Vigil mass for Christmas

What's in a name

Matthew 1:18-25

As we are about to witness the momentous occasion tonight, the commemoration of the birth of Jesus the Lord, a vigil mass is celebrated in the evening so that we may enter more fully into the mystery of Christ's birth.

His name shall be "Jesus".  In the first reading, Judah' name is changed from "forsaken" to "my delight".  On that day, her integrity shall be restored and God will rejoice in Israel.

What's in a name?  

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "God revealed himself to his people Israel by making his name known to them. A name expresses a person's essence and identity and the meaning of this person's life. God has a name; he is not an anonymous force. To disclose one's name is to make oneself known to others; in a way it is to hand oneself over by becoming accessible, capable of being known more intimately and addressed personally."

Enter into the mystery of a name, especially "Jesus".  "Jesus" came from the Hebrew word "Joshua" meaning "God saves."  By this, Catechism reminds us of two basic realities about Jesus: who he is and what his mission is.  

By knowing Jesus, we also get to know our identity - we are children of God like Jesus.  Secondly, our mission like Jesus is also revealed - "to save".  Christmas is us being reborn now in Jesus who is to come to this world.