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“Names are inseparable from identity, belonging, and place. Parents throughout the world hope that the names they give their children will describe their babies’ personalities and roots. Their desire is for the name to shape that child’s character and identity and, in the end, destiny. The hope is that a child will blossom into her name, into her calling.” (Marlena Graves)

The names we use for ourselves, for others, and for God shape our thought and influence our understanding of God’s revelation to us. A fundamental link between God and mankind “is concentrated in the use of the Name, in the ‘invocation of the Name.’ The Name is the preeminent word, the proper, exclusive word which is much more than a concept: it carries something of the presence, of the person.” (Father George Morelli, Father Boris Bobrinksy)

“In recounting Jesus’ visit to the country of the Gerasenes where He met a man with an unclean spirit, St. Mark records Jesus’ words: “What is your name?” (Mk 5:9)…“To the Jewish mind the name of an object or a being expresses its essence, and the old adage nomen est omen sees in the name both the expression and destiny of a person. Christ’s question meant therefore: “Who are you; what is your destiny, your secret being?” (Father George Morelli, Paul Evdokimov)

“Name changes in the Bible signify growth, transformation, and newness in the Lord. For example, Jacob, which means deceiver, became Israel, which mean God prevails. Abram, the exalted father, became Abraham, the father of many. Simon, which mean obedient, became Peter, the rock, and the list goes on.” (Sacramental Living Blog)

“The original name, Ab-ram, means “exalted father.” Now God changes the second half of the name from ram (exalted) to raham (many), identifying the patriarch as “father of a multitude.” The name signals the change that God will accomplish through Abraham’s deepening transformation – a change that will make him a worthy father of many nations.” (Dynamis 3/21/2018)

“That’s how God operates when he changes someone’s name. It is an outward symbol of an inward transformation and calling, of a new God-given identity and destiny.” (Marlena Graves)

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