November 18, 2007 Year C
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time/25th Sunday after Pentecost
Reflections on the Readings
Malachi 3:19-20; Psalm 98:5-9
2 Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21:5-19
Theme: For My Name's Sake
But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings.
What's in a name? To be known as a follower of Christ, i.e. to be called by his name, can incite both praise and persecution. The earliest affirmation of our faith declares allegiance to only one Lord and Master.
In Acts chapter 4 the rulers of the synagogue interrogated Peter and John concerning the cripple healed by Jesus through their ministry to him. "By what power or by what name did you do this?" they asked.
Then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit answered them. Peter did not respond from prepared remarks. He had heard Jesus say, "Settle it therefore in you minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict." Such was the promise Jesus has made to all who would be quarantined or imprisoned for His name's sake.
Peter declared that day that it was by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth the crippled man stood before them no longer crippled. "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved," said Peter.
It is Jesus himself who has given us His name. And all that we do and believe should give honor and glory to His Glorious Name. On our road to perfection may we in our hearts reverence the precious name of Jesus. He who came in His Father's name and hallowed it tells us that we in His name should receive children, that we gathered in His name will have his presence and that the Father will send the Holy Spirit in Jesus' name who will bring the teachings of Jesus to our remembrance.
If in our hearts we hallow the name of Jesus we will ever be made in His image. If in our hearts we cherish the name of Jesus we will know the fellowship of the Father and the Holy Spirit. If in our hearts we embrace the name of Jesus we will ever rejoice over the fruit of Mary's womb, Jesus.
Whatever ridicule or persecution we incur for His name's sake is not worthy to be compared to the glory that is our destiny. At the mention of His name we bow our hearts and our heads in reverence. And at the last day, at the mention of his name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess He is the Lord. All of this and more for His name's sake.
Let us pray: Dear Jesus, in your name is my refuge. And in your name I enter into that worship that is worthy of your name. In this life may I learn to live in the power of your Holy Name and with it bless all whom I meet. Amen