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September 29, 2022

Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael

Today we remember the angels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael: Michael appears in Daniel’s vision as “the great prince.” The latter defends Israel against its enemies and leads heavenly forces to victory over evil in the Book of Revelation. Gabriel appears in the visions of Daniel, but his consummate mission is the annunciation to the young Mary, who consents to bear the Messiah. In the book of Tobit, Raphael guides Tobit’s son, Tobiah, in his marriage to Sarah and heals Tobit’s blindness.

The first reading, from Daniel, has a dramatic tone to convey the awesomeness of God. Today’s gospel speaks of Jesus recognizing the guileless, true child of Israel, Nathanael, who recognized Jesus for who he was: the Son of God and the king of Israel. In a rapid response, Jesus gives a striking revelation of who he was and his angelic collaborators. Jesus, the son of Man and son of God, is like a ladder (alluding to the experience of Jacob at Bethel, who had a vision of angels ascending and descending on a ladder that reached from heaven to earth [Genesis 28:10-22]). The rungs of this ladder depict what the incarnate son of God came to do: take on our humanity, die on the cross, rise from the dead, and offer his flesh and blood as food and drink in the Eucharist. The movement of the angels indicates the ongoing contact between the earthly and heavenly. Jesus, accompanied by his angelic messengers, is our contact with the heavenly realm, the mediator between God and humanity.

This mystery of the ladder of the Incarnation continues today in the Eucharist. Angels surround us as we acclaim “Glory to God in the highest” and “holy, holy, holy.” Why? Because Jesus is with us, and where God is, there is his heavenly court.

Let Us Pray:

God, our Father, send your Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael to our aid to protect our loved ones and us from danger, we ask you. As messengers of the Good News of healing and hope proclaimed by your Eternal Word, may they help us to clearly hear your voice and teach us the truth of your love and mercy. May they bring to your majesty our prayers that we may be filled with your grace and blessing. Through Jesus Christ, your son who lives and reigns with you in the unity of The Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

 

Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About John Keenan, SSS

Father John Keenan, SSS is the vicar-provincial of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament - Province of Saint Ann. He is a clinical psychologist, theologian, and also has faculties to function in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.