1 John 3:22-4:6
Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25
Ponder the holy name of Jesus. The child was named by Joseph; so named because he would "save his people from their sin." Wherever Jesus would locate, that name and the mission would be confirmed, even in the direst of circumstances. Like hearing of the arrest of his cousin, John. Jesus would move to the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali (Capernaum by the sea), the place which, the prophet foretold, was the "place of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light and for those who sat in the regions and shadow of death light has dawned." Let the Name be the sole focus of meditation to day. Is it not the commandment we read today, "that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ?"
Pondering and belief work together. Pondering His name fashions a world that makes sense to us. Pat Conroy, prolific author, describes the act of pondering words. "I grew up a word-haunted boy. I felt words inside me and stored them wondrous as pearls. I mouthed them and fingered them and rolled them around my tongue…I found that hive of words beautiful beyond all conveyance. They clung to me and blistered my skin and made me happy to be alive in the land of crape myrtle, spot-tailed bass, and eastern diamondbacks. The precise naming of things served as my entry way into art. The whole world could be sounded out. I could arrange each day into a tear sheet of music composed of words as pretty as flutes or the tail feathers of peacocks. From my earliest memories I felt impelled to form a unique relationship with the English language. I used words to fashion a world that made sense to me." (My Reading Life, p. 84-85).
Did not Jesus use words to fashion a world that made sense to Him? It was the sense of the Father’s Plan. Through words, He taught, proclaimed and cured "every disease and every sickness among the people." Ponder His holy name, and fashion a world that makes sense.
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P. is president of Holy Family Cristo Rey High School, Birmingham, Alabama.