Reflection on the Liturgy of the Day – from L’Année Liturgique, by Dom Prosper Guéranger
At the Name of Jesus, let every knee bend in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; and every tongue confess, that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. Psalm. O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is Thy name over the whole earth. Glory be to the Father…
O God, who didst appoint Thy Only Begotten Son the Saviour of mankind, and commandedst that His name should be called Jesus: mercifully grant that we who venerate this holy Name on earth, may also enjoy His sight in heaven.
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles, Chap. IV.
In those days: Peter being filled with the Holy Ghost, said: Ye princes of the people and ancients, hear. If we this day are examined concerning the good deed done to the infirm man, by what means he has been made whole, be it known to you all and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God has raised from the dead, even by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner; neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved.
Reflexion on the Epistle
Oh! how true is this, dear Jesus! – no other Name but Yours could give us salvation, and Your Name means Saviour. Be praised for having taken such a Name! Be praised for having saved us! The admirable alliance, which You revealed to us in the mysterious Feast at Cana, is all expressed in Your most sweet and holy Name. You are of heaven heavenly, and yet You take a Name of earth, and one which our mortal lips can say. You have truly made an alliance between the two natures, the Divine and the Human, and Your Name imports this mystery of Your Incarnation. Oh! make us worthy of the sublime alliance to which You have hereby raised us, and never permit us to break it. The holy Church then commences a second canticle in praise of Your divine Name, which is blessed by all nations, for it is the name of Him who redeemed them all.
Save us, O Lord, our God! and gather us from amidst the nations: that we may give thanks to Your holy Name, and may glory in Your praise. You, Lord, are our Father and Redeemer; Your Name is from eternity. Alleluia, alleluia. My mouth shall publish the praises of the Lord, and let all flesh bless His holy Name. Alleluia.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Luke, Chap. II.
At that time, after eight days were accomplished that the Child should be circumcised, His name was called Jesus, which was called by the angel, before He was conceived in the womb.
Reflexion on the Gospel
It is during the first shedding of Your Blood, by the Circumcision, that You did receive this Name of Jesus, dear Lord! and it was fitting that it should be so, for this Name signifies Saviour, and we could not be saved but by Your Blood. The glorious alliance You have contracted with us, is, one day, to cost You Your Blood! The nuptial ring You have put on our finger, is to be steeped in Your Blood! Our immortal life is to be purchased at the price of Your Death! All these truths are expressed to us by Your Name, O Jesus! Saviour! You are the Vine, and You invite us to drink of Your delicious Wine; but the heavenly Fruit must be first unsparingly pressed in the wine-press of Your Eternal Father’s justice; we cannot drink of its juice, until it shall have been torn from the branch and bruised for our sakes. May Your sacred Name ever remind us of this sublime Mystery, and may the remembrance keep us from sin, and make us always faithful.
I will praise Thee, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify Thy name for ever; because, O Lord, Thou art good and gracious, and full of mercy towards all that call upon Thee. Alleluia.
May Thy blessing, O most merciful God, by which every creature is enlivened and subsists, sanctify this our sacrifice, which we offer Thee in honour of the name of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: that it may be acceptable to the praise of Thy majesty, and available to our salvation. The Faithful having received the heavenly food –the Body and Blood of their Saviour, Jesus– the Church, filled with gratitude towards her Lord, invites all nations to glorify the Name of Him who made and redeemed them.
All the nations Thou hast made shall come and adore before Thee, O Lord, and they shall glorify Thy name, for Thou art great and dost wonderful things: Thou art God alone. Alleluia.
The holy Church has now but one more prayer to make: it is, that the names of her children may be written, under the glorious Name of Jesus in the book of eternal predestination, which is, as it were, the deed of the Contract made with us by our Saviour. This happiness will assuredly be ours, if we are but wise enough to profit by all that this sweet Name offers us, and to make our life conformable to the lessons it teaches us.
O Almighty and Eternal God, who did both create and redeem us, mercifully hear our prayers, and vouchsafe, with a pleasing and kind countenance, to receive the sacrifice of this victim of our salvation, which we have offered to Your divine Majesty, in honour of the Name of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; that Your grace being poured upon us, through the glorious Name of Jesus as a pledge of our eternal predestination, we may rejoice that our names are written in heaven.