Thought of the day
12/18/2020 5:47:28 AM

"She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus"


Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)

Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Meditations for the Octave of Christmas, no. 8

"She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus"

The name of Jesus is a divine name that the Lord made known to Mary through the voice of the Archangel Gabriel: “You will give him the name Jesus” (Lk 1:31). A name that, for this reason, is called “above all names”, “the only name by which we can be saved” (Phil 2:9; Acts 4:12). This great name is compared to oil by the Holy Spirit: “Your name is oil poured out” (Sg 1:3). Why? Because, as Saint Bernard explains, just as oil is both light, food and medicine, so the name of Jesus is light for our minds, food for our hearts, medicine for our souls. Light for our minds: it was the brilliance of this name that enabled the world to pass from the shadows of idolatry to the light of faith. We were born in a land whose inhabitants were all pagans before the coming of the Lord. We should have been as they were if he had not come to enlighten us. So how should we not give thanks to Jesus Christ for the gift of faith! (…) Food for our hearts: this, too, is what the name of Jesus is. For it calls to our minds all the painful work Jesus accomplished to save us. This is how he comforts us in tribulation, strengthens us to walk along the way of salvation, revives our hope and inflames us with love for our God. And medicine for our souls: Jesus' name makes them strong in the face of temptation and our enemies' attacks. Do they hear this holy name? The powers of hell tremble and take to flight. This is what Saint Paul says: “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld” (Phil 2:10). No one who is tempted will fall if he calls on Jesus, and so long as he calls he will persevere and be saved.