A Name You Can Trust


My seven-year-old nephew is a bit of an old soul. Not long ago, he ended a call with me by saying, “Well, it was a pleasure doing business with you.”  We aren’t sure where he comes from. Neither of his parents talk like this. Last summer when hearing his mom and dad discussing Lisa, the nurse who was caring for my dad, he chimed in from the back seat, “Lisa.  Now there is a name you can trust.”  Seriously.

I thought about this because in today’s Gospel passage (Luke 11:14-23) we hear mention of Beelzebul—a name you can’t trust.  I definitely have heard the story of Jesus being accused of healing in the name of Beelzubel before, but I can’t say that I ever understood what was going on or why it mattered until I began doing a bit of research in preparing to preach on this text for The Word podcast.  You can listen to what I found out here.

But the research got me thinking a whole lot about people whose name—really, whose word and action—we can trust, and those whose name—or whose word and action—we cannot.  Even today there are people whose very name is associated with healing and people whose very name causes discord, anger fracture. I hope that the seven-year-olds of the world will always remember me as a “Lisa.”

When I was working on Redeeming Power, I interviewed a fascinating Catholic social media influencer who was wrestling with the same kind of question: How to be a name that one could trust?  How to be honest and unafraid of conflict, yet not someone who sows it? Someone who builds up community rather than tear it apart?  Her name is Leticia Ochoa Adams.  She is frank and funny and if you’d like to listen to a snippet of our conversation, you can now find it here.  Just released it last week in the Waking Up Goliath series (which you can also listen to on Apple or Spotify)

In another week and a half (Tuesday, March 19), I’ll be doing an evening online conversation with Dr. Kimberly Baker, an Associate Professor at St. Meinrad’s Seminary, on the topic of Redeeming Power…. which really is all about using one’s words and actions to heal and unite.  The event is being sponsored by a fantastic group called Women of the Church and I hope that  you will join in, even if you are not a woman.  Kimberly has assured me men are most welcome, too.  It is free but to get the Zoom link, you need to register in advance A 25% discount on the purchase of the book if you use the code GARRIDO25 when ordering from the Ave Maria Press website.

In closing, speaking of good words, if you are someone who has picked up a copy of Redeeming Power already, would you be so kind as to go up on Amazon and post a review?  This kind of thing only takes a few minutes to do, but—wow—does it make a difference to me as an author in being able to get word of the book out there as it affects a whole bunch of algorithms online.  I would consider it a great gift.  Thank you in advance.