What's in a Name?

Apparently, in today's Gospel, Elizabeth wasn't going to have a little Zechariah running around.  She was firm in her reply to her neighbors and relatives, "No.  He will be called John."

By this time, Zechariah had been struck dumb, but on agreeing with his wife on the name of his son, his tongue was freed.  (Husbands be aware!)

Naming your child is tricky business.  It's a lifetime of either, "what a beautiful name!" or the blank look of "what the hell were you thinking?"  And don't get me started on the weird spellings!

Elizabeth knew that John was destined for something big.  But don't all mothers (and fathers) feel that way?

My husband didn't want a "junior" even though I was all for it, so our first born carries my husband's name for his middle name.  My second son is named after a favorite uncle of mine and carries my husband's brother's name for his middle name.  My husband came up with our daughter's name (I still think he was watching that soap opera at work and that's where he got the name, though he denies it!)  My daughter's middle name is after my husband's maternal grandmother.  THAT was my idea!

My own name has an interesting story.  While pregnant with me, my mother read an article about a baby born with her intestines upside down.  This was in the early 50's (if you must know) and the surgery made the papers.  In a rare moment of compassion, my mother named me after that child.

Would John the Baptist been less convincing as Zechariah Jr.?  Probably not.  John was born to pave the way for Jesus.  He knew it and his parents knew it.

Knowing our calling in life, at any stage of our life, transcends any name given to us and makes it our own.


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