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Doctrines & Morals

The Feast of the Archangel Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

Dan. 7:9-10.13-14, Rev.12:7-12, Jn. 1:47-51. Within the context of the love of God, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Archangels, the great Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, three of the seven Holy Archangels of God. This day marks the great Feast of these faithful servants of the Lord and the leaders of the Heavenly Host, especially Michael as the Prince of the Heavenly Host and God’s champion in the war against Satan and his fallen angels. The word “Angel” comes from the Hebrew word “messenger.” The Angels in the Scripture are messengers for God, or their appearance points people to God and Christ. The ones who are named, like the Archangels of today’s Feast, communicate something about God in their names. Michael is the protector of Israel according to today's first reading and the leader of Heaven’s armies. Yet, for such a powerful being, Michael does not claim power. His name points beyond himself to God in a rhetorical question: “Who is like God?” Raphael appears as Tobias’ traveling companion in the book of Tobit. Raphael – “God heals” – leads Tobias not just to cure his father Tobit’s optical blindness, but also to healing relationships through his journey.

Finally, Gabriel most clearly acts as a messenger, interpreting prophecies of Daniel and announcing the births of John the Baptist and Jesus. Gabriel’s name means “God is my strong one” or “God is my hero,” pointing to dependence on God. It is wonderful to know that “God is our strong one” receives Mary’s “yes” to complete dependence on God and that he announces God’s arrival as an infant, utterly dependent on Mary and not strong at all. It lays the foundation for Paul’s line: “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). We join the choirs of angels and the communion of saints in praising God every time we participate in the Eucharistic liturgy. Today, we are invited to consider how to follow in the Archangels’ paths of praise. How might we point beyond ourselves, giving God the glory even for the things we do? How might we offer or ask for God’s healing? How might we practice dependence on God and let God be our strong one? The reality of their presence encourages us to live without fear and anxiety. The story of Nathanael in today's Gospel is a revelation which shows how God sees each of us individually and our hearts' desires even when we are not aware of His presence in our life.

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!! Good morning and do have a glorious day!!!

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