‚ÄúHe who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.¬† To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.‚ÄĚ (Rev. 2:17)
The people of Kalaupapa came to love Fr. Damien, and they translated his name into the Hawaiian, ‚ÄúKamiano‚ÄĚ.¬† In this way he became even more a part of them, and was more closely identified with his flock.¬† In the book of Revelation we read that the Holy Spirit will give a new name to those who overcome, who persevere and are victorious in Christ.¬† This new name would probably have great meaning for each person, and would identify them as belonging to Him.¬†
In Scripture Christ gave many of his followers new names, e.g., Saul became Paul, Simon became Peter, etc.¬† A name bestowed by God would be a true representation of that person, a way for him or her to ‚Äúbelong more deeply‚ÄĚ to Christ.¬† Perhaps it would describe a specific victory or attribute of that person, something unique which God loves about him or her.
Fr. Damien was called Kamiano by his beloved lepers; now he holds in his hand a white stone with a new name inscribed by the Holy Spirit, a name which reflects his faithfulness, generosity and sacrifice.
What name will we receive from God?¬†¬† What does He see in our hearts?¬† We must strive each day to live by the Holy Spirit‚Äôs promptings so we can overcome the world!¬† Let us pray to be worthy of whatever name Jesus Christ has planned for us.¬†
St. Damien of Molokai, pray for us!