Liturgical Colour : White
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate a great feast day of the Church, that is the feast of the Holy Archangels of God, and primarily of which, is the Prince of all heavenly hosts, the leader of all the angels of God, that is St. Michael the Archangel, the faithful servant of God and one of the seven holy Archangels serving before the throne of God, the vanquisher of Satan, who defeated the forces of evil and all the fallen angels, and cast them out of heaven.
The Holy Archangels, three of whom were named, St. Michael the prince and leader of angels, St. Gabriel the messenger and the voice of God, and St. Raphael the healer and the mercy of God, all of them represent the different aspects of God, and they are the greatest servants of the Lord, sending and giving His messages to all whom the Lord wills to reveal Himself to.
The Archangels of God are also the chiefs of our protectors, the leaders and the ones in charge of our guardian angels, and all the angelic hosts and forces of heaven, who are locked in constant and regular combat and battle against the forces of darkness, led by the prince of evil, that is Satan. Satan desires nothing but for our destruction, for in his jealousy of the Lord, he desires to destroy all that is dear to God, especially all of us mankind, the greatest and the most beloved of all His creations.
Satan himself was once a great Archangel, and in fact was once the mightiest, most beautiful and the greatest of the angels of the Lord, created with such perfection and beauty, and with such might and authority, that the bright and mighty Archangel, Lucifer, was filled with great pride about himself. But it is this same pride which became his greatest undoing and became rightly, as the greatest sin of all.
For in his pride, he chose to rebel against God and His love, thinking that he is mightier than his own Creator, the Lord of all the universe. The creation failed to realise that despite all of his power, might and beauty, and despite all of his perfections, that he is still merely a creature, and not the Creator. And he is still nothing compared to the Lord of all, who is perfect in all things that He has, and He truly has everything.
Satan, who was Lucifer, the lightbringer, boasted that in his majesty, glory and power, he would raise his throne above the throne of God, and thus rule over all creations. He brought many of his fellow angels into sin and darkness, what we now know as the fallen angels. But his pride is his undoing, and instead of rising up in glory, he was thrown down in shame. The one who led the hosts of the faithful angels was Michael the Archangel, who was made the chief of all the angelic hosts.
St. Michael the Archangel was made the chief of all heavenly angels and all the heavenly hosts not because he was great and mighty, nor because he was proud and beautiful as Lucifer or Satan was, but because he obeyed the will of God fully and completely, as an obedient servant of God Most High. It was said that St. Michael always trembled before the presence of God, not because he was fearful or afraid, but because he knew that he was in the presence of the Lord and Creator of all the universe, and he is nothing before Him.
That was why, God rewarded him such as to make him chief of all the heavenly hosts, as a great protector and role model for all of us the faithful. Remember that Jesus always said that the mighty would be humbled, and the humble would be glorified? This is the exact thing that had happened. Lucifer was cast down for his pride, to suffer for eternity the torture of hell and the lake of fire, while Michael the humble was raised to a position of honour.
St. Gabriel the Archangel and St. Raphael the Archangel also followed and obeyed the will of God in their own way, listening to God in all things and carrying out His will into the world. St. Gabriel the Archangel delivered the Good News of the Lord to Mary in Nazareth, while St. Raphael was sent to the family of Tobit the Israelite exile, and to help exorcise the demon Asmodeus from Sara, the soon-to-be wife of Tobit’s son, Tobias.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, as we rejoice together as one to celebrate the feast of St. Michael the Archangel and his fellow Archangels, let us all realise our frailty and our prone nature towards sin, and how we can follow the examples of the holy Archangels to lead our lives to come into closer relationships with our God. Let us heed the examples of the holy angels of God, who fought day and night at all times to protect us from the depredations of the evil one and his forces.
Evil is never at rest, brethren, for Lucifer, fallen and shamed, as Satan had enmity on us mankind, and this was why he tempted our first ancestors into sin, so that through that disobedience we might also follow in his footsteps, and therefore end up in eternal suffering and destruction. But the Lord clearly does not want this to happen, and that was why He sent us Jesus His Son to be our Saviour and Redeemer.
And the angels constantly are on guard against the attacks of the evil one, but they certainly cannot fight on their own. We too should take part in this fight and resistance against the evil forces, and thus rebuke the devil who is trying to set us up against the Lord. Therefore, let us all reflect on our own actions, so that we may know how to be a true follower of Christ and thus gain salvation through Him.
May all of us be able to cast away our pride and arrogance, knowing full well that all of us are sinners who are unworthy of God’s love and presence, for our disobedience and the disobedience of our forefathers, but it is the love of God our Lord and Father, who made us whole again, by sending us love Himself through Jesus, who shed His life so that we may live once again, not just any life, but life supported by the love and the grace of God.
Let us be like the holy Archangels, obedient and faithful, always listening to God in all things, faithfully carrying out His will. And what is God’s will for us? None other than so that we can love, first that is to love God Himself, with all of our hearts, with all of our souls and with all of our minds and strengths, and then to show the same love to our brethren around us, in particular those who are in the greatest need.
May Almighty God guide us on our ways, so that we may find our way towards Him, not by pride or arrogance, nor through our power and might, but through our sincere desire to be reunited with Him, and to seek His mercy and love, so that, with the help of the angels and the holy Archangels of God, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, with His Blessed Mother and His saints, we may attain salvation and eternal life, in the loving grace of God, leaving Satan to suffer by himself with his fellow rebel angels, for eternity, while we enjoy the fruits of our good labour in this world.
St. Michael the Archangel, and all the holy Archangels and angels of God, pray for us, and protect us in battle, that we may always triumph against anything that the devil, Satan, that old snake and deceiver has put in our path, that we may rebuke him and profess our faith and love for the Lord our God. Amen.