For the Sake of the Name

s31790-masterimage-r8056-lectionary-onlineThis week, as we continue reading from the Acts of the Apostles at Mass, we hear again the phrase:  “for the sake of the name.”  These scriptures refer to the disciples rejoicing at being found worthy to suffer for the sake of the Name of Jesus.

This above-quoted phrase struck me as I heard it at Mass this past week.  It called me to reflect: Have I ever suffered dishonor for the sake of His name?  Certainly, I have never faced martyrdom as many early Christians did.  I have, however, experienced other difficulties for the sake of His Name.

Pondering on this beautiful, inspiring phrase called me to think about my present daily life as well.  It calls me to do everything for Jesus.  It serves as a sort of examination of conscience.  I might ask myself: Did I do everything this morning for Jesus, for the sake of His Name?

When  I make my morning offering, I can dedicate all I am to do this day to Him and commit myself to live my whole life ” for the sake of the name.”   It can call me to think twice about doing things unworthy of “the Name.”  For example, I can’t really be short and impatient with a co-worker with His holy Name in mind, can I?  The more I keep Jesus in mind, and His Name on my lips (interiorly), the more likely I think I will be to live my day in a way that pleases Him.

I don’t know what my efforts each day will bring, trials or pleasant results.  However, like the early disciples, I can rejoice in whatever comes of living “for the sake of the name” of Jesus.  For, as St. Peter says, elsewhere in Acts, there is not “any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

I would like to close by exhorting us with the Psalmist (103):
“Bless the LORD, my soul; all my being, bless his holy name!”

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