Have you ever wondered how it came about that, in the liturgy of Christian communities, the prayers which the presider offers conclude with words like these: “We ask this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord”? I think that we have the answer in John’s Gospel when Jesus says in three different ways that we should pray in his name: “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do.” (14:13); “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (14:14); and “… so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” (15:16). We also know from the Letter to the Philippians (2:9-11) that this sacred name has extraordinary power: “Because of this (that Jesus humbled himself taking on our humanity, and submitting to death on a cross to save us) God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
May we always speak this sacred name with reverence!
—Fr. Robert Braunreuther, S.J., a Jesuit of the New England province, assists in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago, where he is also minister of the Arrupe House Jesuit community.