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Friday, June 27, 1997

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St. Cyril of Alexandria

Genesis 17:1, 9-10, 15-22
Psalm 128
Matthew 8:1-4

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changing names

"God further said to Abraham: 'As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai; her name shall be Sarah. I will bless her, and I will give you a son by her." —Genesis 17:15-16

We all want certain things to change. The leper in today's Gospel reading wanted Jesus to heal him. Jesus touched him, and "immediately the man's leprosy disappeared" (Mt 8:3). Sometimes we want things to change not by disappearing but by appearing. For instance, Abram and Sarai wanted to have a child. We likewise want changes in our health, families, jobs, financial situations, churches, politics, and world.

The changes we desire are mostly exterior changes. However, interior change often precedes exterior change. Great interior change is expressed by a change of names. Abram's name was changed to Abraham, and Sarai's name to Sarah. Then they were miraculously able to conceive a child. We too often need a name-change before we can have changes in our health, jobs, families, etc.

Turn to Jesus. His name is above every other name (Phil 2:9). His name is the only name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12). When Jesus changes our names, we are really changed inside and outside. Jesus changed Simon to Peter (Rock) and on this rock He built the Church (Mt 16:18). Jesus changed Saul to Paul and turned a murderous enemy of Christians into a Christian missionary. This change inside of Saul (Paul) resulted in the Gospel being proclaimed to the world. The name of the game is the change of the name.

Prayer:  Father, may I fully live the new life expressed by my baptismal and confirmation names.

Promise:  "Happy are you who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways!" —Ps 128:1

Praise:  Cyril was a difficult person to work with. God used this difficult man to achieve the difficult task of defeating heresy.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, November 12, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 1996