Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael September 29, 2020
Today’s liturgy, is a feast of the Church (second only to a solemnity in importance,) that has a very ancient history behind it. Since the time of the Council of Nicea in 325, which defined the doctrine of the Trinity, the Church has honored the “Archangels” who are named in Sacred Scripture as “particular manifestations of God’s attention toward the human community. They stand for us as personifications of god’s power exercised on our behalf.” They are:
Michael who is the power of God to defeat, overwhelm and destroy evil that seeks to do harm to God’s beloved. In the Book of Revelation we hear that Michael and his angelic companions are the victors in the cosmic contest between God and anti-god forces. We pray the prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel to “defend us in battle” as God’s power to defeat the darkness in our lives.
Gabriel is the bearer of Good News, of the victory of God’s plan. The voice of Gabriel is actually the voice of God and always bears a challenge. Will you serve God’s plan to save the world? Will you be a key agent in bringing about the Reign of God? Gabriel carries to us the opportunity to be under the standard of Christ throughout our lives.
Raphael invites us to honor the voice of God’s guidance and healing. Saint Raphael has the triple task in the Book of Tobit, of guiding Tobit’s son, Tobias, to his happiness in marriage, healing his young wife of a curse, and then healing the physical blindness of Tobias’ father. Raphael is the messenger of God’s Spirit leading and guiding us, as well as healing and comforting us.
In our celebration of the gift of “angelic power,” the power of God mediated to us in these angelic visitation, the Church places words of praise in our mouths – not words of praise for the angels, but words of praise to God, now and forever.
Question of the Day: Will you call on the “angelic power” of God’s holy archangels in your time of need?
Prayer: Lord God, with great wisdom You direct the ministry of Angels and men. Grant that those who always minister to You in heaven may defend us during our life on earth. Amen.