In the Old Covenant, the Name of God inspired fear and awe: nor was the honor of pronouncing it granted to all the children of Israel. We can understand this. God had not yet come down from Heaven to live on earth, and converse with men; He had not yet taken upon Himself our poor nature, and become Man like ourselves; the sweet Name expressive of love and tenderness could not yet be applied to Him.
But when the fullness of time had come—when the mystery of love was about to be made known—then did Heaven send down the Name of Jesus to our earth, as a pledge of the speedy coming of Him Who was to bear it. The Archangel Gabriel said to Mary: Thou shalt call His Name JESUS. Jesus means Savior. How sweet will this Name not be to poor lost man! It seems to link earth to Heaven! No name is so amiable, none is so powerful. Every knee in Heaven, on earth, and in Hell, bows in adoration at hearing this Name! And yet, who can pronounce It, and not feel love spring up within his heart? But we need such a Saint as Bernard, to tell us of the power and sweetness of this Blessed Name. He thus speaks of It in one of his sermons:
"The Name of Jesus is Light, and Food, and Medicine. It is Light, when it is preached to us; It is Food, when we think upon It; It is the Medicine that soothes our pains when we invoke It. Let us say a word on each of these. Tell me, whence came there into the whole world so bright and sudden a light, if not from the preaching of the Name of Jesus? Was it not by the light of this Name that God called us unto His admirable Light? Wherewith being enlightened, and in this light, seeing the Light, we take these words of St. Paul as truly addressed to ourselves: Heretofore you were darkness; but now, light in the Lord.