Jn 5:43 I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.[1]

“Name” is a volatile, a powerful, an awesome word in Scriptures when dealing with God. God puts great store by it, first revealing it to Moses, the Tetragrammaton, יהוה, YHWH, “I AM WHO AM.”[Exodus 3:14], and then making it the focus of the Second Commandment, You shall not invoke the name of the LORD, your God, in vain. For the LORD will not leave unpunished anyone who invokes his name in vain. [Ex 20:7]

His Son inherited the family name, the family trait of knowing the importance in a name: you shall name Him Jesus. [Lk 1:31; Mt 1:21] from the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yehoshu’a) meaning “YAHWEH is salvation.”

Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name  that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [Phil 2:5-11]

We claim to know You, Jesus…”Oh, You’re the carpenter’s son. Why, I know Mary, Your Mother and the whole family. But that’s as far as we go….none of this coming in the name of the God. We know God. God’s up there, You’re down here. How can You, a contractor, assume to take on airs and become a preacher-man? Where did You get all Your high sounding learning. Where do You come off, taking on these Pharisees? We may not agree with them, but we certainly respect them for what they stand for, the Law, Israel, the Torah!”

Jesus, You are right. I do not accept You on Your own terms. I do not want to believe You are whom You say…because if I did, that would mean a whole new ball game, a whole new take on God, a whole new perspective on life. I like my present “ball game,” the knock-about world in which I live, I am use to it…yeah, I have my foibles, but they’re my foibles and I’ve learned to live with them. And I like to keep God in His place, up on the mantle, hanging on the wall, to be brought out on Sundays and Holidays, enough already, I have to get on with my life. I have things to do, to achieve, to succeed. I can’t be bothered with an interfering God up there, let alone You right here in my face. Accept You, you kiddin’ me?

Anyway, I prefer someone who doesn’t hide behind somebody else’s skirts, who doesn’t claim that everything He does, He does because He hears God speaking to Him, He obeys God instead of thinking on His own. Yeah, if somebody comes in, says “I’m Joe Schmoo,” and tells it like it is…yeah, him I accept. Now that’s a real self-made man!

Jesus, how often am I sucked in by this type of thinking, this “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us”[Jn14:8] thinking, this myopic, insular, not seeing what’s in front of me thinking. You have laid out for us the witness of John, the witness of Your miracles, the witness of Scripture foretelling Your coming, Your life, even Your passion, Your death, Your coming in glory. I accept the rest of Scripture as true; can I not accept these passages, this saga of salvation, this plan of providence as true?

I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. [Mt 11:25] The proof is not in the message, which is there for all, believers and unbelievers to see.

“Rather, this God would invite humans to become living evidence (not conclusive proof) of a good God. This invitation could only be heard by those who are disposed to listen for that interior call. The challenge is that responding to God’s call requires a change of heart, such that people no longer live for themselves but for others. ‘Such non-coercive empowering of what we may call ‘agape transformation’ would aim for cooperative divine-human fellowship,’[2] that models, however imperfectly and briefly, God’s morally perfect character. Put simply: to our modern world, the most compelling evidence for God is a life well-lived by those who claim God.”[3]

The proof is in me, my attitude, my acceptance, my faith, my trust. The medium is, indeed the message. I am the medium, your medium, the man in the middle, between the reality and the revelation, the one affected, enlightened, inspired, encouraged, enlivened. The one who was a disciple, a learner, a follower, and still is, but is also an apostle, a missionary, a sent-one. Sent, not just by being called, by vocation, vocare, but by the impetus of the understanding, the fire within itself, which impels, drives, flings one into the world to be a light, part of Christ’s Light, to the nations, set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.[Mt 5:15-16]

Help me not forget in my haste that acceptance, proclamation of You, Your message, Your Word, that the good deeds I do, the words I say, the life I lead is not to bring me glory and praise, but to glorify your heavenly Father from whom all good things come in heaven and earth. [Ps 1] For the grace to humbly serve, I pray to the Lord, Lord hear my prayer. Amen. Alleluia!!!

[1] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

[2] (Paul Moser, “Evidence for God,” 215)

[3] Moved to Greater Love, Sunday, April 27,Today’s Gracehttp://www.jesuits.org/story-details?TN=PROJECT-20140128033207&MTN=1DDC7F19-BE75-4EBC-807C-0C817EEBBD98

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