Wednesday, 29 September 2021 : Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Archangels, the great Archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, three of the seven Holy Archangels of God. This day marks the great Feast of these faithful servants of the Lord, His greatest champions and the leaders of the Heavenly Host, especially St. Michael as the Prince of the Heavenly Host and God’s champion in the war against Satan and his fallen angels.

The Angels are the servants of God, spiritual beings that God created to be His servants and warriors, to be the ones who maintained the order in the Universe, and also protectors and guides for us mankind, the most perfect and beloved of all of God’s creations. And the Archangels are the leaders and the greatest among the Angels of God. Today we remember the three of them whose names were written in the Sacred Scriptures, as God’s greatest messengers and champions in reassuring us of His providence and presence in our midst.

The first of the Archangels, St. Michael the Archangel is perhaps the most renowned of them all, as the leader of all of God’s Angelic hosts, the mighty general of the vast army of God in the constant struggles against the forces of Satan, the great enemy, the great deceiver and the evil one, his fellow fallen angels and the demonic forces that always prowl around seeking for the downfall of souls, for souls to be snatched with them into damnation and eternal fire.

However, St. Michael was actually not the greatest and mightiest among all of the Angels. Another one was one who was the most brilliant and mighty among the other Angels of God, and his name was Lucifer, the Morning Star. Lucifer was the greatest and the most brilliant of all of God’s Angels, but in his greatness, he was tempted by his vanity and pride, and fell into disobedience against God, and he aspired to take over the throne of God and to rule over all of creation, which was alluded by the prophet Isaiah in one of his words recorded in the Book of Isaiah.

Although he was merely a created being, just like us, but Lucifer desired to gain supreme power and to be like God, and according to some tradition, he sat upon the Throne of God when the Lord was away, claiming to be like God. The more traditional account had him convincing a third of the Angels of God to his side and launched a rebellion against God in Heaven, launching the War in Heaven that was also alluded in the vision of St. John in the Book of Revelations. The great multi-headed red dragon that St. John saw in his vision was the devil himself, the fallen Lucifer, who grasped a third of the stars of Heaven, a reference to him converting those Angels to his side, becoming the fallen angels and demons.

Regardless of what happened, it was St. Michael who stood up to the fallen angel, as his very own name is his battle cry against Satan, the former Lucifer, for Michael means ‘Who is like God’, which is a stern rebuke against the one who dared to presume equality with God. St. Michael led the forces of God against Satan, who was defeated because God was not with him, and he was thrown out of Heaven, to wander off in the world. Thereafter, St. Michael the Archangel always constantly led the forces of Heaven in striking against Satan, the fallen proud angel that had failed in his rebellion against God.

Yet, Satan and his forces still attempted one last effort to destroy those whom the Lord loved the most, that is all of us mankind, as they wanted to deny us the reunion with God. First, Satan has tempted and made our forefathers to fall into sin, and he has constantly sowed the seeds of doubt and dissent into our hearts. He tried to lead us into our downfall through pride, ego and greed just as he himself had fallen in the same manner. St. Michael the Archangel is God’s great champion in leading the Angels and other spiritual forces in fighting against these wicked forces arrayed against us.

Meanwhile, St. Gabriel the Archangel, the other great Archangel whom we celebrate today is the great messenger of God who was the one to reveal to Mary, the Mother of Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, the news of the fulfilment of God’s long awaited plan to save His people, all of which would happen through her. St. Gabriel the Archangel came down to the village of Nazareth, to show himself to the young virgin woman whom God had pleased to choose among all of His children, to be the one to bear the Salvation of the whole world, and to become the Mother of the Divine Word Incarnate.

He is likely also the Angel associated with the announcement to Zechariah, the father of St. John the Baptist, the Herald of the Messiah. At that time, St. Gabriel also appeared to Zechariah in the Temple at the moment when he made offering before God as a priest, and told him of what he would experience and how through him a great servant of God would be born. Thus, similar as it was with Mary, St. Gabriel the Archangel brought forth God’s Good News with him, and his name, which means ‘The Strength of God’ is a reminder to those who listened to the words he borne, that God is always with His people and His strength shall never fail them.

Lastly, St. Raphael the Archangel was named in the Book of Tobit in which he came on behalf of God to assist Tobit, a faithful servant of God belonging to the tribe of Naphtali who was among the exiles in Assyria after the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel. At that time, Tobit had been struck with a calamity as not only that he had been targeted for having protected and buried a murdered Israelite, but he also lost his eyesight and became blind. At the same time, another person, a young woman named Sara, the daughter of Ragouel, was also in trouble, tormented by a powerful demon named Asmodeus.

St. Raphael the Archangel came upon Tobias, the son of Tobit, and guided him on a long journey away from his home, which brought him to the house of Ragouel and Sara, in which by God’s grace, Sara was given to the care of Tobias and was betrothed to him, despite the demon Asmodeus having murdered all the seven of Sara’s previous husbands before they could consummate the marriage. St. Raphael protected Sara and Tobias, and defeated the demon Asmodeus, which he chased away and bound, freeing Sara from her torments and troubles.

Then later on, through the advice and works of St. Raphael, disguised as a young man accompanying Tobias, God healed the eyes of Tobit and restored his eyesight. In the end, through the Archangel St. Raphael, God had therefore showed His people the love and blessings, the protection which He gave them, and especially the healing from their ailments and troubles, just as St. Raphael’s name means, ‘The Healing of God’ as God reminds us all that He will heal us our sickness and will restore us, if only we can trust in Him and be faithful to Him.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, by reflecting on the three great Archangels of God, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, all of us are reminded that we are always beloved by God and ever precious to Him, and we shall never be left alone in the struggle against all those who desired our destruction, especially Satan and all of his fellow fallen angels. We must always put our trust and faith in the Lord, knowing that the Lord has always placed His Angels and forces to guard and protect us, with the Holy Archangels at the forefront of the ever-continuing struggle and spiritual warfare raging all around us.

May the Lord be with us all, and may the protection and the intercession of the Holy Archangels, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael help us in our journey of faith through life. May He bless all of us our efforts and good endeavours in life, now and always, and protect us from the assaults of the forces of evil, now and forevermore. Amen.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021 : Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 1 : 47-51

At that time, when Jesus saw Nathanael coming, He said to him, “Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him.” Nathanael asked Him, “How do You know me?”

And Jesus said to him, “Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree, and I saw you.” Nathanael answered, “Master, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” But Jesus replied, “You believe because I said, ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ But you will see greater things than that.”

“Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened, and the Angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

Wednesday, 29 September 2021 : Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 137 : 1-2a, 2bc-3, 4-5

I thank You, o YHVH, with all my heart, for You have heard the word of my lips. I sing Your praise in the presence of the gods. I bow down toward Your holy Temple and give thanks to Your Name.

For Your love and faithfulness, for Your word, which exceeds everything. You answered me when I called; You restored my soul and made me strong.

O YHVH, all kings on earth will give You praise, when they have heard Your words. They will celebrate the ways of YHVH, “Great is the glory of YHVH!”

Wednesday, 29 September 2021 : Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Daniel 7 : 9-10, 13-14

I looked and saw the following : Some thrones were set in place and One of Great Age took His seat. His robe was white, as snow, His hair, white as washed wool. His throne was flames of fire with wheels of blazing fire. A river of fire sprang forth and flowed before Him. Thousands upon thousands served Him and a countless multitude stood before Him.

Those in the tribunal took their seats and opened the book. I continued watching the nocturnal vision : One like a Son of Man came on the clouds of heaven. He faced the One of Great Age and was brought into His presence. Dominion, honour and kingship were given Him, and all the peoples and nations of every language served Him. His dominion is eternal and shall never pass away; His kingdom will never be destroyed.

Alternative reading

Revelations 12 : 7-12a

War broke out in heaven, with Michael and his Angels battling with the dragon. The dragon fought back with his angels, but they were defeated, and lost their place in heaven. The great dragon, the ancient serpent, known as the devil, or Satan, seducer of the whole world, was thrown out. He was hurled down to earth, together with his angels.

Then, I heard a loud voice from heaven : Now has salvation come, with the power and the kingdom of our God, and the rule of His Anointed. For our brothers’ accuser has been cast out, who accused them night and day, before God. They conquered him, by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, for they gave up their lives, going to death.

Rejoice, therefore, o you heavens, and you who dwell in them.

(Usus Antiquior) Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel (Double I Classis) – Wednesday, 29 September 2021 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Liturgical Colour : White

Offertory

Apocalypse 8 : 3, 4

Stetit Angelus juxta aram templi, habens thuribulum aureum in manu sua, et data sunt ei incensa multa : et ascendit fumus aromatum in conspectu Dei, Alleluja.

English translation

An angel stood near the altar of the Temple, having a golden censer in his hand, and there was given to him much incense, and the smoke of the perfumes ascended before God, Alleluia.

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Hostias Tibi, Domine, laudis offerimus, suppliciter deprecantes : ut easdem, angelico pro nobis interveniente suffragio, et placatus accipias, et ad salutem nostram provenire concedas. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

We offer You sacrifices of praise, o Lord, humbly praying that You may be pleased to receive them, through the angelic intercession in our behalf, and grant that they may avail for our salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Communion

Daniel 3 : 58

Benedicite, omnes Angeli Domini, Dominum : hymnum dicite et superexaltate eum in saecula.

English translation

All you angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. Sing a hymn, and exalt Him above all forever, Alleluia.

Post-Communion Prayer

Beati Archangeli Tui Michaelis intercessione suffulti : supplices Te, Domine, deprecamur; ut, quod ore prosequimur, contingamus et mente. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

English translation

Relying upon the intercession of Blessed Michael, Your Archangel, o Lord, we Your suppliants pray that what we perform with our lips we may attain with our hearts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel (Double I Classis) – Wednesday, 29 September 2021 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew

Matthew 18 : 1-10

In illo tempore : Accesserunt discipuli ad Jesum, dicentes : Quis, putas, major est in regno caelorum? Et advocans Jesus parvulum, statuit eum in medio eorum et dixit : Amen, dico vobis, nisi conversi fueritis et efficiamini sicut parvuli, non intrabitis in regnum caelorum.

Quicumque ergo humiliaverit se sicut parvulus iste, hic est major in regno caelorum. Et qui susceperit unum parvulum talem in Nomine Meo, Me suscipit. Qui autem scandalizaverit unum de pusillis istis, qui in Me credunt, expedit ei, ut suspendatur mola asinaria in collo ejus, et demergatur in profundum maris.

Vae mundo a scandalis! Necesse est enim, ut veniant scandala : verumtamen vae homini illi, per quem scandalum venit! Si autem manus tua vel pes tuus scandalizat te, abscide eum et projice abs te : bonum tibi est ad vitam ingredi debilem vel claudum, quam duas manus vel duos pedes habentem mitti in ignem aeternum.

Et si oculos tuos scandalizat te, erue eum et projice abs te : bonum tibi est cum uno oculo in vitam intrare, quam duos oculos habentem mitti in gehennam ignis. Videte, ne contemnatis unum ex his pusillis : dico enim vobis, quia Angeli eorum in caelis semper vident faciem Patris Mei, qui in caelis est.

English translation

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who do You think, is the greater in the kingdom of Heaven?” And Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you are converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”

“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of Heaven, and he who shall receive one such little child in My Name, receives Me, but he who shall scandalise one of these little ones who believed in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

“Woe to the world because of scandals, for it must need be that scandals come, but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandals came. And if your hand, or your foot, scandalise you, cut it off, and cast it from you. It is better for you to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, and to be cast into everlasting fire.”

“And if your eye scandalise you, pluck it out, and cast it from you. It us better for you having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes and to be cast into hell fire. See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their angels in Heaven always see the face of My Father, Who is in Heaven.”

(Usus Antiquior) Dedication of St. Michael the Archangel (Double I Classis) – Wednesday, 29 September 2021 : Gradual and Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 102 : 20, 1 and Tradition of the Faith

Benedicite Dominum, omnes Angeli Ejus : potentes virtute, qui facitis verbum Ejus.

Response : Benedic, anima mea, Dominum, et omnia interiora mea, Nomen Sanctum Ejus.

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in praelio : ut non pereamus in tremendo judicio. Alleluja.

English translation

Bless the Lord, all you His angels, you who are mighty in strength, who do His will.

Response : O my soul, may you bless the Lord, and all that is within me praise His Holy Name.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : Holy Archangel Michael, defend us in battle, that we do not perish in the dreadful judgment. Alleluia.