Attending the Novus Ordo Latin Mass for many years has “trained” me to respectfully bow my head at the name of Jesus. What began in the Mass setting has slowly worked its way into my daily life, so that now I catch myself doing that when I hear, or even bring to mind, the name of Jesus.
As an expansion of that act, I have formed an image in my mind of the power that is unleashed when articulating the holy name of our Savior. With an utterance of “Jesus,” I find myself pausing, as I allow The Word to echo throughout the universe. I see it spreading as it moves away from me, like the ripples on a lake when a stone is tossed into the water. As the waves spread, all of God’s creatures pause to bow or kneel.
At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).
I realize that this is just my personal vision, my own longing, and that not all will consciously recognize the name, or make the effort to show reverence, but perhaps, deep in the souls of the lost, there is a slight twinge of longing that rises to the service as the undulations pass through them. Satan and his demons most assuredly know and recognize the majesty and power of the name (which means, in Hebrew, “God Saves”), and for them I imagine an angry shriek bursting forth, as they are forced to restrict their evil doings for a few seconds spent in imposed reverence (because “under the earth” is specifically included in that verse!). If we ever needed to consider and recognize more seriously the power of the name of The Christ, now is most certainly the time!
This simple act of piety is not, by any means, a new or privy act. In the long history of the Christian faith, it was an oft-practiced expression of profound recognition and reverence that has, in recent times, fallen into disuse, but not discarded by all. Thankfully, many of the faithful are blessed to have this tradition passed down to them from their elders, whereas some, like me, might attend a church that continues to promote this mindful habit in the celebration of every Mass.
Lately, because of an illness that has rendered me extremely sensitive to environmental “toxins” such as incense smoke, I have been attending an English Mass elsewhere, at a church where this symbolic addition to the celebration is rarely used. However, I carry with me this small act of piety that has become a dutiful habit. During the Gloria, the Creed, and other parts of the Mass where I have come to anticipate the name of Jesus being spoken, I will lower my head as it is being said. I sometimes notice others nearby me doing the same thing, so I have hope that this act is once again gaining popularity.
I challenge each of you, if you’ve not developed this habit, to make this small stride with me: Embrace the incredible power and majesty of the name of Jesus. Bow your heard when you hear or say His name. Together we will initiate a gradual awakening in the souls of the lost, broken, and forsaken, and work to impede the efforts of Satan and his demons. Jesus’s name is power and salvation. Recognize it, bow before it, unleash it into the heavens, throughout the earth, and below the earth, for the Glory of God and the salvation of souls!
Copyright 2019 Charlene Rack