Friday, June 28, 2013

Names Matter: Daily Mass Homily--Friday, June 28th, 2013 (CSS)

           The Scriptures emphasize the importance of names.  A name is more than a label—it is a sign of a person’s being.  It is especially important to note when a name is changed in the Bible—Simon to Peter, Saul to Paul and Jacob to Israel are some examples.
            Two people receive new names in our first reading.  God gives Abram the new name Abraham: “No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.”  Sarai receives a new name as well: “As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai; her name shall be Sarah.  I will bless her, and I will give you a son by her.”
            I admire the fact that sisters and brothers in religious communities often receive a new name when they profess vows.  As a priest, I am slightly jealous that I didn’t get a new name at ordination.  (If I had, I would have wanted Sebastian—my patron saint and athlete).  For priests, instead of a new name, we get the Fr. in front of our name.  This was definitely something I had to get used to, especially hearing “Fr. Ben” from men and women who could be my grandpa or grandma!  Yet I appreciate being called “Father” because it reminds me that I am called to be someone different than Ben Hadrich.  It is a daily reminder to live out God’s will in my life in a new way.
            I wish I could hear everyone’s name-story here at St. Scholastica.  Did you receive a new name?  Did you take your Baptismal name?  Choose a new name with the help of your superior’s?  Whatever your story, your name as a Sister is a sign of the new life God has called you to.
            During our times of reflection during Mass today, think about your name.  Ask the saint—patron, chosen, familial or otherwise—to pray for you.  And ask God to bless your continued vocation to which He has called you.

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