Today is the feast of the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, on which we celebrate the circumcision and naming of Jesus at the temple on the eighth day after his birth.
Before Jesus was born, an angel announced to his earthly father Joseph what his name would be. ‘Jesus’ is a Greek variant of the Hebrew name Yeshua or Joshua, which means ‘God saves.’ The angel tells Joseph, “He will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Today we thank God for saving us from our personal sins through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We also hope for Jesus’ return when he will establish his kingdom of righteousness and end the systemic sin that plagues our world.
Thus, our collect for today is both a prayer of thanks for what has been done and a prayer of hope for what will be done, by the power of Jesus’ name.
who didst give to thine incarnate Son
the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation:
Plant in every heart, we beseech thee,
the love of him who is the Savior of the world,
even our Lord Jesus Christ;
who liveth and reigneth
with thee and the Holy Ghost,
one God, in glory everlasting.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington