First Reading: Dan 7:9-10. 13-14; Psalm: 138. R. v. 1b; Gospel: Jn 1:47-51
THE SERVICES OF THE ARCHANGELS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Angels are celestial spiritual beings created on a higher order with intelligence and will. They are personal and immortal creatures. We have ranks of angels known as the “Nine Choirs of Angels.” They include: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Archangels, Principalities, and Angels. Today, we celebrate the feast of the three archangels: the archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Archangels are the “chief or leading angels” (Jude 9; 1 Thes 4:16). They are the messengers of God.
The archangel Michael is a princely Seraph that led the group of angels who fought and defeated the dragon (Lucifer) and his angels and cast them out of heaven to the earth (Rev 12:7-9). By defeating Lucifer and his angels, the archangel Michael defended the meaning of his name – “There is none like God”. For it was pride and the desire to be like God that led to the fall of Lucifer.
The archangel Gabriel (The strength of God) revealed God’s power and willingness to save us when he brought to us the message of the incarnation to cancel out the harm done by Satan who beguiled Adam and Eve to sin against God.
The archangel Raphael (God our healer) revealed the healing power of God by healing Sara of the evil spirit of Asmodeus that tormented her for many years; killing her intending suitors relentlessly. Raphael the archangel also healed Tobit of his blindness (Tobit 12:14-15).
These three Archangels that we celebrate today are at the service of God and man. Since Satan never ceases to prowl around (1Pt 5:8) fighting God’s children ever since he was defeated and cast down to the earth; God also never ceases to fight and conquer Satan through the services of his Archangels. The principal task of St Michael the archangel is to battle against the Devil. The archangel Gabriel is the bringer of God’s message. And the archangel Raphael is the bringer of God’s healing. Whenever we pray, we can always invoke the help of the archangels; for they are at our service in our moments of need.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
God our Father, we thank you for the gift of the archangels. May they come to our aid in our moments of need. Amen.