Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Name Is Important To Me

Strange picture for the feast day of a special person in our Church's history, don't you think? Yet, a name is so important as is made evident in both readings for Mass today.

We learn from both Isaiah and Luke that a name impacts people. The people were stirred up when they learned that the child of Elizabeth was not only a rarity coming forth from parents who were so much older but that the name the mother chose was not his father's nor any relative's name.

John is a name rendered as "Yahweh has shown his favor." This is significant if you think about John's vocation ... the one who will announce the Lord Jesus, the one who will baptize the Son of God. Consider this name in relation to the Son of God, Jesus, a name meaning "Yahweh saves."

The Rolodex is pictured because it serves as a reminder to all the people we know or have to know in our work, our families, our contacts. And each name is linked to a person and each of us most likely thinks of the name of each of those people in a unique way. The name carries with it a personality, a gift that God has given that person for us to think about when we mention the name. In our populated world we usually speak of the person by first and family names. To say "George Washington" is more than to utter two words: we speak history with these words. "Barack Obama" again speaks of history but contemporary history and the energy and drive of one man striving to accomplish goals.

So, what do people who have their Rolodex before them think of you when they say your names? A little time spent pondering this reality might lead you to thinking about how you reveal God's intention in bringing you into this world, at this time and in your vocation.

On the lighter side, there is a website that can offer a little fun finding the meaning of one's first name, like "John" the Baptist's first name ... "Yahweh has shown his favor."