As a thirteen-year-old preparing for Confirmation, I knew nothing of the lives of the saints. My mother mercifully suggested Francis for my Confirmation name. There were two such saints, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Francis de Sales, and I found myself more attracted to the latter saint. Decades later I learned that St. Francis de Sales published numerous religious booklets, is the patron saint of writers, and also of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. I praise the Lord, Who named me Francis in Confirmation and led me to the perfect patron for my life's ministry! The Lord didn't see me as a clueless youth, but rather He saw me as the person I would become in Jesus, and gave me a new name to fit the part.
Jesus changed Simon's name to Cephas, which means 'Rock' in Aramaic, the language spoken at the time in Galilee, or Petros in Greek, also translated 'Rock.' Jesus saw Simon not as he was at that moment, but as the man he would become, the leader and rock of the Church. Often religious orders will issue a new name to a new member. The Lord is always working through that name change. With the new name also comes His calling.
Praise and thank Jesus that He sees beyond our past and present failings, weaknesses, and sins. He sees us as a royal son or daughter of God. Jesus loves us for who we are, but issues us an upward calling (Phil 3:14) to be His fruitful disciple.
Today, bring to mind your Confirmation name. With that name, you are confirmed in the Holy Spirit. Live your new name and new calling in Christ. Be re-confirmed in the Spirit.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2013 through January 31, 2014.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2013.