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Credo 8: ... Jesus ...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
'Jesus'. The word that is unutterable very often lies in the gutter. It exists among other choice words in the considerable vocabulary of swear words in modern usage. Such disrespect for the Holy Name misses the crucial point of its most adorable mention.

Jesus is the Name which is above all other names. It is the Name we daily pronounce to be ‘Hallowed’. It is the only Name under Heaven by which we are saved. Even His very Name means salvation. In his commentary on the Creed, Rufinus indicates that ‘Jesus’ is a Hebrew word that means ‘Saviour’, as we read in the books of Moses that Auses the son of Nave changed his name to ‘Jesus’ when he had been chosen to lead the people. This was so that he would bear a name that is proper to princes and generals – those who are looked upon to ‘save’ their followers. Thus the name ‘Jesus’ is used in salvation history for two people: the one who lead the people who had been freed from the slavery of Egypt and lived in the Promised Land; and the One who lead the people from the darkness of ignorance and sin to the new life of the Kingdom of God.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (no.2666) concludes a series of meditations on the various titles of Jesus with a prudent reflection on the importance of the Holy Name. The word ‘Jesus’ is described as the name which contains everything. This Divine Name may not be uttered by human lips, but it was under this Name that our God assumed our human nature, and so the Word of God hands the Name over to us, and we can evoke it – ‘Jesus’, ‘YHWH’, the One who saves us.

Within ‘Jesus’ everything is contained – God, humanity, creation and salvation. When we pray ‘Jesus’, we invoke His saving presence. This is the name that was given at the Incarnation, pronounced at His birth, crucified on the Cross, risen from the dead, and reigning for all eternity. Through the mention of His Most Holy Name we are redeemed. May the Most Holy Name of Jesus be forever praised and glorified.

see the previous posts on the creed


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