His name reveals this mission: “Jesus” literally means “God saves”!
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The name of Jesus is the most powerful name in all of heaven and earth. His is the name above all names, the only name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved (Acts 4:12).
Throughout the Scriptures, we see the name of Jesus casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead, bringing about conversion and peace. In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter and John come to the Temple with no money, but they are rich beyond measure because they carry the name of Jesus in their hearts and on their lips; and with these riches they heal the crippled man (Acts 3:6). In Jesus’ name they preached the Gospel to the ends of the earth, even in the midst of persecution; the Apostles later rejoiced to be found worthy to suffer for the sake of so great a name (Acts 5:41).
Jesus Himself promised that miracles like this would continue in the Church; He said to His disciples,
“These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mk 16:17-18).
Like so many of the saints, St. Bernard of Clairvaux deeply loved the holy name:
“JESUS is honey to the mouth, and music to the ear, and gladness to the heart… Is anyone among you sad? Let but Jesus come into his heart, and the mouth echo him, saying Jesus! and lo! the light of that name disperses every cloud, and brings sunshine back again. If any of us were ever in danger, and our heart beat with fear, did not this name of power bring us confidence and courage the moment we pronounced it? When we were discouraged, and well-nigh crushed, by adversity, did not our heart take courage, when our tongue uttered the name of help? All this is most true; for all these miseries are the sicknesses and faintings of our soul, and the name of Jesus is our medicine.”
Jesus is the Father’s one Word, spoken to us to unveil everything the Father desires us to know about who He is and who we are in His sight. And His name reveals this mission: “Jesus” literally means “God saves”! The name Jesus is derived from the same Hebrew name as Joshua, who was Moses’ helper and then successor – the one who would lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Jesus leads us into the true Promised Land – heaven – through His death and resurrection. For this reason, God promises that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bend and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of the Father (Phil 2:9-11).
When we invoke the name of Jesus, we invoke His Person – He is made present within us and among us, in all His power and love. St. Bernard said,
“For when I pronounce this name, I bring before my mind the Man, who, by excellence, is meek and humble of heart, benign, sober, chaste, merciful, and filled with everything this is good and holy, nay, who is the very God Almighty – whose example heals me, and whose assistance strengthens me. I say all this, when I say Jesus. Here have I my model, for He is Man; and my help, for He is God.”
When we call on the holy name of Jesus, He comes to us, speaking to our hearts of His love and mercy, saving us from harm, bringing healing and peace. Let us never tire of invoking His sweet and powerful name, thanking the Father for sending us so great a Savior.
Litany of Jesus the Savior
Jesus, Word Made Flesh, save me in your humility.
Jesus, Splendor of the Father, save me in your majesty.
Jesus, Lover of Every Human Face, save me in your chastity.
Jesus, Alpha and Omega, save me in your faithfulness.
Jesus, God-With-Us, save me in your presence.
Jesus, King of the Universe, save me in your power.
Jesus, Prince of Peace, save me in your justice.
Jesus, Good Shepherd, save me in your tenderness.
Jesus, Author of Life, save me in your creativity.
Jesus, Light of all Nations, save me in your radiance.
Jesus, Bread of Life, save me in your providence.
Jesus, Bridegroom of Souls, save me in your love.
Jesus, Man of Sorrows, save me in your suffering.
Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life, save me in your hope.
Jesus, Glory of the Saints, save me in your freedom.
Jesus, Desire of every Human Heart, save me in your kindness.
Jesus, Eucharistic King, save me in your self-gift.
Jesus, Son of the Living God, save me in your mercy.