"WHAT IS IN A NAME?"
That name in Hebrew literally means "the Lord is gracious, the Lord has shown favor."
Biblical names are often rich in meaning. God Himself insisted that the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth be named John for a very special reason. That name in Hebrew literally means "the Lord is gracious, the Lord has shown favor." The Baptist was the last of the Old Testament prophets, and in a sense he summed up in his person all the favors God had shown to the chosen people through His spokesmen, the prophets. Everything that God did in the Old Testament pointed to the person of whom John was to be the herald, Jesus Christ.
In the birth of John and in the birth of Jesus the Messiah we see the grace of God breaking forth into a world broken by sin and death. During this year of Mercy, let us ponder on John's miraculous birth that shows the mercy and favor of God in preparing his people for the coming of its Lord and Savior, the Christ. When God acts to save us He graciously fills us and makes our faith "alive" to His promises.
Points to Pray and Ponder: What's in a name? In the names of the three principal characters of today's Gospel - we have a symbol of what our celebration of Christmas ought to be. Our hearts should be filled with praise and thanks to God for having remembered His great favor through the person of His Son, born into our world to be our Savior. Is this the Christmas message in your heart today?