Grace to you!
A man on the wheels was far beyond the speed limit. His was one of those times you momentarily forget and the speedometer goes off the chart. Revolving lights seen from the rear mirror, plus the siren, was an abrupt notice that he is in the cop’s net.
The countenance of the cop looking through his driver’s license was somewhat revealing of disappointment. The cop knew the name of the driver’s father, a well-loved and respected man in their state. How could the son of such a man be reckless? Why him? Though he received a warning ticket, the cop showed extreme mercy because of the man’s family.
I’m not concerned about whether the cop was partial or not. It’s up for debate. The point is this, names matter, for good or for bad.
The relevance of family names and titles is more pronounced in monarchic societies. People crave to be associated with some family names. Some believe certain family names stand for royalty, prestige or influence. It shouldn’t be the case, many will argue. Reality is, often it is.
In the name there is a connection with a people and a person. Naming ceremonies have a similar significance. The name is a crucial aspect of people’s identity.
In African worldview, for instance, among some tribes, people say, “good name is better than wealth.” Though this relates to integrity, it equally has something to do with actual names. Losing integrity goes beyond a person; it could metastasize and cost the reputation of more than just one person in the family.
Many in modern day societies seem to object to monarchic semblances of family names and authority, yet we are aware that in real life, especially in politics and the world of entertainment, names, big names tend to matter. If this is the case in our society, consider the blessing of having the title of the best name ever?
Did you realize that Scripture said something unique about your identity as a believer? How would you feel if I told you or reminded you what Scripture said about your identity, your name, and your family, a unique family?
Hear the First Letter of John describe it: “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (I John 3:1).
The greatest love ever, the greatest privilege ever, is to be granted the grace to have God as our “surname.” The fondness that God calls you and me his own, his precious child, is an amazing delight for me. I hope for you too.
As those begotten of God through the Son in the Spirit, a reality that takes place through Baptism, we are not simply called children of God. We are indeed God’s children. We are adopted through the grace of the Son, the Child Jesus born to us, through whom we become sons and daughters of God—a divine adoption much more than silver, gold and diamond. Though, being a child of God has responsibilities attached to it, as we shall see tomorrow, the grace is incredible.
If I know and am constantly aware that God is my father, and I am a child of God, what need I fear? “If God is for us,” Saint Paul would say, “who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
May the audacity of this truth continue to inspire us as we journey through the New Year. Amen.
Begin the year with renewed vigor and boldness because you are a child of God.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.