Hello and welcome to Spend Five with Jesus. I am the friar. It is wonderful to have you with us today on Friday, September 29th, 2023.
Today I’m excited because we celebrate the Feast of the Archangels. Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, Saint Raphael. It’s just a great day because it reminds us that God cares for us totally and entirely. So it isn’t just that God sends people into our life, human beings, God does do that, but that’s not the only thing.
God also has spiritual help for us in the form of the angels and the guardian angels and the three archangels that we celebrate today. In talking about them, let’s first talk just about what the catechism has to say about what an angel is. Namely, we hear that what is referenced and quoted in the catechism is that the word angel refers to their mission and if we’re looking for their nature (that is) their spirit.
And that comes from St. Augustine and it’s quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. But really I think what’s what’s critical about this is that it isn’t just that God gives us people to help us, you know the people we live with and care about and so forth. God is mediated through those individuals but also that God is with us spiritually. And we get this.
Some people think (angels are) just kind of a philosophical construct, but that’s not true. Angels are referenced a number of times in the Bible and by name in some instances where they do something that is a particular note.
So or as we read in the Office of Readings today, there is something where we see that they’re given an important message or mission from God. So, and we can see that in the lives of these archangels. So let’s talk about each one in turn.
St. Michael the archangel, you may have remembered a prayer. We’re gonna actually conclude this, “Spend Five with Jesus” with that prayer. But he is sometimes referred to as the Prince of the Heavenly Host, and his name in Hebrew means “Who is like unto to God?”.
And so there’s a there’s a connection between the role or the mission that Saint Michael is given and the fact that God is so far beyond us. We can’t possibly imagine God in his infinite nature, goodness, total knowledge, total power, total forgiveness, total love, that’s just beyond our ability as human beings.
So we encounter Saint Michael four times in the Bible, two times in the book of Daniel, one in the Epistle of St. Jude, and once in the book of Revelation. And so there’s a real tradition that Michael is the one who engages in the battle against evil primarily with the fallen angels and the devil himself.
And so St. Michael is a very powerful patron to aid us as we fight evil in our own lives and to rescue people who have been lost, souls that have been lost to Satan, especially at the hour of their death. And so St. Michael is a particularly important and powerful saint for us.
Saint, the next saint we’re gonna look at, I’m sorry, the next saint we’re gonna look at is St. Gabriel and that is a name that means God is my strength. He comes to us in the Bible three times.
He sent to Daniel to explain a vision concerning the Messiah. He appears to Zachary as Zachary is offering incense in the temple in the Gospel to foretell the birth of his son, Saint John the Baptist, and probably most known as the angel who delivers to Mary the message, the invitation, the mission to be the mother of his son. And so it’s the incarnation that Gabriel is probably most connected to.
If you think of those three encounters, however, they’re all really, in a way, connected to the Messiah. The Book of Daniel, where there’s a vision concerning the Messiah. There is Zachary, St. John the Baptist, was the one who prepared the way for the Messiah. And of course, the Blessed Mother, who’s yes to God, enable Jesus to take on human form. And so that is really very, very powerful.
The last of the archangels that we celebrate today is Saint Raphael. He comes and, or we see him actually in the book of Tobit. And there’s a, there’s, it’s a wonderful story. You know, just as an aside, if you haven’t had a chance to read the book of Tobit, you should read it. It’s really a beautiful, beautiful story about the role and the power of God in our lives when bad things happen and ultimately how God is always close to us.
(Saint Raphael’s) name, by the way, means God has healed, and so that’s an important characteristic as well. And so today, maybe just take a little bit of time to pray to, or ask the archangels to pray for you because of their their beauty.
We’re gonna end, spend five with Jesus today with the common prayer to Saint Michael, the archangel, because it used to be a said at the end of every Mass some parishes are bringing back that Tradition, but I think it’s just a beautiful reminder that God stands with us in every way in our fight against evil.
Let us pray.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
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