Friday, 29 September 2017 : 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 Feast of the Holy Archangels, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, the three Archangels named and mentioned in the Scriptures, considered the foremost and the greatest among the Angels of God in heaven. Each of them has their own specific roles in fulfilling the will of God and assisting the people of God.

St. Michael the Archangel is the leader of all the heavenly hosts, the Prince over all the Angels. He was chosen to lead all the Angels of God, not because he was the mightiest or the greatest among them, but because of his obedience to the will of God, his Lord and Master. His name, Michael, means ‘Who is like God’, the very utterance of challenge against Satan, who since the beginning of time had challenged God for the rule of the universe.

Satan was the greatest among all of the Angels of God, reputedly the most beautiful and brilliant amongst all of God’s Angels. Yet, in his brilliance and wonders, he grew proud and arrogant, seeking to become the ruler of all creation, replacing God and sitting on His throne. For this insolence and disobedience against God, Satan was cast out of heaven with all those who followed him, who became the fallen angels and demons.

It was told that, St. Michael the Archangel rebuked Satan directly, challenging Satan for having attempted to usurp God’s glory and throne. And he rallied the forces of Heaven, assembling all the faithful Angels, and as told in the Book of the Apocalypse or Revelations of St. John in chapter 12, St. Michael and his Angels drove Satan and the fallen angels out from heaven to their downfall.

Yet, having been defeated, Satan and his allies did not give up. They still tried to win the warfare and targetted God’s beloved creation, mankind. Not only that Satan tempted our ancestors and made them to fall into sin, but he and his allies constantly attempted to tempt the sons and daughters of men throughout all time, persuading them, coercing them, and even pressurising them through many temptations and tribulations to make them to fall into sin and damnation.

Thus, we used to regularly pray the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, asking him to protect us together with the company of Angelic hosts, defending us in the constant battle and spiritual warfare against those who seek our downfall, Satan and his fellow fallen angels who are always trying to snatch us away from our salvation in God. I encourage all of us to continue this venerable practice, and seek the help from this great and mighty prince of Angels.

Meanwhile, St. Gabriel the Archangel was known for his role in the Annunciation, as the messenger of God’s will and words, in which he declared to Mary, the mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, what God has planned for her and for the salvation of mankind. He was the bearer of the Good News to mankind, the bane of Satan and his allies, for having heard the message born by the great Archangel, they knew that their days were numbered.

For God’s will shall be done in the end, and no matter how much Satan tried to struggle or to plot against Him, he was in the end, a mere creation who was also subject to God’s authority and will. He has to submit to God, and despite all of his efforts, God will triumph in the end. And the good news of that eventual triumph has been delivered to all of us through His Archangel, St. Gabriel.

We should therefore also pray to St. Gabriel the Archangel, that through his intercession, God will send His Angels to encourage and reinvigorate our spirits, that despite the darkened and difficult times, and despite the great challenges in life, we will not easily give up the fight, and succumb to the temptations. St. Gabriel the Archangel has brought the message of hope to us mankind, and we should rejoice because of it.

Then, St. Raphael the Archangel is another Archangel mentioned in the Bible, who appeared to two people in separate troubles, namely Tobit and Sara in the book of Tobit. Tobit was a faithful servant of God who got into trouble for standing up for his fellow countrymen, and he lost his eyesight in an accident. While Sara was a woman who have been beset by a demon, Asmodeus, who killed seven of her previous husbands.

Both of them suffered and were in great distress, when they prayed to God and God listened to their pleas. He sent the Archangel St. Raphael to help both Tobit and Sara, and through the works of St. Raphael, God healed Tobit and restored his eyesight, while the demon Asmodeus was chased away from Sara, and she was troubled no longer by the demon.

In this, we see how God also healed His people through the Angels, sending them St. Raphael the Archangel as the bringer of God’s healing and restoration. Therefore, let us all also pray to St. Raphael the Archangel, asking him to intercede for our sake, that God may heal all of us from our afflictions, just as He has healed Tobit and Sara. Most importantly, we pray that God will heal us from the worst affliction of all, which is sin that brings about death.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all ask the Holy Archangels, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael to pray for our sake, to intercede for us, that God may send His holy Angels to be with us, to guide us and to protect us, especially from the attacks from Satan and his allies, who seek our downfall and destruction. Let us all pray the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel together.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, o Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

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