One of the hardest tasks expectant parents face is choosing a name for their child. There are perennial favorites like John, Matthew or Michael for a boy and Mary, Susan or Sarah for a girl. Then there are those parents who want their kid to be unique. They look forward to the day when they can say “Meet my daughter Apple,” or “This is my son Spatchula.” That one sounds cool if you’re drunk and fail to make the connection between a name and self fulfilling prophesy. How could Spatchula do anything other than flip burgers after college?
Self-fulfilling prophesy is exactly what God did when he told Moses His name in today’s first reading. God could have no other name than existence itself. “I AM.” I AM is life. Life is holy. And life is something man receives from God but never lives up to. Hence greed. Hence gluttony. Hence jealousy. Hence murder. Hence abortion. The price for sin without repentance is death, otherwise know as separation from life, also known as separation from God, a.k.a., I AM. Unrepentant sinners eventually end up sharing one name in common: “I AM NOTHING.”
What we hear in today’s letter from Paul to the Corinthians and the gospel reading from Luke are warnings to keep us away from that name. “Whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall,” Paul writes. And this comes from Jesus himself, referring to famous sinners of the past: “If you do not repent, you will all perish as they did.”
Perish isn’t a very cool name either. Let’s commit to living up to God’s name so we can share it with Him for eternity. Are you in? Say I AM.