et sanctum nomen eius

As someone whose birthday is also celebrated as The Name of the Lord -- also properly known as the Circumcision of Our Lord -- I get used to the "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded" jokes for the day. But those two variations on the celebration for the day are not euphemistic, even though we might avoid the one for the other. The celebration that includes the words, "And let his name be known in Israel, Yehoshua, son of Joseph, ..." is the one that makes him a son of the covenant by the sign of circumcision. The child is given the name by which he will be called among the people, the name by which they will know him, by which he will know himself, and by which God will know him as His own child. And despite the Maccabean themes of the gospels, this one is not called Nikodemos, the victorious people. He is called Yehoshua, "God saves." This is what the people know, and what he himself knows -- that God saves. This is how Jesus is called among the people, and how God is known in him. This one, given this name, knew that his role was not to rise up and seize the name and power of God. No; being called, "God saves," he became the Isaianic servant, God's servant and the one whose obedience brings God's salvation for God's people.


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