Friday of the Fourth Week


Ml 3:1-4, 23-24
Ps 25:4-5ab, 8-9, 10, 14
Lk 1:57-66


I am often amazed at the depth in which a name holds. It captures attention, it draws another person into conversation and meaning, and most importantly it is the basic foundational structure for what it means to be known. I find myself suddenly captivated in an average day when someone takes the time to simply, yet somehow profoundly use my name in everyday conversation. A casual ‘hello’ turns into an acknowledgement of someone’s unique presence when it is tied to the gravity of a name.
What we name, has the ability to shape us; what we know has the ability to shape us. The meaning that people and experiences have on our lives is unmatched, and it is about time we start naming them. Advent is the perfect time to begin to name those friends, family members, and past memories that have shaped you, in order to better prepare for the One who named you.
In the Gospel this week Zechariah and Elizabeth name their son John, a completely unique and individual name that stands out among the rest. John, which means, “the word made flesh”, becomes the definition of his name. What are you doing in order to be more like the definition of John this Christmas season?
Madeline in Aramaic, means “tower” or “great, magnificent, and elevated”. Although I just learned the definition of my own name, I am now newly encouraged and inspired to be great, and to bring others into greatness! The meaning of words have the power to shape us and the people around us. I ask that in the preparation of this Christmas season you make an extra effort in order to be nice and not naughty in order to prepare the way for the name that is great above all.  

-Madeline Ball '17