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Doctrines & Morals

The Archangel Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

Dan. 7:9-10.13-14, Jn. 1:47-51. The word “Angel” denotes a function rather than a nature. Those holy spirits of Heaven have indeed always been spirits. They can only be called Angels when they deliver some messages. Moreover, those who deliver messages of lesser importance are called Angels; and those who proclaim messages of supreme importance are called Archangels. It was that not merely an Angel but the Archangel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary. It was only fitting that the highest Angel should come to announce the greatest of all messages. Some Angels have names ascribed to denote the service they are empowered to perform. A personal names are assigned to some, not because they could not be known without them, but rather to denote their ministry when they came among us. Thus, Michael means “Who is like God”, Gabriel is “The Strength of God” and Raphael is “God’s Remedy” (Dan. 10:13-20, Rev. 12:7, Jude 9).

Whenever some act of wondrous power must be performed, Michael is sent, so that his action and his name may make it clear that no one can do what God does by His superior power. So our ancient foe desired in his pride to be like God, saying: "I will ascend into Heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of Heaven; I will be like the Most High." Today's Gospel presents the reality of Angels as Nathanael was thinking of God, he received the gift of revelation and professed Jesus as "Son of God and King of Israel." The Evangelist marks this simple encounter with significance as Nathanael now represents true Israel that responds to God’s redemptive work. In return to his response, God reached out to him with the offer of friendship and peace. For Nathanael, Jesus was the one uniting Heaven and earth as he saw the Angels pointing to God. The episode of Nathanael given on the feast of the Archangels speaks to us of the messengers of God and in a special way reminds us that Jesus is the supreme messenger and message from God for all humanity and for all the time. Jesus for us, is the ladder of communication between God and His children. Our thoughts, aspirations, secret sighs, above all our intimate moments of prayer reach up to God in the same way Nathanael’s inner thoughts were known to God and were valued by Him. In Jesus, God the Father is close to us and we are loved and honoured as His children.

May the Lord help us so that our life on earth may be defended by those who watch over us, as they minister perpetually to God in Heaven! Amen!! Keep safe and have a glorious day!!!

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