Archive for July, 2019

What’s Your Name?

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Thursday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Times

Ex 3: 13-20; Mt 11:28-30

Deacon Larry Brockman

So, does your name tell who you really are?    It seems different today than it was in the past, doesn’t it?  Because today, our last name identifies our family; and our first name usually refers to a name that is popular, or maybe a name from a close relative- a Grandma or Grandpa or Aunt or Uncle.   

It didn’t use to be that way.  Millers were millers, Smiths were Blacksmiths; and in my case, my family were the people that lived by the brook.

And in the ancient world things were different too.  The ancients valued their name because it told who they really were.  Moses wanted to know what this mysterious God’s name was because he knew that the name would transmit the essential information about who God really was.   

And God tells him very simply: “I am who am”.  So simple, and yet so packed with meaning.  God’s name implies that he is and always has been and always will be.  God describes himself as one who existed always- before anyone or anything else.  He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He doesn’t say he was the God of those patriarchs; rather, he is still their God.  And that says a lot too.   

I don’t know about you, but when I think about God as having created everything, the universe and any companion universes; and everything and everyone that has ever lived; and that he relates continually to everyone and everything at the same time; well, that puts me in an awesome fear of God.  He is so mighty and eternal; and our abilities are so limited in time, space, and capacity.  It is truly humbling to think of ourselves in the face of God, no matter how gifted we might be in the eyes of the world.  We are nothing compared to our God.   

Now God speaks to Moses about how he heard their cries for help and was answering them.  And the whole Exodus story is an awesome example of how this transcendent, almighty God acted in their behalf.  He saved the Israelis from the Egyptians with mighty works.  So, God intervened out of love for his people.  But still, the God of the Old Testament seemed remote and above us all.  His love was mysterious and veiled.   

Today’s Gospel is short and sweet.  Jesus, who is also God- the second person of the Blessed Trinity- says this to us: “Come to me all you who are burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

We have travelled through the Liturgical year.  Jesus came, lived, preached, suffered, died, was resurrected from the dead, and returned to the Father.  So, our God deigned to send his Son to be one of us- He became present to us in ways that we could all understand.  The Incarnation provides us with an alternate picture of God from the almighty, totally transcendent God of the Old Testament.  As Jesus says himself, “for I am meek and humble of heart.”  Yes, God is almighty and above everything and anything we can understand.  But He is also meek and humble of heart.  In the face of almighty God, that is what each of us is called to be as well- meek and humble of heart.   

You see, we have a brother, the Son of God who became like us in every way except for sin so that we could put aside the fear of the almighty.  Jesus gave us the example of his own life so we could see how we could become close to Him.  We do that by following the example of Jesus in the Gospel.   

And just what is that.?  Well Jesus became who God wanted him to be.  Jesus sought the will of God for Him and lived that life. That is what we are all called to do as well- to be the person God calls us to be.  We are called to be:  Mothers, fathers, priests, nuns, caregivers, providers, defenders of the faith, artisans, scholars, athletes and many other things. 

We are each gifted with missions and talents tailored just for us but to give glory to our creator.  That is who we are; and that will be our name forever.