HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE TWENTY-FIFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
HOMILY THEME: THE ARCHANGELS
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
In the day’s Gospel, Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Jesus mentioned the presence of angels in His ministry. These pure spirits have the responsibility of representing God here on earth. The word “angel” means messenger. God wanted to make His presence felt and His will be known. Angels provide that presence by guiding, protecting, inform, and warn. Archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel played very important roles in salvation history.
St. Michael Archangel is known as one “who is like God!” He led the angels against Lucifer and the evil spirits. When Pope Leo XIII had a vision in 1899 that the Church will be attacked by evil in the 20th century, he asked for St. Michael’s protection through a prayer. “Christian tradition recognizes four offices of Saint Michael: (i) to fight against Satan (ii) to rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death. (iii) to be the champion of God’s people, (iv) to call away from earth and bring men’s souls to judgment.” (CNA)
St. Gabriel (God’s strength) Archangel appeared before Mary and announced the birth of John the Baptist. It is believed that it was also Gabriel who appeared before Joseph and the shepherds. By virtue of its role and mission, Mary, Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth, the shepherds, and Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane were provided the grace of the strength in accepting and believing the Good News of the coming of the Messiah. Saint Raphael (God has healed) Archangel appeared in the Book of Tobit. Archangel Raphael healed the blind Tobias in the Book of Tobit, thus St. Raphael is invoked to ask for God’s healing and mercy. The angel is also believed to be the angel in the fifth chapter of John who bestowed healing power on the pond so that the first to enter it when the water moved will be healed of whatever sickness.
God’s protection, power, and healing come through these angels. It is interesting to note that their popularity rose after the exile. When the Israelites longing for God’s presence was finally satisfied after being freed, they found God’s manifestation of Himself in the angels.
Which brings the question; Have we experienced God through His archangels? A friend told the story about their encounter with St. Michael Archangel. She and her friend were walking a dark and isolated alley. Suddenly, two men appeared behind them stalking them. She immediately asked the intercession of St. Michael by praying the prayer for protection given by Pope Leo XIII. Before they knew it, the two men stopped following them and disappeared. She believed St. Michael helped them.
This maybe hard to believe (specially during these days) but I was told by a friend that St. Michael is helpful also in helping us get through traffic! At least on three occasions (twice on my way to the airport and once to celebrate mass) St. Michael “cleared the way” for me!
Maybe the reason why we have less experience of the assistances of the archangels is because we do not recognize them. Remember that they are God’s presence to us. I remember someone asked for God’s presence during crimes and evil actions. Do we expect God and His angels to just intervene and fight the battle for us? Do we expect God to stop us right there when we are about to commit an evil act? Remember further that God has given us freedom. God will never violate that gift. What we must do is to act in accordance with His will and ask for His help. When we do, God will send His angels!
Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael! Pray for us!