Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Archangels
Daniel 7:9-10. 13-14 – or, Revelation 12:7-12ab, Psalm 138: 1-2ab, 2cde-3, 4-5, & John 1:47-51
Today's feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, also known as the Archangels, has a rather ancient history behind it. We must go back to the Council of Nicea in 325 (the Council that defined the doctrine of the Holy Spirit) that the Church has honored these three angels and their role, not only in Sacred Scripture but for leading us to Jesus and eternal life with the Father. Here is a short "bio" of each of these Archangels:
Michael (Who is like God) has the power of God to defeat, overwhelm and destroy evil that seeks to harm God's holy people. Plus, he has a cool sword. In today's optional reading from the Book of Revelation, we hear how Michael and his angelic companions are the victors in the battle between God and the anti-God forces of evil. This reading reveals the incredible power of love and compassion to overwhelm apathy, hatred, and cruelty. We do need flaming swords to conquer evil; instead, we have examples of gentleness and compassion to emulate, like Mother Teresa and the non-violent courage of Oscar Romero. There are many ways to utilize God's love to defeat the darkness we see in our lives.
Gabriel (The Strength of God) is the bearer of Good News of the victory of God's plan. Gabriel's voice is the voice of God. Can you recall Gabriel's greeting of peace to Mary? Can you respond to God's call in your lives as Mary did with a 'YES'? Then we must bring God's call to others, especially to the members in our families who have fallen away from the faith? I believe we can.
Raphael (God's Remedy) 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 blindness of Tobias' father, Tobit. Raphael reveals that he is not an ordinary companion, but an archangel sent as a healing messenger for God. We must choose to open our ears to Raphael instructing us in God's ways, challenging us to be generous to the poor, to defend the faith with our deeds, and to live a life of virtue. The Church invites us to honor the voice of God's guidance and healing.
We, too, must celebrate and embrace the gift of this angelic power. We must have words of praise to God on our tongues and pass His message on to others.
Question of the Day: Will you call on the Archangels, as well as your guardian angel, in your times of need?
Prayer: "Angel of God, my guardian dear, to who His love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, rule and guide. Amen."