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3-Point Mass prep: What do I believe of Jesus’ name?


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Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik - published on 12/17/22

Today's Gospel gives the key to understanding Jesus' mission ...

The Gospel for this Sunday is Mt 1:18-24

1.A word of introduction

Nomen omen – the name contains a prophecy, or a person’s mission, a plan for his life. We can see this in many biblical names. Today’s Gospel gives the key to understanding Jesus’ mission just by explaining what his name means. 

2.  Keywords

You are to name him Jesus…

It is important who gives the name. The one who gives the name becomes the father of the child. Joseph is to name Jesus, which signifies adopting Jesus and recognizing him as his son. Joseph, who is of the House of King David, includes Jesus in that lineage. Thus, it was truthfully said that Jesus was the Son of David. 

… because he will save his people from their sins.

Jesus is Yeshua in Hebrew. The name is derived from the Biblical name Yehoshua, which carries a very important meaning. It contains the part ” Yeho,” which is a part of the divine name YHWH, and the verb “yasha,” which means to rescue, deliver, or save. Jesus’ mission, then, is to rescue people. He sacrifices his life to set us free.   

In Old Testament times, people waited for the Messiah to liberate the chosen people from political oppression. Jesus’ contemporaries were waiting for the Messiah to liberate them from Roman occupation. Yet there is a captivity far more dangerous than Roman legions, armies, and occupation. It is sin and evil. Jesus liberates people from sin. He overcomes sin to free us from it so that we can live forever.   


When I pronounce the name of Jesus in prayer, I cry out for rescue, for salvation. Jesus brings this liberation to me. I am confident that I can receive forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament of Penance and experience the fullness of His liberating presence in Holy Communion.

Do I believe in the power of these sacraments? How do they help me in my life?   

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