Sep 29 – Feast of the Holy Archangels, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael
You should be aware that 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 message. Moreover, those who deliver messages of lesser importance are called angels; and those who proclaim messages of supreme importance are called archangels.
And so 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. So too Gabriel, who is called God’s strength, was sent to Mary. He came to announce the One who appeared as a humble man to quell the cosmic powers. Thus God’s strength announced the coming of the Lord of the heavenly powers, mighty in battle.
- from a homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great
Michael was the leader of the army of God during the Lucifer uprising. Devotion to him is common to Muslims, Christians and Jews, with writings about him in all three cultures. He is considered as the guardian angel of Israel, and the guardian and protector of the Church.
Raphael is one of the seven angels that stand before God’s throne. He is the lead character in the book of Tobit in which he travelled with (and guarded) Tobiah, and cured a man’s blindness; hence his connection with travellers, young people, blindness, healing and healers.
– Patron Saint Index
Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’
Belief is the propensity to accept what is considered an affirmation without necessarily having personal knowledge or absolute certainty; it is hinged on trust and roped around faith. Human life without belief is a burden on nature, a delusion cast on existence. Our belief is anchored on faith and hope, and we are entrusted to believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; believe in death and descent into hell and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ; believe in the holiness of the Church and the communion of saints; believe in Christ’s second coming, the day of judgment and salvation of the faithful. These are all wrapped up in our Creed as the greater things we see and shall see; they are the support columns of our faith as Catholics and Christians.
Every day comes with God’s gifts and vision — the gift of breath of life is the key to all gifts, and the vision of expectation from God propels human wheels of desire that guide us through the path of hope in God. Some of the greater things are taught in lessons and involvements, and they come to change perceptions about our relationships with God.
In 2000, I encountered what a greater thing could mean, a lethargic and scary race between life and death. On Wednesday, 22 March, I was involved in a serious vehicular accident that seized my sense of consciousness for days with body and facial injuries or which I carry the scar till today; it was a journey through a miracle. “Who brought you back to life?” a friend asked me, sitting on my recovery bed. All I could say was, “I see Him, He’s God”. And every day, what runs through my mind is the meaning of survival, I look at it as the corresponding “greater things than these shalt thou see”; and see it as an opportunity to serve God and reciprocate pleadingly with entreaty and commitment, to the best content of my heart. This has brought hope nearer and represents an encounter with God that has left me with a guiding memory that will walk with me to the end.
Brothers and sisters, surely, with God we will encounter His surprises.
(Today’s Oxygen by Julius Otusorochukwu Dike, JP)
Prayer: Lord Our Father, you carry the gavel of finality, you are the overwhelming protector; we have surrendered our lives to you Father, because we hope in you. Keep us away from danger and enhance our trust in you. Father, strengthen our belief and faith in you, Amen.
Thanksgiving: Our Lord and Father, we glorify you and your name, we thank you for enriching our belief, hope and trust in you; for you have continued to guide and protect us. We thank you for the gift of life; it is the ultimate of all gifts and rests in you. Thank you our Father in Heaven, Amen.