NAME OF JESUS

ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, WE WILL CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS. FORMERLY KNOWN AS "THE CIRCUMCISION AND NAME OF JESUS", THIS FEAST HAS ROOTS BACK TO THE SIXTH CENTURY. THE PREVIOUS EMPHASIS WAS ON THE CIRCUMCISION OF JESUS, BEING BASED ON THE JEWISH TRADITION OF THE CIRCUMCISION AND FORMAL NAMING OF JEWISH BOYS ON THE EIGTH DAY FOLLOWING BIRTH. THIS WAS THE MARK OF THE COVENANT BETWEEN GOD AND ISRAEL, AND, IN CHRISTIAN THOUGHT, INDICATES THAT JESUS BEARS THIS MARK AS, THROUGH THE SHEDDING OF HIS BLOOD ON THE CROSS, HE MAKES THE COVENANT NEW WITH ALL PEOPLE. THIS COVENANT, LIKE THE NAME OF JESUS IS A GIFT THAT MARKS THE CHILDREN OF GOD. WE, AS THOSE BAPTIZED IN HIS NAME, MOVE INTO THE YEAR AS THOSE WHO BEAR HIS NAME TO THE WORLD.