"THE NAME OF JESUS" 07/05/11

Has there ever been a time in your life, maybe even right now, when you were paralyzed by anxiety or fear?  Life is dreadful, every hour is a burden, just going to work is a struggle, no joy, no smiles, except the fake ones when someone asks you how things are going, and you smile and say “great” but deep inside you know the true answer is awful.
Have you ever experienced betrayal in: a friendship, a marriage, a business situation, a debt, or through a family member?   Has loneliness, a memory, a health issue, an addiction, taken you emotionally to the bottom, a place where you no longer know how to deal with the pain/anger/frustration/depression without exploding into a total rage or isolation?  In these moments, we often sense that there is no one there to help, no one to turn to, no one to speak to, no one who really cares or understands.
In these times of great need and pain, our culture, invites us to resolve too many of our issues and sufferings with medication, and millions today have answered that call, just Google “a medicated America,” and see what comes up.  Without a doubt, there are some who can benefit from psychological science/doctors and the medicine prescribed, however, I do not believe that the millions of medicated Americans, all need prescriptions to overcome their anxieties, fears, and mental anguish, I think they need to know and trust in Jesus, and call upon his name.
Today, with the help of the excellent and thoughtful exegesis of Jesus’ “High Priestly prayer,” in the Gospel of John, chapter 17, by the Pastor of the Universal Church, the Ancient Christian Church, the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, I want to add to our walk in the Father’s vineyard the revealed truth and that there is always and immediately someone we can turn to, speak to, someone who is present/acting/healing/loving, totally understanding and forgiving, and we do not need to say very much, because by just saying his name, the name of Jesus, we say/pray and receive everything.
Take a few minutes to read John 17.  Please read this Word in the context of the revealed biblical truth that you are the Father’s gift to Jesus, so that where Jesus is, you also may be.  John 17:24.  The letter to the Hebrews is also relevant here, “But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be.”  Hebrews 9:11.
The revelation of God’s name begins with Israel, specifically with Moses, the burning bush, and God calling Moses to be his instrument of rescuing his chosen people from slavery in Egypt.   However, as many of you as well as all the Sowers know, Moses does not want to obey the Father, no, Moses did not want to go back to Egypt and help set Israel free, so he begins to make excuses as to why he cannot go, at the Sower we call the excuses we give to God as to why we cannot act/serve/forgive, a Moses moment!!
One of Moses excuses, based on fear, to the Father was, “When I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you, if they ask me, “What is his name? What am I to tell them?”  God replied, “I am who am.”  Then the Father added, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.” Exodus 3:13-14.
In revealing to Moses the name I AM, the Father is now revealing to Israel, you and I, and the entire world that he is a God of presence, covenant (v. 16-17), encouragement (v. 18), miracles and power (v.20), and patience (he put up with Moses’ whining and excuses for quite awhile, then came 4:14!!)  Some scholars do not believe that the name I AM is the sacred name, God’s name, Yahweh, so sacred to Israel that no one can pronounce it, only one person, one time a year, could pronounce the name Yahweh, and that was the Jewish high priest, in the Holy of Holies, on the Day of Atonement.
Based on the exegesis found in the excellent Catholic commentary the New Jerome Biblical Commentary, edited by three of the great biblical scholars of our era, Father’s Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland E. Murphy, we believe that the great I AM and the sacred name of God for all of Israel, YAHWEH, are one in the same, as is taught, “I am who am, is the name Yahweh transposed into the first person.”  The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, p. 47.
FYI, some Christians call God the Father Jehovah.  This is a false name. The error began with German Protestant bible scholar’s ignorance of Jewish culture and Scripture as they translated the Old Testament into German. In the Jewish Scriptures, the divine name appears 6639 times and is written as YHWH but is never pronounced because it was too sacred, instead the VOWELS of another name for God Adonai meaning Lord or Elohim also meaning Lord were substituted and pronounced.
So as the Scriptures were being read in the synagogue, when the name YHWH came up the word Adonai or Elohim was spoken, never Yahweh.  German Protestant scholars, unaware that the name YHWH was never to be pronounced, mistakenly added the vowels of Adonai with the consonants of YHWH and came up with the hybrid Yehowah, which in the German became Jehovah, and in 1611, the word Jehovah appears five times in the King James Bible.  Just ask any Jewish person who knows their faith if they ever use the name Jehovah in referring to God and their answer will be a resounding “no way.”
Continuing with our walk in the vineyard, our Holy Father enlightens us as to the power and meaning of God’s name for Israel and how we connect it to Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, “With these words Jesus clearly presents himself as the new Moses, who brings to completion what began with Moses at the burning bush.  The ‘name’ is more than a wordIt meant that he allowed himself to be invoked, that he had entered into communion with Israel.” Jesus of Nazareth II, p. 90-91.
This is big, this is important for us as Christians to be aware of and understand because now through the divine name, Israel is in a personal relationship with the Father and they can call upon his name at anytime for his protection, guidance, presence, mercy, and love.  Amen to the Blood.
The beauty and substance of our Holy Father’s exegesis is this revealed truth: God, in his name, is present in the Temple, as Deuteronomy 12:11 reveals, “Then to the place which your God, chooses as the dwelling place for his name, you shall bring all the offerings I command.”  That “place” where God chooses as the dwelling place for his name, is the Temple in Jerusalem, where the Jewish faith believed the God the Father was truly present.
So the truth that God revealed his name to Israel, is a really big deal, because now, in and through God’s name, which dwelt in the Temple in Jerusalem, a name revealed to no one else, Israel as a nation and individually as people of faith and covenant, could now invoke the name of God, and know of his abiding presence with them.
However, history teaches us that the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD, just as Jesus prophesied in Matthew 21: 1-2, there would not be one stone left upon another stone, and yes, the Roman army came in and stone by stone, destroyed the Temple where God dwelt.  They slaughtered, captured, and scattered the Jewish people and nation.  From that time on, there was no Temple sacrifice, no High Priest, no Holy of Holies, no blood to be shed for sin, no expiation. What became of God’s presence and name?  How could the name of God be called upon, if the Temple, the very place where God dwelt, no longer existed?  Enter Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh.
To see how Jesus is the answer to all these questions and to see what this means for us personally, let’s go to the Word.  In John 17:6, Jesus prays, as the Holy Father teaches, a “High Priestly” prayer, “I revealed your name to those who you gave me out of the world,” and then in 17:26, “I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Brothers and sisters this is big, this is majestic. Listen to our Holy Father’s exegesis and wisdom, “This is the understanding of God’s name that lies behind Jesus’ words…The revelation of the name is a new mode of God’s presence among men, a radically new way in which God makes his home with them.  In Jesus, God gives himself entirely into the world of mankind: whoever sees Jesus sees the Father.”  Jesus of Nazareth II, p. 91-92.  Thank you Papa!!  The brilliant Catholic theologian, Raymond E. Brown, “tentatively” suggests that the “Divine name that the Johannine Jesus made know to men was I AM.”  The Gospel According to John XIII-XXI.  The Anchor Bible, p. 56-57.
This is deep.  This is Christianity. There is a new mode of God’s presence in the world as Jesus reveals HIMSELF as the great I AM!! Jesus is God, Jesus is the Temple, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, John 1:14, “Destroy this Temple and I will raise it up in three days,” John 2:19.  What the Word reveals to you and I as mathetes is that in the fulfillment of his Father’s Mission, in his Blood, Death, Resurrection, and sending of the Holy Spirit, Jesus, as Lord and Savior, is eternally present and accessible not only to his disciples, but now to the entire world, because the expiation, the Blood, was shed for every human being. 1 John 2:2.
Let’s make the Word personal, meaning brining the Word into our daily lives, allowing the Word to be present and active in our minds and hearts.  As Catholics we know that Jesus is present in the Church and in her Sacraments. When we worship on Sundays, Jesus is present in the people, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I AM in the midst of them,” Matthew 18:20, in the Priest, the Word, and in the Eucharist: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.  Vatican II, Eucharisticum Mysterium, #9.
But what if you are anxious, in fear, spiritually attacked at work, in your car, grocery shopping, at home, and you cannot go directly too Mass, to the Adoration chapel, how can we know that Jesus is present and listening to us when we are alone and in tremendous need?  How can we know that Jesus cares, loves, and protects us, that we are part of his family and as such we can call on him at any time?  By remembering that  you are in the Father’s vineyard.  You are on the Vine.  You are connected to Jesus the Vine through the Spirit of Pentecost whom dwells within you.
Yes, in the one divine person, Jesus Christ, through the sending of God’s Spirit, God is present to you on a personal basis.  Yes, in the name and person of Jesus Christ, “You are to name him Jesus … Emmanuel, which means “God is with us,”  Matthew 1: 21-23, God is present to us and the world, not just in one holy place, like the Temple in Jerusalem, but in the person of Jesus Christ, and faith in Jesus, in our very persons.  This is big and so important for us a Christians to understand and put into practice.
You see, the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, but Jesus, his holy name and presence, on the cross, in his Resurrection and sending of the Holy Spirit, is forever with us, and in metanoia and faith in Jesus, the bible teaches us we BECOME the dwelling place, we become the Temple in Jerusalem, the Temples of his presence on earth, Temples of the Holy Spirit, and his name dwells within us. Romans 5:5; 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2: 20-22.
The Church, as “The pillar and foundation of truth,” 1 Timothy 3:15, to whom has been entrusted the deposit of faith, Vatican Council II, Dei Verbum, # 10, teaches this to her faithful, “Christ is the true temple of God, the place where his glory dwells, by the grace of God, Christians also become temples of the Holy Spirit, living stones out of which the Church is built.”  Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1197.
St. Paul expressed it this way, “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Romans 5:5.   “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God,” 1 Corinthians 6:19, and “What agreement does the temple of God have with idols?  For we are the temple of the living God.” 2 Corinthians 6:16.
The Holy Father explained it this way, “The rejection and crucifixion of Jesus means at the same time the end of the Temple.  The era of the Temple is overA new worship is being introduced, in a Temple not made of human hands.  This Temple is his body…He himself is the new Temple of humanity…With his Resurrection, a new way of worshipping God begins, no longer on this or that mountain, but in “Spirit and truth.”  John 4:23.   Jesus of Nazareth II, p. 22.
Know this forever, you are never alone, Jesus’ Spirit, and therefore his name, his Love and Presence, dwell within you, as a mathetes you are a Temple.  Yes, one of the glories for us as believers in Jesus’ Blood, resurrection, and sending of the Holy Spirit, is his eternal presence in the hearts, minds, and spirits of those who are his.  Jesus’ prayer is about YOU, “Father, they are your gift to me.  I wish that where I am they may also be with me.”  John 17:24, and again, “I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”  John 17: 26.  Wow!!  Amen to the Blood of the Father’s Lamb.
Although the brilliant Raymond E. Brown, uses the world “tentatively” to describe what name Jesus revealed in his prayer to the Father, I am convinced that the name was the great I AM.  My thoughts are that throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus has been preparing his mathetes, Israel, and you and I to receive him as the great I AM in his High Priestly prayer, through the manner he has already spoken about himself, for example:
“I AM the bread of life.”  John 6: 35; 48; 51.
“I AM the light of the world.”  John 8:12.
“I AM the good shepherd.”  John 10:11
“I AM the resurrection and the life.”  John 11:25.
“I AM the way, the truth, and the life.”  John 14:6.
Now please read what Jesus reveals to Judas his betrayer and all the world when his enemies come to arrest him in JOHN 18: 4-8.  This is beautiful.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, through metanoia, faith, and following (discipleship), we ARE with Jesus, the Word reveals that Jesus’ Spirit abides in us.  Why would Jesus allow his Spirit to abide in a sinner?  Because he came to call sinners, “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners,” Matthew 9:13, and he WANTS us to be able to know his presence, to call upon his name constantly, yes, in times of anxiety and fear, betrayals and confusion, Jesus is there, listening/healing/guiding/and loving you, there is power and authority in the name of Jesus, the name of the RESURRECTED I AM, “Before Abraham came to be I AM.” John 8:58.
Are you in fear?  Are you suffering? Is your mind confused?  Then right now say the Holy Name, say Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, over and over say it, and trust in his presence and power, trust that even though at this time in life, you are going through a great suffering and trial, a new day is dawning, a day that you can scarcely imagine, a day that Jesus has already planned, a day when your addictions, anxieties, fears, confusion, loneliness, and betrayals, will all be replaced with the love of the Blood: peace of heart and mind, joy, trust, smiles, a purpose in life, hope, and the greatest gift of all, God’s love.
One sure path, to receiving the power and authority of Jesus Christ, when you call upon his name, as testified to by countless millions of believers, throughout the centuries, begins when we are able to authentically live the Word of transformation, the Word of forgiveness, “If you forgive others…your heavenly Father will forgive you,” “Forgive and you will be forgiven,” “When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance,” “Leave your gift at the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother,” and your fears/anxieties/sufferings will be replaced with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 6:14; Luke 6:37; Mark 11:25; Matthew 5:24. The Word is clear.
So many of our sufferings and trials are tied to memories, things in the past that we did or others did to us, memories we really never let go of, they are always present causing fear and anger.  Being able to forgive others is intrinsic to the healing of our minds and souls, the forgiveness of ourselves and others will actualize many spiritual gifts:  Obedience, Wisdom, and Courage will replace assumptions, anger, and fear.  A healing and cleansing not only of the heart but also mind, meaning that once you are able to forgive those who slandered, hated, and betrayed, you will also be able to realize, just as I did, that most of my storms/fears/anxieties were not imposed upon me by others, no, I brought them upon myself, by not being able to let them go, because I held on to revenge and hate.
Jesus healed me in Word and Sacrament, by revealing that my mind was all messed up, not only was I holding on to the past but I also kept making conclusions from assumptions, fearing things that would never take place, because they were not based on reality/truth, but the confusing thoughts constantly swirling through my mind, when I lived in the past, the false and absurd, became my reality.
Authentically being obedient to his Word, being able to forgive liars, betrayers, cheaters, slanderers, from my heart, opened room in my heart and mind for the Spirit to heal me by graciously showing me the mistakes and untruths living in my mind which caused so much pain and fear.  Being able to forgive others means we are building that spiritual foundation, meaning love is being perfected, because as we know from the Word, there is no fear in love, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.”  1 John 4:18.
What this means for us as men and women of faith, is that through Jesus’ Blood we are sanctified, in his Spirit we are cleansed and adopted, yes, in the New Covenant, those who believe and follow Jesus, his disciples, become the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, and God’s name is no longer called upon once a year, by one person in one special place, no, the Temple is now open to all believers, at all times and place, “The veil of the sanctuary was torn from top to bottom,” Matthew 27: 51.
Yes, now because of the Holy Spirit, wherever and whenever we want and need we can know the presence of Jesus, we can call on the name of Jesus: at the hospital, when we open up the Visa bill, when all seems hopeless, when jobs are lost, when floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis, ravage the world, when we can’t pay the mortgage or put food on the table for our children, when there is scandal in the Church we love, when our hearts our broken, when we fear, when we are lonely or depressed, when a bad memoryor past sin comes up for the tenth time that day.  Yes, for those men and women of faith, God’s name and presence, in the person of Jesus Christ, through the sending of the Holy Spirit received in faith, dwells within us.  Awesome, mysterious, and real.
So the name Jesus, not for everyone, but for those who believe, has special/divine/visible/ power and authority.  Again, St. Paul, who once was a devout Jew, and as such, understood the significance of a persons name and especially the divine name Yahweh, after his metanoia, revealed the power of the name of Jesus, this “new mode of existence,” as he reveals to the Christians in Philippi, “Because of this, God highly exalted him, and bestowed upon him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, of those in heave and only earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2: 9-11.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, St. Paul, in the power of the Spirit, reveals that the Father has granted Jesus, his Son, the One whom was sent and completed the Father’s mission of salvation for the forgiveness of sins, a name that is above every other name. The Father has revealed that calling upon his Son’s name, the name of Jesus, confessed as our Lord, brings HIM, the Father glory, yes, glory.  Yes, as Christians we believe in one God: manifested to the world as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, so if I call upon the name of Jesus, in the power of the Spirit, I am giving glory to my Father who sent Jesus to die for my sins: my call, my faith, my following, my works, mu Church, brings glory to my Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16; John chapter 17.
The Father is in heaven, yet all knees in heaven must bend to the name of Jesus.  By adding, “Under the earth,” the Word reveals totality, meaning every living being, including the disobedient, the evil spirits, satan, will bend their knee at the name of Jesus, just as they did when Jesus was standing before them in first century Palestine, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?  Have you come to destroy us?  I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” Mark 1:24   Know this, trust this, put this into practice.  Say the Holy Name of Jesus.  This is a disciple’s name of power, authority, presence, mercy, love, and salvation.
Yes, when the past tries to come back and haunt you, in those moments of confusion, anxiety, fear, stress, doubt, or loneliness, call upon the name ABOVE all names, the name of Jesus.  When you are being attacked by the enemy, and as you walk daily in and with the Holy Spirit, you will recognize his attacks and tactics, when you do, at all times: at school, at work, trying to get to sleep, call on his name, the name of Jesus.  Four magnificent times in the Gospel of John, Jesus reveals this truth, “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”  John 14:14; 15:16; 16:23; 16:24.
We do not need a million words in prayer, just One, as our Church teaches, “The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of praying always.”  Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 2668.  Say it over and over again: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.  All power, all prayer, are contained in this one holy name. Know for certain that as you invoke the name of Jesus, the name that is present within you, the enemy is cowering and fleeing, the enemy is angry and defeated, the enemy can overtake/defeat/outsmart you, but not you and Jesus, in the name and presence of Jesus, you have the power, authority, and victory.  This is no fantasy, it’s real, battle tested by billions of Christians.
Remembering that Jesus is the New Covenant, the fulfillment of the Old Covenant, let’s walk in the Father’s vineyard, in the name above all names the name of Jesus, with King David and the Psalms.  Today, our Holy Father’s charism of the Keys, is evident and essential to our understanding and reading of the Psalms, as he Pastors his Church with great wisdom, “In the early Church, Jesus was immediately hailed as the new David, the real David, and so the Psalms could be recited in a new way---yet without discontinuity----as a prayer in communion with Jesus.”  Jesus of Nazareth II, p.146.
How deep is that?  How awesome is that?  This is revelation for all the Popes Peeps, the over a billion sheep he shepherds, thank you Papa.  This changes everything about the Psalms for me, now the NAME is the name of Jesus, the resurrected I AM, united with that of Yahweh, the great I AM.  Now, through Jesus’ fulfillment of the Father’s Mission of salvation saying/praying that name, as the Pope teaches, means presence/communion with Jesus.   Amen to the Blood.  Amen to the Pope, the anointed man with the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.  Matthew 16:19.  Enjoy:
Protect them that you may be the joy of those who love your name. Psalm 5:12
“Those who honor your name trust in you.”  Psalm 9:11
“Some rely on chariots, others on horses, but we on the name of the Lord our God.”  Psalm 20:8
“The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I lack.  In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me; you restore my strength.  You guide me along the right path, for the sake of your name.”  Psalm 23: 1-3
“For the sake of your name, Lord, pardon my guilt, though it is great.”  Psalm 25:11
“Give to the Lord, you heavenly beings, give to the Lord glory and might.  Give to the Lord the glory due God’s name.”  Psalm 29: 1-2
“You are my king and my God, who bestows victories on Jacob.  Through you we batter our foes; through your name, trample our enemies.  Psalm 44: 5-6
“O God, by your name save me…hear my prayer.”  Psalm 54: 3-4.  Now read John 3:18
“God’s servants shall dwell in the land and possess it, it shall be the heritage of their descendants, those who love God’s name shall dwell there.  Psalm 69:37.  The heritage of the New Covenant is eternal life, the Kingdom of God.  Take some time here, read the Word and enjoy.  Matthew 19:29; 25:46; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; John 3:15-16; 3:36; 4:14; 4:36 (We are Sowers, Amen) 5:24; 6:27; 6:40 (Father’s will) 6:47; 6:54 (Eucharist) 6:68 (Peter’s testimony) 10:28 (Benefit of being a sheep!!) 12:25 (A disciple’s reward) 12:50 (THE FATHER’S COMMAND) 17:2-3; Acts 13:48; Romans 2:6-7; 5:21; 6:22-23 (Gift of God) 2 Cor. 5:1 (Our dwelling not made with human hands) Gal. 6:8 (From the Spirit) Philippians 3:20 (Our citizenship) 1Tim.6:12; 2 Tim 2:10; 2 Tim 4:7-8 (Paul’s crown of righteousness) 1 John 2:25 (Jesus’ promise).   Amen to the Blood of the Father’s Lamb.
“Help us God, our Savior, for the glory of your name.  Deliver us, pardon our sins for your name’s sake.”  Psalm 79:9.  Thank you Jesus.
“Whoever clings to me, I will deliver, whoever knows my name I will set on high.”  Psalm 91:14.  That name is Jesus, cling to it, JFJA.
“Let them praise your great and awesome name: holy is God.”  Psalm 99:3.
“Slanderers will not survive on earth, evil will quickly entrap the violent.  For I know the Lord will secure justice for the needy, rights for the poor.  Then the just will give thanks to your name, the upright will dwell in your presence.”  Psalm 140:12-14.
Brothers and sisters, are you receiving this Word, is the Holy Spirit revealing the power of Jesus’ name to you?  Trust this, try this, there is power in his name, yes, in the name of Jesus, the name the Father anointed his Son with, there is power, spiritual power, eternal power, salvific power, power for battle, power to cast out, power to defend against  and destroy all enemies.
This power is yours, this power is God’s gift to you and I for the times we are struggling, the times we say, “I’m out of here.”  “Why is this happening to me?”  “Why now?”  “What can I do?”  “Who can I turn too?”  “Jesus, I’m really close to all done, I can’t take this anymore, your Word reveals that you will not give me more than I can bear, I believe this, but I want you to know Lord, I’M THERE.”
Yes, we can call upon the holy name of Jesus, in our moment of doubt, the times we are struggling with: bills, fear, impatience, depression, anxiety, family division or illness, the mortgage, work environment, neighbors, relationships.
Everybody has their own struggles and list, whatever yours is, know and never doubt that your Lord, your Savior, your Love, Jesus Christ is present within you, yes, Jesus is within you listening, healing, guiding, and loving, and at every moment, in the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus asks us to trust him, to call upon the name of Love and Mercy, the name of hope and salvation, the name of the resurrected I AM, the Father’s Lamb, Jesus.
Grace and peace,