Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
Angels—messengers from God—appear frequently in Scripture, but only Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are named.
Michael appears in Daniel's vision as "the great prince" who defends Israel against its enemies; in the Book of Revelation, he leads God's armies to final victory over the forces of evil. Devotion to Michael is the oldest angelic devotion, rising in the East in the fourth century. The Church in the West began to observe a feast honoring Michael and the angels in the fifth century.
Gabriel also makes an appearance in Daniel's visions, announcing Michael's role in God's plan. His best-known appearance is an encounter with a young Jewish girl named Mary, who consents to bear the Messiah.
Raphael's activity is confined to the Old Testament story of Tobit. There he appears to guide Tobit's son Tobiah through a series of fantastic adventures which lead to a threefold happy ending: Tobiah's marriage to Sarah, the healing of Tobit's blindness and the restoration of the family fortune.
The memorials of Gabriel (March 24) and Raphael (October 24) were added to the Roman calendar in 1921. The 1970 revision of the calendar joined their feasts to Michael's.
Each of these archangels performs a different mission in Scripture: Michael protects; Gabriel announces; Raphael guides. Earlier belief that inexplicable events were due to the actions of spiritual beings has given way to a scientific world-view and a different sense of cause and effect. Yet believers still experience God's protection, communication and guidance in ways which defy description. We cannot dismiss angels too lightly.
"For the honor we pay the angelic creatures in whom you delight redounds to your own surpassing glory, and by their great dignity and splendor you show how infinitely great you are, to be exalted above all things, through Christ our Lord" (Roman Missal, Preface for this feast).
Patron Saint of:
Daily Prayer - 2015-09-29
To be present is to arrive as one is and open up to the other.
Dear Lord, instil in my heart
I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
The Word of God
Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels
Reading 1 Dn 7:9-10, 13-14
As I watched:
Or Rv 12:7-12ab
War broke out in heaven;
Responsorial Psalm PS 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 4-5
R. (1) In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
Alleluia Ps 103:21
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 1:47-51
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Jesus you speak to me through the words of the gospels.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels (Feast)
Myriads upon myriads attended him. (Daniel 7:10)
Who says angels aren't real? Consider the following true story. While on pilgrimage in Europe, a young man feeling called to the priesthood has a mysterious encounter. He's in Barcelona with no money when a tall, heavyset stranger offers to buy him a meal. They eat and say goodbye. He never gets the man's name. Later, on another street, he's cornered by five thugs—and the same man rescues him. Two weeks later, he is shopping in Madrid, more than 300 miles from Barcelona, and spots the very same man! He runs to get his mother so that she can meet him, but when he gets back, there's only a note, saying, "God bless, Michael."
Could this have been the archangel Michael, whose feast we celebrate today? There's no way to know for sure. But this true story does fit Michael's job description. He is known as the protector of the Church and the angel who cast Satan out of heaven (Revelation 12:7). Many others have seen Michael down through the centuries, and Pope Leo XIII was so devoted to him that he composed the St. Michael Prayer that we still say today.
Clearly, we have some very powerful allies in the spiritual realm! While few of us will encounter Michael or Raphael or Gabriel, we've all encountered some of their fellow soldiers. They are the "thousands upon thousands" mentioned in today's first reading (Daniel 7:10). Who knows how many times we've been rescued by angels? And how many times angels have led us to something we needed—or away from something we didn't. Perhaps we were guided to a particular Scripture passage that encouraged us. Or we felt a strong push away from watching a certain television program or movie.
Today is a good day to remember that we are not alone. We have, not only Jesus and the saints with us, but the angels too! We can be grateful because all of their efforts on our behalf are made for one reason—so that we can one day behold the Lord. So every day, trust that angels are at your side. They are there to help you in both ordinary and extraordinary situations. They are here to "light and guard, to rule and guide"—and that applies to you!
"Father, thank you for our angelic guardians. May they lead us to your kingdom."
Today we recall the great Archangels in Heaven. They have helped changed the course of history, the history of our faith throughout the thousands of years and they still live today. As a matter of fact, I have been relying on one for most of this year when I felt a prompting to begin a charismatic gathering monthly, praying for healing, and mostly spiritual learning and healing. Because learning leads to healing. You would rather have spiritual healing than physical wouldn't you? That's the aim of the faith, the Holy Catholic faith. Even yesterday, before a little girl was wheeled out of our office in her little wheel chair, I asked if I could pray for her with a prayer and oil blessed across the country for her. I prayed so the surgeries would go well, I think she is used to them because throughout her life she's been having surgeries due to her cystic fibrosis. I pray that you pray with me for her, but realize, I too prayed for her soul, prayed with Archangel Rafael. This is where it's at...leaving things in the hands of God and His angels and Archangels, Arch meaning primary, those that are at the front and face God in Heaven can come so close to help with great help and great messages. And the blessings are enough to last for centuries. And so we hope that what we do last for centuries, and so rightly we work amongside angels and Archangels, especially in Holy Mass where they serve the Lord, transforming worldly hands into hands and voices that praise God. I can say this because, I've been singing for many years and lately been covering for a missing choirmaster in our church in the English Mass, as mostly I've served in Spanish. The strangest thing I've noticed, sometimes something takes over, not just me but everyone in our choir, I know it is the Holy Spirit, but now, I'm wondering if the angels are kicking in, singing alongside, because no matter where I've been, I hear a voice singing that I'm pretty sure is not a human voice singing along with us, whether at cursillo closings, or Holy Mass, and what does it do for me? It gives all the fuel for the fire to let it rip and be not afraid nor timid, nor anxious, and is what angels do, by leading, and helping.
The Psalms pray on "In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord. I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name." This should open the eyes of a person that doesn't want to go to church or to Holy Mass. The Lord wants you in the flock. The Lord wants you singing with His angels, especially because your angel is being called. So do not be dismayed if you are afraid. Talk to God about this, and He will send angels. My advice..listen to the angels leading you closer to Him. And to listen means to do, to adhere, to apply this to your life.
Our Lord and our King that angels tend to day by day speaks today "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man". Do you think you've ever seen this for yourself? Perhaps one day you will. Nathaniel surely did. Was it when He saw Jesus Ascending? Or when was it? When He got to Heaven? What about you? When will you be able to see? Nathaniel was caught in prayer, he was noticed. Did an angel report this to Jesus? How did he know what Nathaniel was thinking. Perhaps he was saying "if this is truly the Son of God He will notice me here under this fig tree". At another time, Jesus finds a fig tree not giving fruit, and he curses the tree and it dies. Jesus wants you living for Him. Jesus wants His angels serving Him. Whether at church or for one another serving in the name of the Lord, that's what Jesus wants. Forget about how much it is costing you, give without fear! Yeah, it takes you some time away from work or family, but we have to serve. The times I've felt angels helping me is people just doing their jobs, airline people, police, emergency medical services, doctors, don't you just feel like an angel helped? Even in the Jamaica, this family festival I help coordinate, suddenly someone calls with the exact thing needed. Nathaniel becomes an angel of God, because He heard the call after making the call. You see, the best way a shepherd can find the sheep is when they are calling. This is life in prayer. This is life in the Spirit. You should be showing your children you gave up work and family to serve the Lord and then you should take them with you. After choir practice I told a little girl there "you should always be found at the church". You should always be found with God. Where else would you be rather found when the angel of death comes on that call...?
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