Reflection for Friday, January 23, 2004: 2nd week in Ordinary Time.
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Howard, Joan Blandin
What's In a Name? |We read in this passage from Mark's gospel that "Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him." What a lovely image of gathering the beloved _ joined in intimacy in the presence of the Father, the Lover and the beloved.|After gathering those he summoned, Jesus preceded to "name" the Twelve. Jesus even went so far as to change some of their names. Simon, he renamed Peter; John the brother of James he renamed Boanerges. Why would Jesus rename some of these men? (Although there are no women mentioned, we know from scripture that women were indeed called, and followed.) |This passage is about invitation, acceptance, and naming. It is about relationship. In Genesis we are told that God gave Adam the privilege and honor of naming the other creatures _ plants and animals and his partner, Eve. In giving a name a relationship is created, a commitment is implied. Adam is called to be a respectful, faithful steward of creation. We are called to continue in this relationship of faithfulness and commitment. |In the giving and receiving of a name, a commitment is made, an intimate relationship is formed. Jesus' naming of the twelve is symbolic of the intimate relationships we are called to as well. |What about names? What are my names? Where did they come from? What do they signify? Who do they bring to mind? What is the relationship, where is the commitment? What is the degree of intimacy? |At birth I was given a name by my mother and / or father. Where did the name come from and what was the intention? Was I named after a relative, special friend, parent? In love, hope, excitement, and expectation, my parent (s) named me into a life long intimate family relationship. |Do I have a nickname given by siblings, pals, or buddies? What is that relationship about, where is the commitment and intimacy? What makes this relationship special, fun and loving?|As I entered religious life, possibly I received another name? What was the significance and commitment?|In marriage, I have given or received a new name as a sign of life long love, intimacy and commitment. In living out the sacrament I receive the gifts and graces of the unique to the sacrament. |And in the naming of my own child, I enter once again into a hoped for life-long loving, faithful, intimate commitment.|My names are: ____, ______, ______,______. Each is a reflection of the desired love and faithfulness of another. Each whispered name brings its own unique sense of peace, calm, joy, love, and excitement _ or maybe struggle and pain. However, each in some way glorifies the mystery of God. |There is another relationship to consider: my relationship with the Lord. What name has God given me and what do I call God? Scripture says that I am called "Beloved." In the quiet of my heart, what name do I hear gently, lovingly called as the beloved are gathered to the Lover?
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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