From the time of the Apostles, the Catholic Church has professed the scripture verse – “At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11). Through the labors of St. Bernardine of Siena, the Holy Name of Jesus devotion through the inscription of its monogram – “IHS” and the name of Jesus to the Hail Mary has been spread. Pope Sixtus V granted an indulgence when anyone recites in a pious manner the phrase – “Praised be Jesus Christ!”
Today in the Latin Church, we celebrate the optional memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. It is in the name of Jesus that all things are possible. Just as we celebrate the many names and titles given to His Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, so too should be celebrate the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is He that we give all praise, adoration, and thanksgiving.
With today being the optional memorial that it is, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to quickly examine the name of Jesus as taught in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Catechism focuses on four specific names and titles – Jesus, Christ, The Only Son of God, and Lord –
The name of Jesus means “God saves.” The child born of the Virgin Mary is called Jesus, “for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21): “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved! (Acts 4:12). [#452]
The title “Christ” means “Anointed One” (Messiah). Jesus is the Christ, for “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power” (Acts 10:38). He was the one “who is to come” (Lk 7:19), the object of “the hope of Israel” (Acts 28:20). [#453]
The title “Son of God” signifies the unique and eternal relationship of Jesus Christ to God his Father; he is the only Son of the Father (cf. Jn 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18); he is God himself (cf. Jn 1:1). To be a Christian, one must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (cf. Acts 8:37; 1 Jn 2:23). [#454]
The title “Lord” indicates divine sovereignty. To confess or invoke Jesus as Lord it to believe in his divinity. “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3). [#455]
For a more complete understanding of this topic, I would encourage you to read paragraphs 422-451 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. To pray the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, check it out here on the EWTN website.
Praise Be Jesus Christ…Now and Forever! Amen.