Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary people,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel. (Is 7:13-14)
Judith Marie. Yes. That was going to be my name. Judith Marie.
My mother came from a family of three girls. Her two older sisters gave birth to girls. My mother’s mom was the youngest of eleven children. All of them were girls and all of them gave birth to girls.
So, when mom went to the hospital for her first born, she had the name “Judith Marie” in mind. She loved that name and was waiting to name her girl. What happened broke the long chain of girls-only births. She had a son. She did not even have a boy’s name picked. She named her first born after her dad, Stephen.
Five years later, she went to the hospital for her Judith Marie. You guessed it. Another boy. She named him after her husband, Joseph, Jr.
Five years later, she went to the hospital for Judith Marie — or Michael. At least she had my name picked out.
Names are important to us. They give us identity and, to a large extent, purpose. In today’s first reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, we heard the prophecy that the “virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.”
It is all in the name. Emmanuel means “God with us”. God is, indeed, with us. He has been with us through the ages and will be with us into our future. He is our beginning and our destination. He loved us so much that He gave us His Son. Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us, loved us so much that He gave His life for us.
Because of our belief in the Lord, we have taken on a name of our own: Christian. That name should mean much to us as well. It should be a reminder of the kind of people that we should be each and every day of our lives.
God lived up to His name. Do we live up to ours?
FAITH ACTION: Reflect upon God’s great love for you and ask yourself the question: “Am I living up to the name of Christian?”