Branching Out Blog

Many Names

Posted by Sharon Krause on Jan 22, 2024 6:00:00 AM


Throughout our lifetimes, we hear and use many names: wife or husband, Mom or Dad, Grammy or Gramps, doctor or nurse, teacher, friend, senator or president, sales rep, fisherman, just to name a few. The names usually come with special meanings and implications. Sometimes they have to do with one’s occupation. In many cases, names come with implied definitions. Names can be very important in marketing, too. Sometimes there are contests designed to choose the right name for a product.

Earlier this month, we read in the liturgy of the baptism of Jesus by John. A voice from the heavens called Jesus “my beloved Son” (Mark 1:11). On the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, we read in the gospel that John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of God” (John 1:35-42). Two disciples called Jesus “Rabbi.” Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, called Jesus the “Messiah.” Jesus told Simon that he would thenceforth be called “Cepheus,” which is translated “Peter.”

In yesterday’s gospel reading, Jesus tells Simon and Andrew that if they follow him, he will make them “fishers of men” (Mark: 1:17). That is a whole new understanding of “fishermen.” These disciples can catch not fish, but new disciples for Jesus! Quite a difference!

When we pray these days of the new year, perhaps we can find inspiration from the many and various names for the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. For example, when we think about lambs, how innocent they are, how small and pure that are, we also remember how they were used in sacrificial services and prayers to God so long ago. We could think about the precious, innocent Lamb of God, who sacrificed his life for us. We can meditate on the concept of sacrifice. We can be so grateful to our generous Jesus who loves us so much.

How about “Messiah” or “Rabbi?” What has our wonderful anointed teacher taught us lately. Do we take the time to pray and listen? Have we thought that maybe, by our example, good will, and gentle faith-sharing we might be “fishers of others” ourselves? We might invite others to love Jesus, our Savior!

We could make a list of names that describe Jesus and, during each prayer time, meditate on each name: for example, Prince of Peace, Son of Mary, Good Shepherd, Savior of the World, Light in our Darkness, Wonderful Counselor, Emmanuel, Name above all Names.

May we all have a holy year all year long, In Jesus’ name, we pray!




Photograph by Image Creator from Designer.

The scripture references are from The New American Bible, New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Royal Palm Beach, Florida, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.



Topics: Jesus as teacher, Jesus' love, Sharon Krause

Sharon Krause

Written by Sharon Krause

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