He Knows My Name
In the Easter season, we celebrate many joyful gifts received from Our Lord. Among the most precious gifts of Easter is a renewed appreciation for the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. What is unique about these two sacraments is that they involve our name, whether it is the baptismal name given to us by our parents or the Saint’s name we choose in Confirmation. Last night, 116 children from our parish were called by name and sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit. What an amazing gift in this Easter season!
I have been reflecting a lot recently on the power of being called by name. In the Easter season, the Church gives us the opportunity to hear the stories of Jesus’ appearances to his disciples after the Resurrection. One of these passages, John 20:11-18, has been particularly powerful in my own prayer. I invite you to look up the passage and read it in its entirety, but for the sake of this article, I wish to focus on one phrase that is written when Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene in the garden. We read, “Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!'” It is at that moment when she hears Jesus speak her name that Mary realizes this man is not the gardener she supposes Him to be, but rather it is her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Imagine hearing the voice of Jesus say your name. What a beautiful and amazing thought! We know how good it feels when someone we meet again after a long time remembers our name. Sociologists have studied the importance of using a person’s name in having a positive influence on the person’s mood. It is easy to forget the power of a name when we use God’s name in vain or use another person’s name in anger. Let us not forget to use the name of others with love and respect for their dignity.
It is also easy to forget the One who knows us best and sees the beauty within us, even in moments when we doubt that we can be loved. We can go about our daily tasks and forget that God knows each of us personally and calls us by name. Every single moment of our lives, we are within His gaze of love. He speaks our name with unspeakable love!
I invite and encourage you to take time in the next day or two for a little exercise. Just gaze at your child for a few moments and say their name slowly. Soak in their beauty and uniqueness. Tell them how much you love them and how precious they are to you. Then give yourself a few moments to listen as Our Lord slowly speaks your name and soak in His love.