JANUARY -The Most Holy Name of Jesus

The Most Holy Name of Jesus

The good name of a company or institution is preserved at huge expense and damage limitation is a costly exercise when there is tarnishing of on the reputation of a company. Poor customer care, product withdrawal due to defects can often kill a company’s annual turnover. Therefore branding, logo recognition and the marketing of a brand is part of the budget of any profitable enterprise. From time to time there is a scandal or a health scare– and the horse burger debacle is the one that comes immediately to mind.

Branding is big business from socks and shoes to hair products to what have you. These companies jealously guard their patent and their brand name. So if a company receives a valid complaint it is dealt with very seriously. Similarly if a company is not properly credited, misappropriated or used without due permission, lawsuits follow.

One’s own family name and indeed one’s own name and reputation are important too. We all have a right to our good name, and have a right to defend it form character assassination. Hence libel laws and litigation.

With all this talk of good names, we say that a particular business or production company has good name for value or safety reliability and longevity of their product.

Naming someone can be ‘a name and shame exercise’ or an identification of someone for a particular job, or winning a prize. We all like to hear our name called out in a raffle or draw. Or our ears prick up if we hear our name being called out in public or if we stumble on a conversation where we are been mentioned.

Someone is named for a particular reason. Thought goes into naming a child.

So what or who is the most important name of all? Of course the name of Jesus – ‘of all names there is no other name under heaven and earth by which we can be saved.’

In January – for the whole month – we traditionally give honour to the Holy Name of Jesus and there is in fact a liturgical feast in January to honour His name.

It is a sad fact that Catholics and Irish Catholics in particular give such dishonour to the Holy Name. what does it say about us as a nation that in a certain shrine abroad a hotel owner described Irish people as the ‘Jesus people’ because of their tendency to take His Holy Name in vain at every juncture.

We must honour the name of the Lord – after all it is a commandment, and a commandment of love to give due honour to His name because God is holy. Jews would not dare even utter the name of God and reverence it in writing. A few years ago I heard that the Leaving Cert Hebrew exam papers form in Irish secondary schools were burnt when finished with, because the Hebrew name for God was in hand-written form.

We have celebrated Christmas, and Jesus’ name is especially mentioned with great honour in the infancy narratives: ‘and behold you will conceive and bear a son and you must name Him Jesus, He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.’ Later, at his circumcision, eight days after his birth he is formally named (Luke 1:21, Mt 1:25)

In Matthew, the prophecy is fulfilled: ‘behold a virgin will conceive and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel, a name which means God is with us’ (1:23).

So let us always reverence His Holy name.
We have the example too of Mary, who, in her Magnificat said: ‘He that is mighty has done great things for me, Holy is His Name.’

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