My insides cringed when he said it, but I didn't let my face betray my emotions. Sucking in a short, sharp breath, I realized that I would never grow accustomed to hearing Jesus’ name used while swearing. My head bowed slightly as my heart prayed, “Jesus is Lord.”
We know that God’s name is holy. The commandments given to Moses reveal that. If that wasn’t enough, Jesus Himself tells us that God’s name is holy in today’s Gospel (see Matthew 6:9). In fact, it’s the first thing we state in the prayer He taught us, second only to professing sheer belief in God’s existence and presence.
Do we treat His name with the required reverence?
After becoming deeply convicted about the sacredness of God’s name, I adopted the practice of bowing my head when I hear someone take the Lord’s name in vain. Sometimes I witness God’s name used to express frustration or to cut down another person. Sometimes I hear it in TV shows or in music. Sometimes the irreverence is more subtle, and His name is used flippantly.
Knowing how this hurts Jesus’ heart, bowing my head in an act of reparation is a small and simple way I can console Him.
This week, let’s love the Lord intimately by honoring His name more profoundly. Be intentional about bowing your head and saying a short prayer of adoration if you hear God’s name taken in vain. At Mass, try to bow your head when you hear the name of Jesus as an act of love and reparation for all the times His name is abused.
Together, we can be an army of women who “glorify the Lord” (Psalm 34:4) by declaring, “hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9).
Bowing of the head at Jesus' name was established by Pope Gregory X in this council in the 13th century.
Olivia Spears lives in Kentucky where the sweet tea and bourbon flow like milk and honey. She is the Blog Manager for Blessed is She and works from home as an editor and social media manager. She likes to binge novels and Netflix while raising her children and laughing with her husband. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book called Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.