From the sermons of St Bernardine of Siena
The name of Jesus is the splendour of preachers, because it causes his word to be proclaimed and heard with glowing splendour. Whence, do you think, came the great, sudden and shining light of faith that filled the world, if not from the preaching of Jesus? Was it not by the light and sweetness of this name that God called us into his wonderful light? It is to us, on whom the light has shone and who in that light see light, that the apostle addresses these apt words: ‘Once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of the light.’
Hence this name must be proclaimed so that it may shine; it must not be hidden. But when it is preached, it must not be proclaimed by an impure heart or an unclean mouth, but it must be kept safe and handed on in a chosen vessel.
So the Lord says of the Apostle: he is my chosen vessel, chosen to carry my name to the Gentiles and kings and sons of Israel. Chosen vessel, he says – where the sweetest liquid is displayed for sale, to invite people to drink it as it glows and shines in chosen vessels – chosen vessels to carry my name.
When a field is burned and weeded, the dry and useless brambles and thorns are consumed. When the sun rises and its rays drive away the darkness, thieves, wanderers by night and burglars, hide themselves. Similarly when Paul preached to the people, it was like a great clap of thunder or a fire blazing up with greater force, or the sun rising more brilliantly than ever. Unfaithfulness was destroyed, falsity disappeared, truth shone forth as when wax liquefies before a blazing fire. For he carried the name of Jesus around by his words, his letters, his miracles and his example. He praised Jesus’ name without ceasing and gave glory to it with thanksgiving.
Moreover the Apostle carried this name like a light to kings and the Gentiles and the sons of Israel, and gave light to the nations, crying everywhere: Night has passed away and the day is here. Let us therefore cast away the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honourably as in the daytime. He showed to all the light burning and shining on a candlestick, in every place proclaiming Jesus, and him crucified.
So the church, the bride of Christ, with confidence in his testimony, rejoices with the prophet: O God, you have taught me from my youth and even now I will proclaim your wonderful deeds’, that is – I will proclaim them always. The prophet also exhorts us to this: Sing to the Lord and bless his name, from day to day announce his salvation, that is – announce Jesus the Saviour.