The Most Holy Name of Jesus
1 John 2:29—3:6 + John 1:29-34
January 3, 2017
“Now I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God.”
While the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus is only an optional memorial in the Church’s liturgical calendar, its meaning dovetails beautifully with the Scriptures the Church proclaims today from the writings of St. John.
The Most Holy Name of “Jesus” literally means “God saves”. In today’s Gospel, when His cousin John saw Jesus approaching he declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” God saves us from the power of sin through the self-sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
One obvious reason why we hear 1 John proclaimed as our First Reading during Christmastide is its emphasis on childhood. Unbelievers can see the spirit of Christmas in the joy and wonder of a child, even if they choose not to emulate her. The Beloved Disciple wants us to emulate himself when he beckons us to see “what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.”
It is the love of God the Father that makes us His Children. This is so because “God is Love”, and in giving us a share in His life, we become like Him. This love is bestowed on us through the Father’s Gift of His only-begotten Son.