Respect for your name.

Proverbs tells us: “To whom honor is due, to the shepherd the trumpet.” It is worth reflecting today on the respect we extend to ourselves. Alternatively, why do we devalue our name? We want to be respected and honored by those around us, yet our particular attitude to ourselves is often despicable.

We can reflect on this theme even before the feasts of peace and joy when we also commemorate the birth of John the Baptist. The Evangelist Luke says: “On the eighth day they came to circumcise the boy and wanted to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said: “No, he shall be called John” (Luke 1:59-60). And after another amazing course, when even Zacharias spoke, the people say to themselves: “Just what will this boy be?” (Lk 1:66). The birth of a child, especially a firstborn and one so eagerly awaited, causes great joy in the family and the neighborhood.

The birth of John the Baptist is incredibly joyful because everyone feels that he is a child blessed by God and who certainly has a great mission before God. Zacharias also speaks of this under the influence of the Holy Spirit in a beautiful hymn. He thanks God for the work of redemption that has been begun, and in his son, he foresees the task that awaits him as the forerunner of the Messiah. These events spread throughout the mountains of Judah, and when the people heard them, they felt both joy and awe at the same time. The people watched this miraculous child closely. They saw nothing sinful about him. John went as a young man into the wilderness, the spirit of the greatest prophet maturing in him. These events took place in the town of the priestly class whose task was to lead the nation to the promised Messiah. Both Zechariah and Elizabeth had reverence for the name of God. This was the way God Himself wanted it, and this was the way the Law of Moses commanded it. God also had reverence for Zechariah and Elizabeth. For it was they whom He chose to bring into the world the herald, the forerunner of His Son.

John, guided by his parents, through whom the still hidden Holy Spirit spoke, accepts the beginnings of his mission and later in the wilderness proves his devotion to God in word and deed. He is humble: “I am not worthy to untie his shoe strap.” (Lk 3:16). He does not take pride and glory. John tells us by his life of great reverence for God. At the same time, we feel that he is also an example to us in reverence for his name: “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness…” (Jn 1:23).

These facts are to find an echo in our lives. We are to realize that God wants us to respect Him and to feel responsible for our name as well. This means we should not lower ourselves and lend our name to sin. For example, as we read, the Lord has a plan for our terms in Philippians that our names are written in the book of life (cf. Phil. 4:3). It is touching when we watch sporting events, and our athletes make a good name for the nation and country, what joy parents feel when their children make a good name for them – the parents. How proud we are of the good name of our parents. But that is not enough.

We must strive for a good name with God, too. There is a reward behind a good reputation, and behind a spoiled one, there is a punishment. A good name is a good life lived honestly, and conversely, behind a bad name is a sinful life lived sinfully. This takes time, and God has appointed it for us. Therefore, let us use our abilities, talents, and talents to glorify God, who will reward us when we live our lives according to His commands.

Let us not be afraid when the world takes away our good name. Let us rejoice when our terms are written in the Book of Life. The world dulls the name of Christ also, and yet we know that the name of Christ has prevailed and is prevailing. Let us rejoice that if we endure to the end, we too shall overcome.

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