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Thursday, January 4, 2024

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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

1 John 3:7-10
Psalm 98:1, 7-9
John 1:35-42

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confirmation name

“You are Simon, son of John; your name shall be Cephas (which is rendered Peter).” —John 1:42

As a thirteen-year-old preparing for Confirmation, I knew nothing of the lives of the saints. My mother mercifully suggested Francis for my Confirmation name. There were two such saints, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Francis de Sales, and I found myself more attracted to the latter saint. Decades later I learned that St. Francis de Sales published numerous religious booklets, and is the patron saint of writers and also of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. I praise the Lord, Who named me Francis in Confirmation and led me to the perfect patron for my life’s ministry! The Lord didn’t see me as a clueless youth, but rather He saw me as the person I would become in Jesus, and gave me a new name to fit the part.

Jesus changed Simon’s name to Cephas (Jn 1:42), which means ‘Rock’ in Aramaic, the language of Galilee, or Petros in Greek, also translated ‘Rock’ (see Mt 16:18). Jesus saw Simon not as he was at that moment, but as the man he would become, the leader and rock of the Church. Often religious orders will issue a new name to a new member. The Lord is always working through that name change. With the new name also comes His calling (see also Gn 17:5; 35:10).

Praise Jesus that He sees beyond our past and present failings, weaknesses, and sins. He sees us as a royal child of God (see 1 Pt 2:9). Jesus loves us for who we are, but issues us an upward calling (Phil 3:14) to be His fruitful disciples.

Today, bring to mind your Confirmation name. With that name, you are confirmed in the Holy Spirit. Live your new name and new calling in Christ. Be re-confirmed in the Spirit.

Prayer:  Father, may I become the person You see when You look at me. May I live up to my new name.

Promise:  “The man who acts in holiness is holy indeed.” —1 Jn 3:7

Praise:  St. Elizabeth followed her Lord across religious denominations, across the Atlantic Ocean, wherever He led.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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