Sacred names

Sacred names

In our Faith, we have created many names for the second person of the Trinity.

They are names that reflect our adoration.

Jesus is Christ our Saviour, Redeemer, Lamb of God, Word made Flesh, Prince of Peace, Fountain of all Holiness…

Such names are deeply etched on our minds and hearts.

If someone mentions “Sacred Heart” there is immediate recognition.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus touches our own hearts in a way we cannot describe.

All we know is that our names for Jesus are touch-stones in the mystery of our Church.

But what name did Jesus claim for himself?

Scripture tells us that he called God his Father, but there was another name he claimed over and over.

It appears in the Gospels more than seventy times.

That name is ‘Son of Man.’

You can count this for yourself.  It is in all four Gospels.

In my youth, I had a strong fundamentalist streak and I was bewildered by this.

Why would the Son of God call himself Son of Man?

Then I learned that the original phrase Son of Man, simply meant Human Being.

More than 70 times in the Gospels, Jesus calls himself a human being.

What does that say to us?

If the “Word made flesh” claimed his humanity this way, how can we diminish our own humanity?

How can we fail to see that this is a huge gift?

I am reminded of St Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 8:9: “For you know the generousity of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor so that by his poverty you might become rich.”

In Jesus claim of humanity, we find a depth of prayer that takes us to the God-ness of our own little souls.

Jesus’ love connects us.

He is the bridge between this life and the greater reality we call God.

That bridge is very strong.

When I was a child, I was told that Jesus died for my sins.

That’s a cruel thing to tell a child.

Or an adult, for that matter.

My own children were told that Jesus died so he could be everywhere at once.

That is truth, and they recognised it as such. Jesus, the Son of God, was as close as the air they breathed.

For adults like me, who have lived the full circle back to the simplicity of childhood, this is also true.

We have learned, through trial and error, that the Word was made Flesh to teach us one thing.

It is love.

A love of all creation.

A love that connects.

Love in light and love in darkness.

Love in sickness and health.

Love for the crying child in others and ourselves.

Love that dissolves all fear.

When we come close to understanding the power of love, we make sense of statements such as: “For God so loved the world…”(John 3}

We realise that love is “the way, the truth and the life “ that Jesus talked about.

We also know why Jesus wanted to call himself Human Being.

It was all about love.

  • Joy Cowley is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and retreat facilitator. Joy Cowley is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and retreat facilitator.
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