Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels

Rv12:7-12; Ps138:1-5; Jn1:47-51
“Great is the glory of the LORD!”

In this feast of the archangels, Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael, we join our voices in the sight of all the angels to give wholehearted thanks to the LORD. In these great messengers from the holy temple of heaven we have received the protection of Saint Michael, whose very name asks the only question worth asking, “Who is like the LORD?” From Saint Gabriel we have received the good news of our salvation in the annunciation to the Virgin Mary and in the virginal conception of her son, Jesus the Savior of all. This archangel continues to pray for all who are engaged in the ministry of communication; he is their patron and guide as they seek to communicate the good news we all need to hear. In the ministry of Saint Raphael we have been healed, and we continue to be lead on a journey of faith by this archangel. Indeed, the names of these three heavenly messengers continue to reveal the faithful response of the LORD to our every prayer. Their ministry deepens our confidence in the LORD; through his archangels the LORD builds up strength within us. Indeed, all the powerful of the earth tremble in fear when these divine messengers appear among us. Their presence and their ministry enable the powerful and powerless in this world to hear words from the mouth of the Living God. We join with them and sing endlessly of the ways of the LORD. Indeed, we cry out, “Great is the glory of the LORD.” The Book of Revelation gives us a glimpse of the faithful heavenly warriors who take our part in the battle with the dragon and his angels. Without this glorious army, the battle would quickly be lost. The Lord’s promise to Nathanael is his promise to us. We will see with eyes of faith how the angels of God travel to heaven with our urgent petitions and come down to earth with the Lord’s powerful response to our every need. At every Mass we gather with Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, Saint Raphael, and all the heavenly hosts to proclaim the endless song of the Banquet of the Lamb, “Holy, holy, holy LORD God of hosts!”

How does the Devil deceive the whole world? How does this fallen angel convince us of the lie? Satan has power in our lives because we allow it. We foolishly linger over temptation, and soon the lie seems like the truth. If the temptation is seen for what it is, we would not hesitate to call upon Saint Michael. However, we choose to consider the half-truth being proposed, and this is our downfall. Sure we have been faithful or even very virtuous, but this struggle and our exhaustion is no excuse to sin. No, we do not deserve to let up our vigilance and our struggle. There is no entitlement in the life of a saint. In the midst of such a daily struggle, we hear the good news of the victory that has been won for us. In the midst of our weakness, we catch a glimpse of our holy patrons, Saint Michael and his angels. They have battled against the dragon and his angels. Indeed, these dark forces have lost any claim to a place before the throne of God, the Almighty. We can take courage in the voice from heaven that cries out, “Now have salvation and power come, the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed.” Indeed, our accuser is cast out and we have conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. We, who love life, are not afraid of death, loneliness, humility, service. We stand in Christ the obedient Son of God and contradict the evil one by our cry, “I will serve, now and forever!” We stand boldly against the evil one who refused to serve anyone but himself. We serve gladly and rejoice with all the heavenly hosts. With Saint Paul and all the holy ones in our heavenly home, we know full well that our battle is with invisible forces of dark might. We also know that the battle has been won, and already we share in the Banquet Feast of the Lamb.

This feast of the Archangels gives us a glimpse of the heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. It is the cross of Christ that provides us with a ladder to the heavens. We gather here around his cross to find our strength, and to be nourished with the body and blood of the Lamb of God. We gather here to hear the Lord Jesus say of us, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Our deepest longing is here fulfilled. We long with broken and crushed hearts to be men and women of simplicity and truth, to be without duplicity. Here under the fig tree, the cross of Christ, we rest secure in the Son of God, the true King of the Universe. We are amazed that the Lord Jesus sees us as we are. Indeed, he sees through our masks and our self-deception. The Lord Jesus sees the beauty and goodness with which we have been created and in which we have been redeemed. It is his vision of who we really are that gives us new hope to join with the Archangels and all the hosts of heaven in the battle with Satan and his angels. United with such heavenly helpers we have every reason to hope and to rejoice that the Lord Jesus has found us and saved us.