The Powers of Jesus’ Name
The childhood of Christ can encourage us all year round because the Gospels say that the name Jesus casts out demons, and was foretold by the prophets. We grow up in the image of Christ to full stature because we let him save us from torments. Bonaventure says that his name is powerful because it renews our mind, and is grace-filled because it contains the ground of hope. This is why this German Franciscan carving shows a friar keen to discover closeness to any aspects of salvation, as Mary and Jesus share passages from the Bible. The name Jesus is also joyous because it is
“gladness to the heart, music to the ear, honey to the tongue and splendour to the mind.”
It soothes when it is spoken, refreshes when it is written and instructs when it is read.
The name Jesus, Bonaventure says, means:
“Saviour, amidst the miseries of this life.” So we can pray “Save us, sweet Jesus,…Strengthen the weak, comfort those who mourn, help the frail and give constancy to the faint-hearted.” He adds that Mary herself “often felt a sense of sweetness, when through this name she witnessed that devils were cast out, miracles were performed, the blind received their sight, the sick were restored to health and the dead were brought back to life.” All of us “have every right to rejoice and give praise,” he says, as we witness in ourselves and in others that Jesus “restores the paralysed and crippled by giving strength to the spirit.”