September 29, 2020 (Feast of Ss Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels)
You will see the Angels
Dear friends in Christ, the angels with principal functions in the history of the people of God, are called Archangels, three of which we celebrate in our liturgy today. We pray that we may continue to enjoy divine help and protection through their ministry. Amen.
Michael means, ‘Who is Like God’ a name which explains the primary function of the angel. The name was first mentioned in the Book of Daniel, “At that time shall Michael rise up, the great prince, who stands for the children of thy people.”(Daniel 12:1) St Michael is seen as a warrior-angel and the defender of the people of God. The reading from Revelation 12:7-12 attests to this, “War arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon…and the great dragon was thrown down…” He is often invoked in every battle against the devil and all principalities.
Gabriel means, ‘Strength of God’ and its given to the angel of good news. Almost all its functions are connected with the coming of Jesus delivering the message of the birth of John the Baptist the precursor of Jesus to Zechariah, "I am Gabriel, who stand before God, and am sent to speak to thee, and to bring thee these good tidings.” Then of the coming of the Lord, “The Angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man, whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And the Angel came to her and said, ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.’” The angel Gabriel also appeared to Joseph to confirm what God has done in Mary.
Raphael which means “God heals,” is the name given to the angel whose mission is to bring healing both physical and spiritual. In the book of Tobit we have an example of this mission, at the end of which the Archangel revealed his own identity and name, together with the purpose of his mission: “And now the Lord has sent me to heal you, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord.”
In the Gospel of today, (John 1:47-51) Jesus spoke to Nathaniel who was still in shock that Jesus knew him even before their first meeting, “Truly, truly I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” We stand in need of the mission of these angels. We need help in the battle of life, we need help to stay alive and healthy and we want to be happy. We pray that their mission will continue to benefit us here on our journey through life. Amen.
Let us pray: Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guide, to rule and guard. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.