Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, archangels

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Rev 12:7-12; Ps 138:1-5; Jn 1:47-51
"In the sight of the angels."

In this feast of the archangels, Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael, we join our voices in the sight of all the angels to give wholehearted thanks to the LORD. In these great messengers from the holy temple of heaven we have received the protection of Saint Michael, whose very name asks the only question worth asking, "Who is like the LORD?" From Saint Gabriel we have received the good news of our salvation in the annunciation to the Virgin Mary and in the virginal conception of her son, Jesus the Savior of all. This archangel continues to pray for all who are engaged in the ministry of communication; he is their patron and guide as they seek to communicate the good news we all need to hear. In the ministry of Saint Raphael we have been healed, and we continue to be lead on a journey of faith by this archangel. Indeed, the names of these three heavenly messengers continue to reveal the faithful response of the LORD to our every prayer. Their ministry deepens our confidence in the LORD; through his archangels the LORD builds up strength within us. Indeed, all the powerful of the earth tremble in fear when these divine messengers appear among us. Their presence and their ministry enable the powerful and powerless in this world to hear words from the mouth of the Living God. We join with them and sing endlessly of the ways of the LORD. Indeed, we cry out, "Great is the glory of the LORD." The Book of Revelation gives us a glimpse of the faithful heavenly warriors who take our part in the battle with the dragon and his angels. Without this glorious army, the battle would quickly be lost. The Lord's promise to Nathanael is his promise to us. We will see with eyes of faith how the angels of God travel to heaven with our urgent petitions and come down to earth with the Lord’s powerful response to our every need. At every Mass we gather with Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, Saint Raphael, and all the heavenly hosts to proclaim the endless song of the Banquet of the Lamb, "Holy, holy, holy LORD God of hosts!"

The Book of Revelation tells the story of the ultimate war, indeed, the war to end all wars. The huge dragon, also known as Satan or the Devil, was quite successful in deceiving the whole world. Such duplicity means only one thing that he must be thrown down to earth along with all his dark angelic forces. This apocalyptic battle has been seen on screen, both film and television; it has been written about for centuries; it has captivated the imagination of generations. However, often we witness the battle, but fail to hear the loud voice in heaven crying out: "Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed." This is the truly good news for all to hear, but Satan never hears it. He continues to abuse and accuse us daily before the throne of God. He may not have a place in the heavens with the other members of the heavenly court, but he continues to strut about the earth looking for someone to devour. The Devil has convenient hearing, and he does not want to hear the good news anyway. However, he cannot deter us from heaven if only we hear the good news and wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The victory has been accomplished in the outpouring of the precious blood of the Lamb. The ultimate victory belongs to God and to the Lamb, but the last one to hear this will be Satan and his minions. It's not that they can't hear; they do not want to hear. Sometimes that's our problem too.

The Lord Jesus finds no duplicity, no guile, in Nathanael, the true child of Israel. The true child of the one who struggled with divine and human beings, but he was victorious. We, too, are victorious when we are without guile and we have no duplicity. Indeed, we share with Nathanael the vision of the angels and archangels ascending and descending on the Son of Man. We see the stairway to heaven, the cross of Christ, crowded with those who have missions to us coming down from heaven and with those who are caught-up in the search for the One who has found us under our fig trees and called us to see greater things with Nathanael and all the saints in glory. What are these greater things? Perhaps these greater things are the mysteries of earthly goods, bread and wine, becoming the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus, the True Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. It is just such a vision that keeps us focused and moving through the cross into the glory.

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