5th Week of Lent (C) : Thursday 7th April 2022

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The Lord remembers His covernant forever - God calls each of us by name

5th Week of Lent (C) : Thursday 7th April 2022

Gen. 17:3-9; Ps. 104:4-5,6-7,8-9;
Jn. 8:51-59 (Ps Wk I)

Our names and surnames ground us deep in ancestral history, personal dignity and the traditions of our forefathers.  “God calls each one by name. Everyone’s name is sacred…It demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it.” – CCC 2158.

In today’s readings, two words are inextricably linked: name and covenant. Naming is a sign of ownership and authority. When God named or renamed a person, He intended to give him or her a new identity, a role and a mission. A covenant binds persons together, is indissoluble and irrevocable. God, in recognising Abram’s works of faithfulness and in exchange for his obedience (Gen 17:1) made one with him and changed his name from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of a multitude of nations). This was how Abraham was named and claimed by God to participate in His plan of salvation. In return he was promised countless descendants and divine protection.

Jesus asserted that he is God – (‘….before Abraham ever was, I Am’) and declared that those who kept His word would possess everlasting life. How so? Through baptism God establishes His covenant with us, gifting us with faith and eternal life. During Lent the optional rite of choosing a baptismal name may be celebrated by catechumens, and with one of the readings being taken from Gen. 17:1-7. We pray that the sponsors and godparents of our catechumens, will assist them in choosing  baptismal names that commensurate with  the roles and missions that God has for them.

“The Lord remembers His covenant for ever” – Psalm 104(105)

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