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29th September 2021




Dan 7: 9‐10, 13‐14 or Rev 12: 7‐12;

Ps 138: 1‐5;

Jn 1: 47‐51

Have you ever said to someone (or has anyone said to you):

“You’re an angel?” What did that mean to you? Most people

take it to mean that the person is angelic in that they are doing

or saying good things for another. Angels, technically, are

purely spiritual beings who proclaim God’s praise and bring

God’s message to others. Obviously, humans are not angels,

but we can be “angelic” (or angel‐like) if we join in the singing

of God’s glory and help bring to others the Good News of

God’s love.

Today’s readings are chosen for the Feast of the Archangels

(Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel). Daniel’s vision of heaven

focuses on the Ancient One (God – Father) and the Son of Man

(God the Son). It is only later in Daniel’s vision that the angel

Michael is mentioned. Michael is seen as the “messenger” of

God who does God’s will. Michael is described as the chief (or

“arch”) messenger; thus, he is an “archangel.”

The Gospel passage shows a link between Jesus and the

“Anointed One” of God Who comes with foreknowledge and

Who is ministered to by the angels‐ “messengers” of God.

Jesus’ being able to see Nathaniel and “know” him even before

Philip calls him is one link to the Messiah (“Anointed One” –

“Christ”) Who was promised in Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus also

forecasts that God’s messengers will tend to and serve the Son

of Man just as they minister to God in heaven.

Today we honour the three “messengers” who are given

names in Scriptures. The word “angel” comes from the Greek

word angelos (αγγελος) and means “messenger” or

“announcer.” Those who are the “chief” (Greek αρχ‐ arch‐)

messengers are the “archangels.” Michael is seen as the one

who battles against the demonic forces. The name “Michael”

is Hebrew for “One who is like God.” Gabriel is the messenger

who is sent to announce the birth of both John the Baptist and

Jesus. “Gabriel” means “Strength of God” in Hebrew.

Raphael is only mentioned in the Book of Tobit. As the name

“Raphael” means “Healed by God,” Raphael brings God’s

healing to the family of Tobit by healing Tobit of blindness,

uniting Tobias (Tobit’s son) with Sarah, and reuniting the

family of Tobit.

As I reflect on the supernatural beings whom we call angels, I

realize that their function is to serve God in whatever way the

Lord God intends. Part of the function of these “messengers”

is to announce and proclaim God’s glory, so that there is

constant praise and honour given to God. Sometimes, it

seems, God sends these “messengers” to humans to proclaim

special messages or to help in the struggle humans have

against the forces of the fallen “angels” led by Satan.

The most important thing for us is to realize that God is worthy

of praise, not just by the angels, but also by us and all others

who call upon the name of the Lord God. Linked to this is the

concept that God wants us to be informed of the divine love

and the heavenly care that is constantly flowing from God. If

God chooses to send “heavenly messengers” to us to reassure

us of this Good News, that is God’s prerogative. Our part is

that we must be open to God’s evangelizing to us and others

in whatever way God chooses. Obviously the most dramatic

and best Good News came in the person of Jesus. Yet

sometimes we miss the point of Jesus’ coming and we need to

be reminded of message of God’s love through other


As we continue to grow in the understanding and

appreciation of how much God loves us, let us join the choirs

of angels in singing God’s praises, not just eventually in

heaven, but wherever we are. May we give God glory by

helping to further the announcement of the message of Good

News in our every action and word. Then truly we will be able

to echo the words of the psalmist today and say: “I will give

thanks to You, O LORD, with all my heart. . .in the presence

of the angels I will sing Your praise.”

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