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.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020 : Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today all of us celebrate the great feast of the Holy Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, three of the seven Archangels who stand in the presence of God and are the mightiest of all of His heavenly forces. Today we dedicate ourselves to God through the guidance and protection of St. Michael the Archangel, the Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, St. Gabriel the Archangel, the Messenger of God, and St. Raphael the Archangel, the Healing and Mercy of God.

In each of these mighty Archangels of God, we have powerful allies in our constant struggle and fight in the spiritual warfare for the sake of our souls. For the devil, the great enemy of all mankind and all of God’s faithful children, is out there, ever plotting our downfall and destruction, sending out his forces against us, trying to tempt us into sin and therefore, leading us to our downfall.

And first of all, St. Michael the Archangel, as mentioned is the Prince and leader of the Heavenly Hosts. He was the same Michael that showed himself to Joshua, the successor of Moses before he was about to enter into the Promised Land, reassuring him and the people of Israel that God Himself would march before them and guide them all to victory. And he is also the same Michael mentioned in the Book of Revelations as well.

In that vision of St. John the Apostle, we heard how he saw the great War in Heaven, which in fact predated all the events of history, as all these happened early in the history of creation. This happened as according to Scripture, Church tradition and the Church fathers, the devil himself was once a mighty and brilliant Archangel of God. In fact, as Lucifer, the Angel of Light, he was the most brilliant and mightiest among all of God’s Angels.

But it was there then Lucifer fell into pride, hubris and ambition, succumbing to the desire to seek the Throne of God, as written in the Book of the prophet Isaiah, that he desired nothing less than the Throne of Heaven and to raise himself over the stars of God, a reference to the Angels of God. His unbridled ambition led him to aspire to rebellion against God, and he swayed many among the Angels to side with him.

It was told that when God went up from His Throne, Lucifer dared to sit on the Throne and thus proclaimed his rebellion. It was Michael, although not as powerful or brilliant as Lucifer, who brought God’s wrath and retribution on him and the other rebel Angels. Michael, whose name means ‘Who is like God’ led the faithful Angels against Lucifer, after which would be known as Satan, the devil and the great enemy, as well as those rebel angels who supported him.

Thus that was how the War in Heaven brought about the downfall of Satan, who was crushed and defeated, cast out from Heaven and together with all the fallen angels, were cast out and condemned. St. Michael the Archangel, who led the loyal Angels in defeating the proud Satan. He might not have been the mightiest and most brilliant among the Angels like Satan before his fall, but he was faithful, humble and dedicated. It was told that he would tremble in the presence of God and yet fearless in the face of the enemy.

That was why God made St. Michael to be the Prince and leader of the Heavenly Hosts. He is the terror of the devil and all of the forces of evil, our chief defender in the constant battle and struggle against all those who sought our destruction. To St. Michael the Archangel, we pray this prayer, which was composed by Pope Leo XIII, ‘St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And may you, o Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God thrust Satan down to hell and with him those other wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.’

And not to forget St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, the other two Archangels who are also God’s great champions in the fight against the devil. St. Gabriel the Archangel is God’s esteemed Messenger, being the one sent to proclaim the Good News to the world, the one who appeared to Mary announcing the coming of God’s Saviour, Jesus Christ, and was also likely the Angel who appeared to Zechariah proclaiming about John, the one who was to be the Herald of the Messiah.

The name Gabriel means ‘God is my strength’ and with his words, he struck fear into Satan and all the forces of the wicked, as he announced the coming of God’s final victory against evil, the coming of His Saviour by which all the machinations and efforts of the devil would all be defeated and crushed. Just as St. Michael leads the forces of God into battle, St. Gabriel announces God’s retribution and battlecry against all His enemies.

Meanwhile St. Raphael the Archangel was known through his participation in the events described in the Book of Tobit. St. Raphael, whose name means ‘God has healed’ brought healing and help to both Tobit and Sara, who both were faithful but had suffered either physically for the case of Tobit, blinded and unable to see, or spiritually in the case of Sara, who was beset by the powerful demon Asmodeus that had killed seven of her past husbands.

Through his journey with Tobias, the son of Tobit, disguised as a man, St. Raphael eventually chased Asmodeus away and bound him, freeing Sara who was once tormented by that demon. And as Tobias gained Sara as a lawfully wedded wife, St. Raphael also brought healing to the eyes of Tobit, and revealing his true identity before all of them, he showed God’s healing and mercy, undoing the wicked plots and works of the devil and his forces against us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we celebrate this day in memory of the Holy Archangels of God, let us renew our faith in God, and renew our conviction and desire to serve Him faithfully, that we may all walk ever more righteously in His path, and no longer be afraid of the devil and all of his wicked plots. The Lord has set His Archangels and His mighty Heavenly Hosts between us and the evil ones.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle and help us to be humble like you, that we may not fall into pride and ambition, greed and vanity like the devil, but remain firm in our commitment to serve God faithfully with all our might. St. Gabriel the Archangel, bearer of God’s Good News and triumph, help us to trust in the Lord and His providence, that we may always hope in God as our Strength, that no evil will prevail against us as long as we put our faith in God.

And St. Raphael the Archangel, bearer of God’s healing and mercy, help us to seek healing in God, for the weakness of our flesh and especially for the corruption of our souls by sin. Just as Tobit and Sara was healed by your intercession on their behalf to God, intercede for us sinners as well. O Holy Archangels of God, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, pray for us, be with us and guide us in battle, in the constant struggle for our souls. Amen!

Tuesday, 29 September 2020 : 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.”

Tuesday, 29 September 2020 : 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 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!”

Tuesday, 29 September 2020 : 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.

Saturday, 29 September 2018 : 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 together the great Feast day of the three Holy Archangels of God, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael. They are the ones who are God’s chief Angelic servants, as mentioned by St. Raphael himself, that he is one of the seven Holy Archangels that are always in presence of God. Each one of them are tasked with particular areas in which God entrusted to their care His creations, especially us mankind.

St. Michael the Archangel is the Archangel tasked with the leadership of the heavenly host of Angels, as the Prince of the Heavenly Host, the armies of Angels, in the constant spiritual warfare that rages around us for the sake of our souls. St. Michael has always stood at the forefront of this great battle ever since the time of the War in Heaven as shown through the Revelations of St. John.

St. John saw a vision of the great War in Heaven, of the time when Satan, then known by the name Lucifer, most brilliant and mightiest among all the Angels of God, fell into his pride and greed, and rebelled against God seeking to take over the reign over Heaven and all creation. In that process, one third of all the Angels followed Satan’s lead and also rebelled against God. But one Angel rallied the other Angels in the battle, and it was told that it was St. Michael the Archangel who was the one to lead the Angels into battle against Satan and his forces.

The name Michael means, ‘Who is like God’, and this is a perfect rebuke of Satan’s prideful rebellion against God. Satan rebelled because in his pride, he thought that he could be like God, and he could take over God’s role, overcome by pride in his perfection and brilliance. But St. Michael showed Satan his proper place, by defeating him and his fellow rebel angels, and by the power of God, casting them out from heaven.

St. Michael also appeared to Joshua, the leader of the Israelites, just after he took over the leadership over the people of God and leading them into the land promised to them and their ancestors. Through St. Michael, God reassured Joshua and the Israelites, that He would be with them throughout their journey and struggle to gain the land promised to them. God Himself would fight alongside His people and they would gain what was promised to them, should they remain faithful to Him.

Meanwhile, St. Gabriel the Archangel was sent to Mary, the Most Blessed Mother of Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, in the small village of Nazareth. He was sent to her to announce to her the Good News of God, the final fulfilment and completion of God’s long awaited plan to save His people, by the sending of His own Son, the Divine Word of God, into this world, which would be fulfilled through Mary. Mary was to become the Mother of the Messiah, and therefore, become the Mother of God.

St. Gabriel himself revealed this wonderful news to Mary, and at first while Mary was amazed at what she had just heard from the Archangel, she obeyed the will of God and allowed herself to be part of the great plan of salvation God had revealed through St. Gabriel. And it was also likely St. Gabriel who revealed a similar message of hope to the father of St. John the Baptist, Zechariah, in the Temple, about the upcoming birth of St. John the Baptist, Herald of the Messiah.

The name of Gabriel means, the Strength or Might of God. This is a reminder that with God at our side, we should not need fear anything or any foes, and hope should arise anew in our hearts, knowing that God will provide for us and that He will never abandon those who have been faithful to Him. That was why He sent St. Gabriel the Archangel to announce the Good News of His salvation, the message of hope, to renew the people’s trust in God’s strength and might, by which He will save them all.

Lastly, the third of the three great Archangels, St. Raphael was mentioned in the Book of Tobit, which was the account of the journey of Tobit, an Israelite who went into exile with his countrymen during the years after the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel. The Book recorded the account of Tobit’s suffering and anguish, when he faced rejection even from his own countrymen and then suffering from blindness.

God sent His Archangel, St. Raphael in order to heal Tobit, as well as another person, Sara, daughter of Tobit’s relative, who was also hounded by the demon Asmodeus. She was also in great distress and almost wanted to take her own life because of what the demon had done to her, killing all the men who had taken her as wife. But she prayed to the Lord, asking Him to listen to her plight, just at the same time as Tobit also prayed to God, asking for His help and mercy.

St. Raphael was sent to bring about healing and liberation to each one of them, and God showed His wonderful love and mercy through His Archangel, whose name means, the Healing of God. Sara was freed from the demon Asmodeus, and was married to Tobias, Tobit’s son, who accompanied the disguised Archangel during his journey. And Tobit was also healed from his blindness as well.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as we have seen from the great blessings we have received, the inspirations we have gained from each of the three great Archangels, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, whose feasts we celebrate this day, let us all remind ourselves that God is always with us, and we can always trust in His healing, love and mercy, for indeed, Who is like Our God, though Mighty and All Powerful, but filled with so great love and compassion for us all, His children.

Let us ask the glorious Archangels to be our guide and intercessor, to pray for us and to protect us from the dangers of evil, from the forces of Satan and all those seeking our downfall. May they continue to watch over us and be our guardians and sources of hope, reminding us of our need to love the Lord, to be true to Him and to be ever faithful through all of our deeds and actions in life. Holy Archangels, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, Archangels of God Most High, pray for us all. Amen.

Saturday, 29 September 2018 : Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 1 : 47-51

At that time, when Jesus sae 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.”