Tuesday 23rd December
Reflection: Luke 1: 57-66
HIS NAME IS JOHN
Like it is in the African setting, it was a common practice among the Jews to name a first born son after his father. This was the intention of the friends and neighbours of Zechariah and Elizabeth who considered it a honour to Zechariah to name this “special” child after him. But his mother spoke up “he is to be called John”, the name the Angel had given and this was confirmed by his father.
Dear friends, God knows us individually, calls each of us by name and His has a specific plan for the lives of every one of us. He has a certain task for you to carry out in this world; a task no one else has been saddled with.
Regardless of how influential our parents may be, their purpose in life is different from ours hence we must not be satisfied in being anyone’s “shadow”. Though both Zechariah and John attained holiness, their paths to holiness and their God given purpose differed.
Mother Teresa took her name after St Therese of Lisieux whom she greatly admired. St Therese was largely unknown outside her convent until her death at age 24 and she attained holiness of life in loving God in the “little” things of life. Mother Teresa on the other hand became widely known as she busied herself with her call to work amongst the poorest of the poor in India. She died in old age. Both are great female saints who attained holiness through different paths.
Your name is your identity, though it is good to name a child after his parent or a saint or influential person, we must bear in mind that each person is unique and has his own purpose to fulfil. As we reflect on the role of John the Baptist in salvation history, let us seek God’s purpose for our lives and walk in it.
PRAYER: Lord, I open my heart to You; please help me to discover your purpose for me so that I can live each day of my life in fulfilment of that purpose. Amen.
KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 201 – What is the significance of receiving a name in Baptism?
Through the name that we receive in Baptism God tells us: “I have called you by name, you are mine” (Is 43:1).
In Baptism a person is not dissolved into an anonymous divinity, but rather is affirmed precisely in his individuality. To be baptized by a name signifies that God knows me, he says Yes to me and accepts me forever in my unrepeatable uniqueness.
HIDE A TREASURE: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” Isaiah 43:1 RSV-CE
Readings for Today: Malachi 3: 1-4, 23-24; Psalm 25: 4-5, 8-14; Luke 1: 57-66