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The Profession of Faith

109

432

The name “Jesus” signifies that the very name of God is

present in the person of his Son, made man for the universal and

definitive redemption from sins. It is the divine name that alone

brings salvation, and henceforth all can invoke his name, for Jesus

united himself to all men through his Incarnation,

23

so that “there

is no other name under heaven given among men by which we

must be saved.”

24

433

The name of the Savior God was invoked only once in the

year by the high priest in atonement for the sins of Israel, after he

had sprinkled the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies with the sacri-

ficial blood. The mercy seat was the place of God’s presence.

25

When St. Paul speaks of Jesus whom “God put forward as an

expiation by his blood,” he means that in Christ’s humanity “God

was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”

26

434

Jesus’ Resurrection glorifies the name of the Savior God,

for from that time on it is the name of Jesus that fully manifests the

supreme power of the “name which is above every name.”

27

The

evil spirits fear his name; in his name his disciples perform mir­

acles, for the Father grants all they ask in this name.

28

435

The name of Jesus is at the heart of Christian prayer. All

liturgical prayers conclude with the words “through our Lord

Jesus Christ.” The

Hail Mary

reaches its high point in the words

“blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” The Eastern prayer of the

heart, the

Jesus Prayer,

says: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have

mercy on me, a sinner.” Many Christians, such as St. Joan of Arc,

have died with the one word “Jesus” on their lips.

II.

C

hrist

436

The word “Christ” comes from the Greek translation of the

Hebrew

Messiah,

which means “anointed.” It became the name

proper to Jesus only because he accomplished perfectly the divine

mission that “Christ” signifies. In effect, in Israel those consecrated

to God for a mission that he gave were anointed in his name. This

was the case for kings, for priests and, in rare instances, for proph-

ets.

29

This had to be the case all the more so for the Messiah whom

23 Cf.

Jn

3:18;

Acts

2:21; 5:41;

3 Jn

7;

Rom

10:6-13.

24

Acts

4:12; cf. 9:14;

Jas

2:7.

25 Cf.

Ex

25:22;

Lev

16:2,15-16;

Num

7:89;

Sir

50:20;

Heb

9:5, 7.

26

Rom

3:25;

2 Cor

5:19.

27

Phil

2:9-10; cf.

Jn

12:28.

28 Cf.

Acts

16:16-18; 19:13-16;

Mk

16:17:

Jn

15:16.

29 Cf.

Ex

29:7;

Lev

8:12;

1 Sam

9:16; 10:1; 16:1,12-13;

1 Kings

1:39; 19:16.

589, 2666

389

161

615

2812

2614

2667-2668

2676

690, 695