Blog # 259 Who is Jesus? Who are we?
A person's name is unique to that person. Our name may have the same spelling and sound as the name of our mother or father, uncle, aunt, or cousin, but as our name it is ours alone. A name identifies a person, tells who he or she is, all throughout a person's life.
The color of our eyes, the number of hairs on our heads, the number of our friends, the hopes and desires we hold in our hearts are all contained in our name.
So there is more to knowing a person's name than knowing the sound of it. I could go that far and no further, but that is not all there is of the possibilities. As we grow in the closeness of friendship, I could discover and share our joys and sorrows, our hopes and disappointments, our struggles fears conquests goodness and love. All of this would be discovering ever more perfectly who you are, your name.
One of my brothers has the name Thomas. I know how to spell it. I know how it sounds. What other content might it have for me? He was eight years older than I so he was already living in our house when I was born. I had no way of knowing he was my brother other than by faith, on the word of another who was present at the time I was born. He was a professional chemist, a university professor, the father of six, a very close friend.
When he died, with him at 86 and I at 78, we were well along in our experience of discovering who we were, in ourselves, and in our relationship with one another. His name had much more in it for me as I stood at his bedside and watched him die than back during World War II when I prayed God would protect him during his service in the US Navy.
Our relationship and the content of his name continues to grow even to the present day. In my memory of him I find myself inspired and encouraged in the life I am currently called to live. I find myself wanting to think and speak and do things in the way I remember Tom thinking, speaking, and doing things.
It is somewhat similar to this with Jesus. We can ask the same questions of the name of Jesus as we can ask of the names of others. He was born,lived, and died before we were born.. To know He lived we must believe, take it as true on the word of another. A Jewish carpenter and rabbi, He claims to be the fulfillment of God's promise to Adam and Eve, to Abraham and his descendants, and to all seven billion human creatures now living on earth. His name is Jesus , Savior, the name proclaimed for Him by Gabriel to Mary before He was conceived in her womb.
As time goes on we can discover more and more of the meaning of that name, in the life and teachings of Jesus in the Bible, in the Church, in history and the lives of holy people and of sinners, in our conscience, and in our everyday experiences.
Jesus claims to be the Savior of all, our personal Savior, not only as model of good living or by way of an example for us to follow, but as a source of new life for us, as God's children.
Jesus claims to be sent by the Father to teach us truth, and by sharing this truth, to send us into our world to bring His salvation there. (Jn 14: 6; 8 : 32; 20: 21) . Through faith and Baptism we are made one with Jesus. His name is to be ours! (Jn 15:5; Gal 2:20; Col 3: 10). We, with and in Him have a part to play in bringing Salvation to the world. How few these days, even among believers, seem to realize the full impact of this truth. Salvation, to ourselves, to those around us, in our homes work places schools, here wherever we are, and now.