YEAR B: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 26TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: Do you Know Your Personal Guardian Angel?
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
_“Behold, I send an angel before you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared. Give heed to him and hearken to his voice, do not rebel against him.” *Exodus 23:20-21*_
Our first reading this morning is one of the most beautiful passages of the Old Testament. God is assuring the chosen nation of the presence of Angels in their midst who are to go before them and guard them against any danger until they arrive at their destination. As I read this passage, I kept wondering how many of us are aware of the existence and power of these heavenly beings who are always beside us.
While studying African Traditional Religion in school, I came across the concept of the “chi” among the Igbo people which translates to mean “personal small god.” Other tribes have different names for it but the general idea is that each person has a god assigned to him or her by the Almighty God.
The Christian Concept of Guardian Angels nonetheless is VERY DIFFERENT from the African traditional concept of “chi” in that while one’s personal god required some sort of service (worship) to remain alive, Angels are not gods to be worshipped but merely messengers who continue to function regardless of our awareness of their existence. Again, while the “chi” is physically represented with a carved piece of wood or moulded with clay, our Guardian Angels are completely invisible and non-physical.
Nevertheless, knowing that God has assigned a messenger to you (to keep watch over you everywhere even when you sleep, to protect you from danger, to inspire you with ideas from time to time, to lead you to where God wants you to be) should make you bear one thing in mind: YOU ARE NEVER ALONE. No matter what happens, no matter your situation in life, there is always an Angel with you. How about if you learn to talk to and listen to your Guardian Angel?
In fact, this is exactly what God encourages us to do. He says: “Give heed to him and listen to his voice… if you listen attentively to his voice and do all that I say (meaning God speaks to us through our Guardian Angel), then I will be an enemy to your enemies.” Exodus 23:21-22. What other protection do we need? Why run from pillar to post out of fear when God has assured you of such a high level of protection from your enemies?
Dear friends, it doesn’t end there. There are also great consequences for refusing to listen to the voice of our Guardian Angels. God says: “Do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression” Exodus 23:21. Let me give an example. Have you ever embarked on a journey you didn’t just feel like going? Do you realize at the end of the day you find yourself repeating: “I never wanted to go oh, now see what has happened.” I have come to the conclusion that our Guardian Angel protects us in two ways, either by warning us ahead of time of impending danger or battling for us thereby removing the danger completely.
The fact is that we have Angels who are always working for our good. Today’s feast draws our attention to this reality. Let us begin to appreciate our Angels because if not for their work, things would have been a lot worse for us. The more you learn to converse with your personal Guardian Angel, the more your eyes become open to so many things you never thought existed before. The more you get closer to your Guardian Angel, the less fearful you become.
Jesus warned his disciples in today’s Gospel passage saying “see that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:10. What other assurances of Divine Protection do we need?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, draw me nearer to you through my Guardian Angel. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Memorial of the Guardian Angels. Bible Study: Exodus 23:20-23, Psalm 91:1-11 and Matthew 10:1-5.10).