A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

What’s in a Name?

Posted on: July 29, 2013

When I was a little girl, I didn’t like my first name because people mispronounced it so often. (Now that I know the other names my parents considered, I think they made the right choice.) So when we chose our son’s first name, pronounceability was a factor, right up there with meaning.

We also give a lot of thought to our pets’ names. That’s how we’ve ended up with Syd and Bart the zebra finches (short for Sydney and Hobart, given their Australian origins) and Molly the English bulldog. We’ve also had a cat named Jekyll (Hyde in his wild moments) and a miniature pinscher named Caesar (the MinPin being the king of toy breeds).

A name says so much about a person—or a pet, for that matter.

Names can give us an idea of parents’ hopes for their children as well as the family’s ancestry. And so it is with the name of Jesus. From his name we know that God sent his son to be with us and to save us from our sins. The angel who appeared to Joseph in a dream, telling him that the child Mary carried was of the Holy Spirit, spoke of Jesus’ name: “(S)he will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21)*.

The Bible also tells us that this fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, “’Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Matthew 1:23).

As the apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 2:9-11, we should honour and praise Jesus’ name:

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I pray that we would honour Jesus’ name, that it would not pass our lips as just another word, and that we would teach our children to do the same.

(*Quotes from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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1 Response to "What’s in a Name?"

Creative Australian connection for pet names!

Comments are closed.

Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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