- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

January 3, 2017

Fr. Gerard D’Souza, OCSO [1]

Holy Name of Jesus

God comes on the clouds of heaven. We see that in the prophet Isaiah who says ‘Behold the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt’ In the prophet Daniel, who said, ‘I kept looking in the night visions. And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming.’ And Jesus Himself says ‘you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven’

God comes with clouds and that is why He is seen. An unclouded God would neither be visible or audible. God is seen and heard because of the clouds He comes with – that is His employing human words and above all when He comes in human flesh. Because of the cloud – That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

Today we celebrate another cloud God comes on – the Holy Name of Jesus. It is no ordinary name but a cloud on account of which God is seen and heard. That is why there is so much reverence for the Holy Name. So Paul will say that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which were are to be saved. Whatever we ask in the name of Jesus, that He will do for us. We enter into this cloud when we invoke the Holy Name of Jesus.

Satan has no power of us when we hide ourselves in this cloud – The seventy two returned rejoicing and said, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.’ We find that name protects us too against the demonic thoughts that insinuate themselves into the soul. And so we never stop reverencing the name or calling on Jesus – as St Hesychius of Jerusalem says ‘As it is impossible to cross the expanse of the sea without a large ship, so without calling on Jesus Christ it is impossible to banish from the soul the suggestion of a wicked thought. Great care should be taken to preserve that which is precious. But for us only one thing is truly precious – that which preserves us from all evil, both sensory and mental. And that is guarding the mind with the invocation of Jesus Christ.’