September 29, 2018


September 29, 2018:  SS. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

See about 2 dozen connections with today?
Legend below
From Handel's Messiah, for 1st reading
For Psalm 138
Pope Francis
To allI invite all the faithful to pray the Holy Rosary every day during October, joining in communion and penitence, asking the Mother of God and St. Michael the Archangel to protect the Church from the devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and each other.
I invite you to conclude the Rosary with Sub Tuum Praesidium [which influenced the Memorare], and the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel for protection and help in the struggle against evil.  Only prayer can defeat the Great Accuser.  Pray that the Mother of God protect the Church to preserve her from the devil's attacks and make her more aware of and committed to combat faults, errors and abuses, so that evil may not prevail.
To policeEstablish a large family open to all who wish to commit themselves to the common good on the basis of your principles:  a family to involve and welcome every citizen and spread a culture of legality, respect, and security.  Without such foundations, society degenerates into a tangle of personal interests without achieving the common good.  The good of society is not the well-being of the majority or the respect of the rights of almost everyone.  As long as someone suffers, so do the rest.
When legality and security are lacking, those “damaged” most are the weakest and “ the last,” such as those who leave their land because of war and misery, those who have lost their jobs, the marginalized, the sick, and victims of injustice and abuse.  Your loving care generates new relationships and leads to a more just order.  You help introduce into the dough of society the leaven of equality and fraternity.  In the early Church, gospel values transformed the life and mentality of the society.  The Gospel has also overturned the hierarchy of values and given new dignity to the abandoned and excluded, women, the sick, and children.  Solidarity and peace have renewed relationships and continue to.
  • 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.
  • CreightonThe clash between good and evil in the 1st reading parallels our earthly struggle.  In the reading, God uses angels and dragons; today, he uses us, if we're willing.  We emulate Michael when we stand up for the least of God’s people or work for peace, justice, and kindness.  We need courage and others' support to defeat evil.  Angels are often depicted as messengers; recall Gabriel in the Annunciation and Raphael with Tobias.  We too can be God’s messengers to others.  We can emulate angels by fighting for good and being messengers of God’s love.
  • One Bread, One Body"The golden arch around Jesus":  In a vision, Daniel saw God's throne with angels surrounding it and worshiping him.  Angels surround Jesus and center their activity on him.  Their messages are directed to the ultimate message:  "Jesus Christ is Lord."  John, like Daniel, saw "an open door to heaven."  He saw God's throne and heard the universe give praise, honor, and glory to God.  Angels and all creation exist to worship him.  We should think of ourselves on the periphery and Jesus as the Center, Lord, and God.
  • Passionist
    Fallen angels (by way of contrast)

    There are nine choirs of angels:  angels, archangels, virtues, powers, principalities, dominions, thrones, cherubim and seraphim.  Archangels, Michael ("Who is like God?"), Gabriel ("God my strength"), and Raphael ("God's healing") are mentioned in the Bible.  Michael is best known for his battle with evil.  Gabriel, who announced to Mary that she'd bear God’s Son, is known as the archangel of wisdom, revelation, prophecy, and visions.  Raphael, sent in answer to the prayers of Tobit and his daughter, was companion and guide and restored Tobit's sight.  In today’s Gospel, Nathanael comes to see whether what Philip said of Jesus is true.  When he discovers Jesus knows who he is, he proclaims Jesus as the Son of God.  Jesus responded, reflecting Jacob’s ladder, “You will see heaven open and angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
  •"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
  • White shirt:  Today's liturgical color; the Ancient One's clothing was bright as snow, hair was white as wool (1st reading)
  • 'Fire' pin:  His throne was flames of fire... (1st reading)
  • 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)
  • 'Serpent' tie pin:  Ancient serpent (alt. 1st reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin, 'lamb' tie bar:  They conquered the Accuser by the Blood of the Lamb (alt. 1st reading)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' tie pin:  "Rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them" (alt. 1st reading); "I'll sing Your praises" (psalm)
  • 'Heart' pin:  I'll thank You with all my heart (psalm)
  • 'Car with mouth' pin:  You've heard the words of my mouth (psalm)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  When I 'called' you answered me (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "I saw one like a son of man coming" (1st reading); "in the sight of the angels..." (psalm); "you'll see greater things:  heaven opened, angels ascending and descending..." (gospel)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  When I called, you answered (psalm)
  • 'Tree' pin:  "I saw you under the fig tree" (gospel)
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