When the child grew, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, who adopted him as her son and called him Moses; for she said, "I drew him out of the water.” (Ex 2: 10)
Throughout the Bible God often changed the names of men and women. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, Sarai to Sara. Abram meant “high father” but God changed his name to Abraham which meant “father of a multitude.” (Genesis 17:5) Sarai’s name meant “my princess”, but God changed her name to Sarah which means “mother of nations.”(Genesis 17:15) God’s new name for them explains His mission for them.
Moses is given his name by the Egyptian princess who adopted him. His name means, “I drew him out of the water.” Water was significant in Moses’ life.
Jesus renamed Simon’s name to Peter which means “Rock.” Peter’s mission was to be the foundation for the Church.(Matthew 16:18)
When I was born, my mother’s brother wanted her to name me Mary. My Great Aunt on my Father’s side of the family wanted my name to be Mary Joseph or Mary Josephine. My mother didn’t like Mary Joseph nor Mary Josephine so mother compromised and she named me Mary Jo. My uncle had a special devotion to Mary, Jesus’ mother, and my Great Aunt had a devotion to Mary and Joseph, Jesus’ parents. My name was given to me because Mary and Joseph will be my guardians. I can call upon them for protection, guidance and strength to do God’s Will.
“The importance of the unity of name and identity in the history of the Church’s living Sacred Tradition and custom extends to those who believe in Jesus and who are sacramentally consecrated to him by name-by a Christian name-in Baptism and in Confirmation.” ( A Priest by Any Other Name by Fr. Donald J. Planty, Jr.,JCD.)
Priests when ordained are given the title Father because of the Sacrament of Holy Orders when the Bishop imposes His hands over them they receive a “permanent character” they become the face of Christ to God the Father and they stand “in persona Christi capitis,” “in the person of Christ the head” of the family, he is given his new mission.
What is your name? What is your mission? How can we support each other in our mission to fulfill God’s Will?
Let us pray for all priests to be faithful to their mission as spiritual Fathers and to be the Face of Christ to all.