I always ask people who are celebrating their Birth Day, if they can hear the Song the Angels Sang of the day that they were born!
After that, we are given the Gift of our Name. I always make something of this in the Celebration of Baptism. I explore that reason a name has been chosen and it's meaning for the little one. Everybody's name means something. Mary (Myriam) has its roots in rebellion and means, 'the one who changes everything'. Peter means Rock and Paul means Small. Having a name means that I am somebody, worthy of tenderness and respect. But knowing someone's name doesn't mean we know them.
It is often recorded that the first disciples of Jesus betrayed him in the end. This can sometimes be used as a 'get out clause' for our own failures. Certainly they are encouraging. But it is also true that all of them laid down their lives for him in the end. This is inspiring.
Notice how, in their moment of Grace, when they meet Him for the first time, Jesus gives them a new name.
We mirror this in the Celebration of Confirmation. And this week we have a wonderful group of young people who have a new name from The Lord! The Psalmist puts it like this,
And you shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of The Lord
A Royal Diadem in the Hand of your God
And you shall be called by a new Name which the mouth of The Lord will Give.
Recently, a man heard The Lord call Him by a new name. It was Francis, and he has changed the face of the earth. As we give thanks to God for the keystone lives and work of Peter and Paul, might we ask how our own name gives us a great clue to our own Vocation.
And as for the first line of this reflection, keep listening and then sing along!