is the perfect prayer, when said reverently. It is the simplest, shortest, most sublime, most direct prayer. The four elements of prayer -- adoration, praise, petition and thanksgiving -- are performed when calling out reverently the name Jesus. There are many short prayers centered on the Holy Name.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.
My Jesus, mercy.
Praise be Jesus Christ.
Jesus, My God, I love Thee above all things.
My Sweetest Jesus, be not to me a Judge, but a Savior.
Jesus, hide me in Your wounds.
Help me, Jesus.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus ....
Therefore we should keep the Holy Name always in our hearts and on our lips. We should pray it without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17). The author of The Way of a Pilgrim cites the teaching of the Desert Fathers, to pray the Holy Name with every breath, with every heartbeat.
We should keep the Holy Name in all of our actions. St. Paul says to perform “... every good purpose and work of faith, that the Name of the Lord may be glorified in you, and you in Him” (II Thess. 1:11-12). “Whatever you do in word or in work, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through Him.” (Col. 3:17).
Our minds wander throughout the day, distracted by the myriad of sense objects and memories. The simplest way to bring the mind back into focus on what is important is simply to call out “Jesus” in reverent prayer.
We should pray for all our needs -- both material and spiritual, but especially for holiness, for the forgiveness of our sins, and to offer up our suffering to His Pierced Heart. We should pray for the souls in Purgatory, and unite our prayers with all the Masses said throughout the world.
The Holy Name of Jesus, Yahweh is Salvation, gives us comfort throughout all the trials and tribulations of life, and provides us with hope for everlasting life upon our body’s death.
Because Yahweh is the salvation of all mankind, it is vital that we evangelize, giving witness to the truth of the Catholic Faith, by our words and example, to those we meet. This is true charity, true love (agape).
The Holy Name is a great refuge and shelter against the snares and temptations of the Devil. Satan hates the name of Jesus.
Now we can have some idea of just how heinous is the sin of taking the Holy Name in vain, violating the Second Commandment.
“Let the desire of our souls be Thy Name and the remembrance of Thee” (Isa. 26.8). “There is no other Name under Heaven given men whereby we might be saved” (Acts 4:12).