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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Christianity is Naming

Christmas 2023

by Fr. David M. Knight

View readings for Midnight Mass:

Lectionary no. 16 (Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 98; Acts 13:16-17, 22-25; Matthew 1:1-25)


They name him Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:5


In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet says:


What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.


Yes, if it is here now. But if not, we need a name to recall what we enjoyed in the rose when we smelled it. That is why we give people titles: to focus us on what we appreciate in them.


It is an axiom: what we do not praise we will not appreciate. Celebrations are expressions of the good we see.  All the titles we give Jesus spell out what we see in him and in Christianity. But we have to think about them; see what they mean; say what they mean to us. Inhale their fragrance. “Taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:9).


Words either recall experiences or invite them. For example, if we have not experienced Jesus as Wonderful Counselor, the title invites us to interact with him as counselor. Then we will. 


If we look at all the titles we give Jesus at Christmas time, we will appreciate what we are celebrating.


Then we will appreciate Christianity.


DAILY PRACTICE: You will hear a lot of titles given to Jesus during the Christmas season. Think about what each one means. Try to “taste,” to savor the meaning each has for you.


CHRISTMAS PRAYER: Lord, open my eyes, and my mouth will declare your praise. (cf. Psalm 51:15).

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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