September 29, 2017


September 29, 2017:  SS. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

See 16 connections with today?
Legend below
For Psalm 138
Pope Francis homily
Angels are masters of contemplation: they serve and contemplate the Lord who has sent them to accompany us.  We share their vocation to cooperate in God’s salvific design.  Michael, Gabriel and Raphael have an important role:
Michael fights against the devil and protects us from the serpent who seduces us, makes us fall, and accuses us before God claiming us as his.  He helps us resist temptation.  Gabriel brings the good news; he announced to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist and to Mary and Joseph the birth of Jesus.  He accompanies us, and when we “forget” the Gospel reminds us that Jesus came to save us.  Raphael walks with us, taking care of us and helping us not take a wrong step.
They're at God’s service and ours.  Michael, help us in our battles; Gabriel, bring us the good news of salvation; Raphael: take us by the hand and lead us forward.
    • Dn 7:9-10, 13-14  The Ancient One took his throne, clothing and hair bright; thousands ministered to him.  One like a son of man came on the clouds of heaven, was presented before the Ancient One and received kingship.  His dominion is everlasting; it won't be taken away.
    • Rv 12:7-12ab  War broke out between Michael and his angels and the dragon.  The dragon, the ancient serpent called Satan, was thrown to earth.  From heaven:  “Salvation and power have come, and God's Kingdom, and his Anointed's authority.  The accuser of our brothers is cast out, conquered by the Blood of the Lamb.  So rejoice!”
    • Ps 138:1-5  "In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord."  I'll thank you, for you heard me; I'll worship at your temple.  You've made your name and promise great and built up strength within me.  All kings shall thank you and sing of your glory.
    • Jn 1:47-51  Jesus re Nathanael:  “Here's a true child of Israel, with no duplicity.”  Nathanael / Jesus:  “How do you know me?” / “I saw you under the fig tree.” / “Rabbi, you're the Son of God, King of Israel.” / “You believe because I saw you under the fig tree?  You'll see greater things.  You'll see heaven opened and God's angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

    • St. Gregory's famous homily on the Archangels:  “Angel” denotes function, not nature. Heavenly spirits are only called angels when they deliver a message; archangels are the ones who proclaim supremely important messages, as Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary the greatest of all messages.  Some angels are given names to denote the service they perform.  Whenever a powerful act must be performed such as battling Satan, Michael is sent, making clear no one can do what God does.  So too Gabriel, "God's strength," was sent to Mary to announce the humble One who would quell the cosmic powers.  Raphael, "God's remedy," touched Tobit’s eyes to banish the darkness of his blindness.
    • Creighton:  Gabriel is the only archangel the gospel mentions, as God's messenger to Mary.  We know about his message and patience; he's patron of communications (including "e[vangelium]-mail").  Raphael, who accompanied Tobit's son on a long journey and restored his sight (see Tobit) is patron saint for safe flights, comfortable accommodations, and healing and accompanying the blind.  Michael, our protector, defeated the devil.  Angels represent the history of God’s coming close.  Michael begins the tension between good and bad, a battle within us all.  In Raphael God walks us through our blindness. Gabriel announces the Good News that God in Jesus joined our battle with ourselves.  God took flesh so we see who we are in his sight.  We believe angels keep ascending, descending, battling, guiding, healing, announcing, and inviting.  St. Michael, defend us in our internal wars; convert our divided selves, families, nations, and world.  St. Raphael, help us see God.  St. Gabriel, help us respond to God's invitations, not fearing ourselves or the Sender.  Holy Angels, free us to be guided. Michael is still winning, Raphael still journeying, Gabriel still announcing....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Reality check":  People's false impressions of angels contribute to a skewed view of God and salvation.  Angels are formidable, even terrifying. Michael's name ("Who is like God?") is a challenge to repentance and humility.  Gabriel doesn't tolerate foolishness (muting Zechariah when he didn't believe God's message).  Raphael said, "I came to you not out of favor on my part but because it was God's will."  Angels confront us with reality to keep us from making God in our own image.  Believe revelation about angels, tremble at God's Word, and know "it's fearful to fall into the hands of God," consuming Fire of love.
    • Passionist:  Michael is best known for his battle with evil, Gabriel ("God is my Strength") as the messenger to Mary and archangel of wisdom, revelation, prophecy, and visions, Raphael ("God's healing power") as companion, guide, and healer.  Angels assist God with tasks on earth and in heaven....
    •  "You'll see the angels of God":  In meeting with Nathanael, Jesus reveals how God looks at each of us and invites us into communion with him.  Nathanael was startled Jesus knew and understand him before he said anything.  The fig tree was a symbol of God's peace and blessing; it provided shade and refreshment for prayer and reflection.  Rabbis gathered their disciples under its shade to teach them from Scripture; they said, "He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit."  Maybe Nathanael was reflecting on the promised Messiah King and drifted into a nap like Jacob.  It was revealed to him that Jesus was the Messiah, "Son of God, King of Israel,"  Jesus offered him the gift of friendship with God and access to his throne.  In Jacob's dream God opened a door that brought Jacob and his people into a new relationship with God; God revealed his angelic host and the throne of heaven and promised Jacob that he and his descendants would dwell with God.
    Angels are God's servants and messengers, "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to his voice," "ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation."  They belong to Christ and were created for and through him.  They also protect and guard:  "He will give his angels charge of you to guard you."  The armies of heaven fight for and with us and with us in the spiritual battle for our hearts, minds, and wills.
    Jesus promises Nathanael he'll be the ladder that unites earth with heaven; he proclaims he's the fulfillment of the promise to Jacob.  Jesus is the true stairway to heaven; in his incarnation and life, "things of heaven are wed to those of earth, and divine to the human" (Exsultet, referring to Easter).  Jesus opens the way for us to come into a new relationship with God as his children; he opens the way for us to "ascend to heaven" and bring "heaven to earth" in our daily lives. God's kingdom is present in those who seek him and do his will....
    From Universalis
    • Michael ("Who is like God?") is mentioned in Rv as leader of the heavenly host.  Patron of soldiers
    • Gabriel ('God's strength') appears in Dn to explain some of the prophet’s visions, and was also the bearer of the Annunciation to Mary.
    • Raphael ('God heals'):  In Tb, he heals Tobit of his blindness.
    Archangel prayers

    Dress legend

    • 'Fire' pin:  His throne was flames of fire... (1st reading)
    • White shirt:  Today's liturgical color; the Ancient One's clothing was bright as snow, hair was white as wool (1st reading)
    • 'Serpent' tie pin:  Ancient serpent (alt. 1st reading)
    • 'Heart' pin:  I'll thank you, Lord, with all my heart (psalm)
    • 3 'angel' pins:  Today's archangels.  Michael's angels vs. dragon's angels (1st reading); "in the angels' sight I'll sing Your praises" (psalm); "you'll see God's angels ascending and descending" (gospel)
    • 'Crowns' tie:  His kingship shall not be destroyed (1st reading); all kings shall thank you (psalm); "You're the King of Israel" (gospel)
    • 'Blood drop' pin, 'lamb' tie bar:  They conquered the Accuser by the Blood of the Lamb (alt. 1st reading)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  When I called, you answered (psalm)
    • 'Tree' pin:  "I saw you under the fig tree" (gospel)

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