Pastor's Corner Jan 6 2019

In the Epiphany, we consider that the Holy Name of Jesus was already manifested. The name was given Him by the Angel Gabriel before He was conceived. St. Bernard points out that the angel called Him Jesus, meaning Savior, to indicate that He is the Savior of the angels too. Bernard says: "And note the depth of the meaning of the word: after His birth He called "Jesus" by Men; even before His conception He had been called "Jesus" by an Angel. This means that He is Savior of both Angels and Men: of Angels from the beginning of creation, of men from the time of His incarnation."

There had been other 'saviors,' for instance, Joshua who led the people into the Promised Land, but no other savior is able to save from sin – all sin of all men for all time. Therefore the name Jesus, Savior, belongs to Him not just by what He has done, but by who He is. Bernard again says: "For this name is His from all eternity. He is Savior by His own proper nature. This name is innately His, not given Him by any human or angelic creature."

In word or work, do all in the name of the Lord, Jesus – St. Paul's exhortation. How can we do this? At the beginning of our day, it is fitting to make the sign of the cross: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." (Note that the three members of the Trinity are invoked by one name, not names.) Is this the same as invoking the name of the Lord Jesus? Yes it is! No one human word is able to express the totality of God and there-fore we have many expressions, all of which highlight one aspect. Therefore, when we make the Sign of the Cross, we are invoking the power of all the names of God, including Jesus. Some Protestants make the mistake of being overly-literal—stupidly, even in their baptism right. The Church saves us from this error.

The Sign of the Cross. We begin our day in the name of God – for God, with God, by God, in God. Before important tasks, it is quite fitting to renew this consecration, by making the Sign of the Cross. In this way we ask for divine assistance. We can add other prayers to this sign, of course, but the Sign of the Cross is a prayer and act of consecration all by itself. In dangerous situations, we should also make the Sign of the Cross for protection. When receiving great blessings or graces or gifts, we can give thanks to God by the Sign of the Cross. If we just realized we committed a sin, a Sign of the Cross is an excellent sign of repentance, and re-consecration to the Holy Will of God.

Our Most Holy Savior is made manifest to humanity that we might learn to share His Divinity. Let us rejoice and glorify Him!

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