HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE ARCHANGELS MICHAEL, GABRIEL AND RAPHAEL
HOMILY THEME: MAY THE ANGELIC TRIO INTERCEDE FOR US
BY: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
HOMILY: FEAST OF ARCHANGELS MICHAEL, GABRIEL AND RAPHAEL
READINGS: DANIEL 7:9-10.13-14, PSALM 138, JOHN 1:47-51
The term ‘Angel’ is a derivative of the Hebrew word Mal’ak and the Greek word Angelos, and both depict messenger. St. Augustine once asserted; ‘Angel is the name of their office, not of their nature, for their nature is spirit’. With their whole being, angels are servants and messengers of God. They possess superior intelligence, gigantic strength and surpassing holiness. ARCHANGEL Archangelos in Greek simply means chief or first angel. Seven of these archangels are described by the Jewish apocalyptic literature as standing before God: Suruel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Gabriel, Remiel, and Uriel. We however celebrate today the most prominent of them all: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
Dear friends in Christ, we celebrate today the second of the nine choirs of Angels which are in descending order: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. We celebrate Michael who PROTECTS, Gabriel who ANNOUNCES and Raphael who GUIDES and HEALS. Michael, hustled Satan out of heaven down to earth (Rev. 12:7-9), it may be him who binds Satan for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-3); and he is also described as the protector of God’s people (Dan.12:1). Indeed Michael is our DEFENDER and we celebrate him today knowing that he’ll help us fight against the many evils bedeviling us and the world today. He is called the chief prince who comes to help us in Daniel 10:13. Michael means WHO IS LIKE GOD. There’s no one who can do what God does; no one can undo what he does, no one can prevent him from doing what he wants. When we are with God, nothing stands against us, nothing conquers us. Michael is the patron and protector of the Church.
Gabriel (Man of God or power of God) is the chief messenger of God, the carrier of good news from God to man; he is God’s secretary. He strengthened Daniel (Dan. 8:18), and announced the prophecy of the seventy weeks to him (Dan. 9:21-27). Since secretaries access privileged and confidential information and secrets, Gabriel knew about the special plan of God to repair creation which was torn apart by sin. At the beginning of this process of repair, Gabriel brought Zachariah the good news of John’s birth (Lk. 1:11) and then Jesus’ conception to Mary (Lk.1:26). He was proclaimed patron of all communication arts, particularly television by Pius XII IN 1951. May Gabriel help us discern the message of God in our lives and apply same as we should. May he show forth God’s power in our weakened lives. Amen.
Raphael (HEALING GOD) in Holy scripture healed Tobit of his blindness (Tobit 11:10ff), guided the young Tobias on his journey to Rages, a city in Medes, east of Niniveh (Tobit 6:1ff); he blinded the demon, Asmodeus in the desert of Egypt, and he helped Tobias find a wife and recover his father’s debt. As God sent Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ready and enter before God’s glory to heal Tobit and Sarah (Tobit 12:14-15); may he also send him to bring healing to our world sickened by sin and vice, healing to our souls and our ailing bodies too. Amen.
Beloved in Christ, like St. Bernard, I exhort you my friends to “MAKE THE HOLY ANGELS YOUR FRIENDS! No matter how weak you may be, how sad your condition, or how great the perils which surround us, we have nothing to fear under the protection of such guardians!” On our part too, may we strive daily to be angelic in our dealings with one another by HELPING THE NEEDY FOR INSTANCE…
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