Praying the Holy Name of Jesus
The Church dedicates January to the Holy Name of Jesus (Feast, January 3.) Begin the new year attuned to his name!

Four Reasons to Pray with the Name of Jesus

It’s the simplest, most perfect prayer you’ll ever pray: “Jesus.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of praying always” (par. 2668). The psalmist invites: “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name!” (Psalm 103:1).

Pope Francis reflects on a hardworking man’s witness: “Before do any of the things he had to do, he would whisper to himself: ‘Jesus!’ I once asked him, ‘Why do you keep saying Jesus?’ [The man said,] ‘When I say Jesus, I feel strong, I feel able to work because I know he is beside me.’ ...I would like us to carry this in our heart: I entrust myself to the name of Jesus; I pray, ‘Jesus, Jesus!’” Read for more.

2. Jesus means “God saves.”Foretold by the angel Gabriel, Jesus’ name was announced to Mary: “Behold, you will conceive...and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus” (Luke 1:31). To Joseph, in a dream, God revealed the meaning of Jesus’ name: “You are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

St. Peter preached, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12). And again, “Everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). St. John echoes: “... your sins have been forgiven for his name’s sake” (1 John 2:12). Learn the “Jesus Prayer” on page 98.

3. It brings his presence. New Testament titles for Jesus include Son of God, Lord, Savior, Lamb of God, King, Beloved Son, Good Shepherd and so on. Yet the Catechism notes “the one name that contains everything is...JESUS. ...To pray “Jesus” is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies” (par. 2666).

4. It perfects petitions. We should intercede with Jesus’ name for he promised: “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). We are to confidently trust in his name and his power. The Catechism explains that asking “in his name” gives us “the certitude that our petitions will be heard” because our asking “is founded on the prayer of Jesus” (par. 2614).

Download a free copy of Four Reasons to Pray with the Name of Jesus (PDF)

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Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

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