A great deal of thought usually goes into naming a child. The names of family members and friends, saints, persons in the Bible, and those with special meanings are considered when it’s time to choose a name for someone.It’s pretty easy to distinguish those who know us from those who don’t even over the phone by how they say our name. If they call us by our full name when we usually use a nickname or if they completely butcher our first and/or last names, we know they probably are reading off of a list and don’t know us at all.
God is different. He knows and loves us more intimately than anyone else. He never forgets who we are. He never confuses us with one of our siblings or one of our friends. The Lord doesn’t have a number assigned to each one of us because it would be easier than remembering the names of everyone ever born.
We respond differently when someone knows our name. We recognize the voices of those closest to us, and we are familiar with what and how they call us.
Names and their meanings are so important that the Lord told Joseph what he and Mary were to name their only Son, Jesus, who would be referred to as Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
We have been called by God, the One who created us, into an intimate relationship with Him. God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows everything about us and still loves us unconditionally. He has called us by name and has chosen us to take part in His plan for mankind’s salvation.
He knows all of our strengths as well as our weaknesses, and He wants us on His Team. He could reveal His power to whomever He chooses, yet God has come to call us by name—or if it suits Him to change our name to fit His plan for our future as a new creation—as He did with Bible figures formerly known as Abram, Saul, and Simon. God doesn’t categorize us by a name, stereotype, or even our sinfulness. He sees us as His children created in His Image, beloved and precious to Him. When we accept His love, forgiveness, and mercy, we are better able to submit to the promptings of the Holy Spirit working in and through us to fill us and others with His love. How do we respond to the loving call of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Note: This reflection is dedicated to the participants of the Women's Cursillo Weekend that took place Oct. 13-16, 2011 at the Abbey. It originally appeared in the October 2011 edition of The Rooster Review.