His Most Precious Name

Matthew 1:18-25

Jer 23:5-8 / Psa 72

“You are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”
(Matthew 1:21)

Lord Jesus, we glorify Your Name

In every place and at every hour;

May we never mention it in vain,

But only for its saving power.

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Reflection

The angel of the Lord appeared to St. Joseph in a dream, and told him not to proceed with his plan to divorce Mary for being pregnant before their marriage, because “it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.” (Mt.1:20) This event had been prophesied through the mouth of Isaiah, who said, “”The virgin shall be with child, and shall name Him Emmanuel.” (Isa.7:14)

What’s in a name? Everything. My dear departed father used to tell us that one’s name is his most prized possession, not only because he is blessed by it (or cursed, depending on how it was valued by his predecessors), but because it is the most precious legacy that he can bequeath to his heirs or successors.

Who we are depends on how we value the name of Jesus. Whenever I close my eyes in meditation of that beloved Name, the power of its most gentle sound seems to wash away all tensions and anxieties of the day.

The oriental religions have their “mantras” when they meditate. We too can meditate like them to attain inner peace. But our one-word mantra is far more powerful than all their mantras combined. The Name of our Lord is just so wonderful because it signifies salvation.

“Blessed forever be His glorious Name; may the whole earth be filled with His glory.” (Psalm 72:19) Let us always honor His Name, never taking it in vain, but blessing each other by it.

Dear Lord Jesus, may Your Name be ever in my lips, in my mind and in my heart, so that my days and nights will always be filled with love, and my life be made holy. Amen.

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