Thursday, 29 September 2016 : Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the great feast of the Holy Archangels, of which there are seven in the holy presence of God, the greatest of all of God’s Angels, the servants whom He sent into the world to carry out His will and be His agents to relate to us all His beloved creation, mankind, who had fallen on our way and were lost to Him.

And among these seven Archangels, three of them were named in the Sacred Scriptures. Michael, the Prince and leader of the Heavenly Host, the leader of the armies of Heaven was one of them, who appeared to Joshua when he was about to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land. He was sent to Joshua to bring God’s assurance to the people that He was with them and He would guide their path.

And we also heard Michael as the leader of the Heavenly hosts who resisted Satan and his rebel angels, he who was once Lucifer, the greatest and brightest of the Angels created by God, but by whose pride, ambition and haughtiness had fallen into disgrace and rebellion against God. It was told that Michael was chosen by God to lead His faithful Angels against the forces of darkness and end Satan’s hubris of taking over the Throne of Heaven.

The name of Michael meant ‘Who is like God?’ and that very name is a rebuke towards Lucifer, Satan, who in his pride thought that he could rival God in terms of power and majesty while he was a mere creation, as mighty and great as he was. It was told that he trembled in the presence of God, awed by the greatness and the majesty of God. And thus, it was how Michael was chosen to lead the entire host of Heaven, not because of pride and greatness, but because of his devotion and commitment to God.

Meanwhile, the Archangel Gabriel was the bearer of the Good News to Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, proclaiming to her that the Messiah and Saviour of the world would come through her, and she would become the Mother of the Saviour, and as He is the Son of God, she would therefore be also the Mother of God, a privilege accorded to no one else among us mankind.

It was told that the Archangel Gabriel was a great warrior of God among His Angels, and He came to bear news of war and bad tidings of conflict and destruction. But rightly, when the Archangel appeared to Mary, what seemed to us to be good tidings and joyful news, to the devil and all of his forces, that news came like a death knell and a pronouncement of ultimate judgment, for they know that their time was up.

And last of all, the Archangel Raphael was the one who appeared to the distressed Tobit and his son, Tobias, both of whom had troubles in their lives. Tobit and his family was an exile in the land of the Assyrians, and troubles often came for him and his family. And one day he was blinded because bird’s droppings entered into his eyes. Meanwhile, Tobias went to help his father by visiting his relative and found that Sara, the daughter of his father’s relative, was beset by a demon, Asmodeus.

That was when God sent His Archangel Raphael, the healer of the body and the soul, bringing about God and His healing to His beloved people. Archangel Raphael disguised himself as a young man who advised Tobias on how he could help both Sara and his father, Tobit. And eventually, the Archangel chased away the demon that troubled Sara and brought healing upon Tobit, bringing on him the blessing of God for his many years of faithful life and service.

Through these examples and stories we have heard, on how God sent His Angels and Archangels to assist mankind, as He wants us all to find our way to His salvation and therefore not be lost to damnation. The forces of the devil, and the devil himself are always out there constantly trying to lure us into the darkness, tempting us and pressurising us to follow their desires instead of obeying God.

On our side, what is it that we can do, brothers and sisters in Christ? It is our responsibility therefore to live our lives in accordance with God’s ways and listen to the advice and guidance given to us by the Holy Angels and the Archangels of God. We are always locked in this constant spiritual warfare and battles over our souls, where the Lord sends us His Angels and Archangels to guide us and to protect us from the harm intended upon us by the devil.

It is our part therefore to lead a faithful life, filled with true devotion and commitment to the Lord, sin no more, and follow wholeheartedly the whole Christian teachings which had been revealed to us through His Church. May the Lord help us in this endeavour, and may He and His holy Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, and the other holy Archangels serving at His presence watch over us always. Amen.

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