In the name of Our Divine Saviour, the Church prays, heals the sick, evangelizes the nations, casts out demons, and in short, carries out her work of saving souls.
Newsroom(04/01/2023 08:30, Gaudium Press) Many inhabitants of Jerusalem witnessed the scene so well narrated in the Acts of the Apostles that the reader has the impression of actually being there.
Peter and John went up to the Temple to pray. A cripple from birth, standing at the Beautiful Gate, asked them for alms.
” Look at us!”, the Prince of the Apostles said to him.
The poor man looked at them attentively, wondering how much he would receive.
“I have neither silver nor gold, but I give you what I have: in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, get up and walk.”
Leaping up, the cripple stood up and entered the Temple with them, leaping and praising God. And he clung to the two Apostles so tightly that an astonished crowd gathered around them. When Peter saw this, he spoke thus:
“Ye men of Israel, why look ye upon us, as though by our power we had made this man to walk? The God of our fathers has glorified His son Jesus. Through faith in His Name, that same Name has given perfect healing to this man whom you see and know.”
There is no other name by which we can be saved
St. Peter continued his discourse, exhorting his hearers to conversion, until he was interrupted by some priests and Sadducees, accompanied by the chief guard of the Temple, who arrested the two men of God.
The next day, they were taken before the High Priest and his Council.
“By what power and in whose name have you done this?”, they asked him.
The answer came calmly but firmly:
“Princes of the people and elders, hear me! Since we are questioned here about the healing of a sick man, let it be known to all the people of Israel that it is in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, it is by Him that this man is made whole before you. There is salvation in none other, for there is no other name under Heaven by which we must be saved.”
Why forbid the Name of Jesus?
The First Pope’s firmness baffled the enemies of Jesus. Bringing them out of the council chamber, they deliberated among themselves: “What shall we do with these men? For the miracle performed by them has become known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that this news may not spread any further among the people, let us forbid them to speak to anyone in this Name in the future” (Acts 4:16-17).
They then called the two disciples of the Lord back and strictly ordered them never again to speak or teach in the Name of Jesus. Peter and John categorically declared that they would not obey this order, for they owed obedience to God above all else.
What was the reason for such an unjustified prohibition?
From the perspective of the enemies of God and His Church, it is not difficult to understand the reason: many of those who heard St. Peter’s preaching believed, “and the number of the faithful about five thousand” (Acts 4:4). The Sanhedrin’s fierceness is understandable, for it was well aware that in a short time the Church would expand throughout the whole world.
To preach the Gospel is to proclaim the Name of Jesus
How could the Holy Church stop praying, preaching, baptizing and healing in the Name of Jesus?
From the earliest days of Christianity, to preach the Gospel is to proclaim this glorious Name among all. It is by His divine power that miracles are worked: “These miracles will accompany those who believe: in My Name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages … they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mk 16:17-18).
The Name of the Redeemer could not fail to occupy a prominent place in the life of the Church, since He Himself affirmed: “Whatever you ask the Father in My Name, I will do it for you” (Jn 14:13). And in the act of Baptism, through which the Christian is born, it is “in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of our God” that the soul is washed, sanctified and justified (cf. 1 Cor 6:11).
All this has a valuable application in our life as Catholics: the invocation of the Most Holy Name of Jesus is an inexhaustible source of graces for personal sanctification and works of evangelization.
By Lucilia Haddad.
Compiled by Sandra Chisholm