Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels
Have you ever encountered an angel? At times, we may sense that we have escaped a danger threatening us through the care of another. At other times, unexpected words may challenge or encourage us to grow or go in a different direction. Or we come to know comfort and healing through the gentle kindness of someone who does not know our pain but helps to alleviate it.
You will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending. These words from Scripture today alert us to the reality of what we celebrate: the Archangels. We find them ascending and descending throughout salvation history. They are named Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. And each comes as a messenger of God to accomplish a specific task.
For Gabriel, it is to bring the news of the Incarnation to Mary and carry her yes back to the Father. We find Michael defending against the forces of evil, serving as a protector of the community. Finally, Raphael comes as the healer, restoring sight and health.
Perhaps the challenge of this feast is to become more aware that they continue to be present and active in our world today. To realize that what might seem to be chance encounters with good Samaritans is God reaching out to us with his love and care to heal, guide, and protect us in our everyday lives. And to challenge us to do the same for one another.
Are we willing to reach out to those who are abused or led astray with our protective care? To be a healer in my family, my community, to those who are neglected and alone. To whom must I be a messenger of peace, challenge, or hope?
May Christ’s eucharistic presence empower us for the task.
Let us pray:
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.