What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Readings for the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist


Each of us probably has a story behind our name. On this solemnity, we hear the wondrous backstory of the naming of John the Baptist.

I know it’s common these days for parents to choose less-than-common names for their children. Those of us who grew up in different times might smirk at these unusual appellations. Even the crowd that had gathered around Elizabeth and Zechariah were perplexed by their choice for their firstborn’s name. Yet I don’t know of any parent who didn’t spend many days and nights fretting over finding just the right name for their child.

There is a grace and honor in this sacred act of naming. To name the plants and animals and one another was one of the first privileges given to humans by God. Click To Tweet

There is a grace and honor in this sacred act of naming. To name the plants and animals and one another was one of the first privileges given to humans by God. Our name is the first gift we receive in life; it is often the first possession we offer to one another. Our name is to be revered.

Our name is the first gift we receive in life; it is often the first possession we offer to one another. Our name is to be revered. Click To Tweet

As Christians, our name also gives us the mission of Christ in whom we are named priest, prophet, and king. Like John, the “prophet of the Most High” (Lk 1:76), we too are to announce and proclaim Christ’s message. With John, who prepared the way of the Lord, we trust that all names lead to the one Name of Jesus who saves us.

 
This post was first published on the planner page for the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal,” Vol 29, No 2.

Image credit: Chuttersnap, unsplash, CC0.

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