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.

Thursday, 29 September 2016 : 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 of 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.”

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

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 137 : 1-2a, 2bcd-3, 4-5

I thank You, o Lord, 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 towards 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 Lord, all kings on earth will give You praise, when they have heard Your words. They will celebrate the ways of the Lord, “great is the glory of the Lord!”

Thursday, 29 September 2016 : 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.