Friday, September 29, 2006

Feast of the archangels

Adoration, tonight (9/29), 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All are welcome!!
Today the Church celebrates the feast of the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. They are the greatest angels because they have been entrusted the greatest tasks as God's messengers. Michael (which means "Who is like God?") is the archangel who battled Satan and drove him and his angels out of Heaven. We implore his intercession in the battle against evil spirits. At the end of the 19th century, Pope Leo XIII had a vision of Hell that was so alarming that he initiated a prayer* to St. Michael that we say today.

Gabriel ("the strength of God") announced the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah and the birth of Jesus to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We turn to him to help us know the Will of God in our own lives. Raphael ("the healer of God") helped Tobit be healed of his blindness. Raphael is a powerful intercessor, invoking the healing power of Christ for those who ask him for it.

Sacred Scripture gives us many images of angels. Jesus describes "angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man" (Jn 1:51) in today's Gospel. Elsewhere, Christ points out that each one of us has an angel assigned to us who we refer to as our guardian angel. Angels serve Christ in Heaven and on Earth, mainly by protecting us. They are great helpers and guardians, and we should pray to them regularly for their assistance.

We also know from Scripture, mainly in the Book of Revelation, that angels worship the Lamb of God in the heavenly feast. We have a preview of that feast in the Eucharistic celebration, Holy Mass. The Eucharist is where Heaven and Earth meet. In the Eucharist, there is Christ. Where there is the Son, there is the Father, Holy Spirit, and all the saints and angels. So, whenever we come to Mass, we are in the presence of all the angels, even though we can't see them. We have our guardian angel with us always, but when we enter a chamber of Heaven at Mass, we have the entire heavenly court of angels and archangels with us.
* St. Michael the archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

No comments: