January 3.    The most holy name of Jesus.  The Mbatha family were looking into the topic of names.   “What is in a name you may ask? How important is each one’s name to them?  Cultural groups and families choose names for their new born children for particular reasons?  There are historical family names or a favourite saint’s name or just made up names.  In our mixed cultural context people may end up with an African name and a European name. The significance of a name for one’s identity is also growing. Naming is a beginning of a person’s life journey.” Mabel commented, “In the Genesis 2 creation story God tells Adam to give names to the animals, that denotes a degree of ownership or at least relationship.  Taking a new name when you get married is also a sign of a new beginning.”  Jesus’ name was foretold. It means “God saves.”  Christ is not his surname but a title, meaning “Anointed One.” Find out and discuss how names matter, family names as well as surnames or clan names. 

Scripture.  And at the end of eight days when he was circumcised he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived. Luke 21:21.   Pope Francis: God allows parents to choose the name by which he himself will call their child for all eternity.   AL 167