Sunday Soundbite for May 16, 2021

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Cycle B
May 16, 2021

What’s in a name? As Christians we are. Hello, I’m Fr. Greg Friedman with the Sunday Soundbite for the Seventh Sunday of Easter.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus prays at the Last Supper for his disciples: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me.” In Chapter 8 of John’s Gospel, Jesus referred to himself with the divine name I AM–the name revealed to Moses at the burning bush. In appropriating this name to himself Jesus is claiming divinity.

In the context of the rest of John’s Gospel–and especially today’s Last Supper discourse–this claim defines the intimate relationship between Jesus and the Father. What he shares with the Father Jesus in turn now shares with his disciples. Entrusted with his word, guarded by his name, they will witness to his truth.

How casually do we name ourselves as Christian? Do we realize the implications of bearing the name of Christ in our world today? Do we believe in the power we were given at baptism–when we were named and signed with the cross of Christ? His name brings us the consecration, protection, responsibility, and even joy promised by Jesus in today’s Last Supper prayer. May we take our name seriously, and live fully in the relationship we share with God.

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