Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Say My Name

Some many years ago, a friend who I knew loved me, said my name, "Terry" is a very tender way. I had never heard anyone say my name in that manner and tone. I felt a sense of Oneness with her and all the world. I was at peace.
When I was in trouble as a little boy, my Mom would say, "Terrence Patrick!" I knew I had done something wrong. As a priest I rarely here my name with any tenderness. It is usually Fr. Terry, or Fr. Ryan, or Mr. or Sir, or just "hey you." So be it.
In the Gospel of John, Chapter 17, Jesus refers to his Holy Father and the name given by the Father to Jesus. What name you ask? Wrong question for me. I am more attuned to how the name is said, in a very tender, loving and profound silence. The Father and the Son, Jesus Christ, are very intimate. They are one and so refer to each other in a very tender way. Jesus prays that the Father will keep the disciples in the same name, that is in the same relationship of intimate, tender love.
The next time someone says that they love you, listen to how they say your name. This will tell you a lot about the relationship at that precise moment. I hope that Jesus is saying my name very tenderly, and lovingly. When I am in prayer, I think that this is so.

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