Thursday, 29 September 2022 : Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this day we are celebrating the great Feast of the Holy Archangels, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael. The three great Archangels were three of the seven Holy Archangels mentioned to be serving before the Holy Presence of God, the chiefs of the Angelic Host and heavenly forces. In other traditions such as Eastern Orthodoxy, the other Archangels were also named, but according to the Roman Catholic tradition and Scriptural canon, only three Archangels were named, namely St. Michael the Archangel, named in the Book of Joshua and also in the Book of Revelations of St. John the Apostle, and then St. Gabriel the Archangel, named in the Gospels as the one bearing the Good News to Mary, and lastly St. Raphael the Archangel, mentioned in the Book of Tobit as the Archangel who came to help Tobit and his son, Tobias. Hence today we celebrate these three Archangels of God whose names are known to us definitively through the Scriptures and through Church traditions and teachings.

St. Michael the Archangel is the chief of all the Heavenly Host, the leader of the Archangels and the Angels of God. He is the leader of the forces of God in the great struggle and battle against the evil ones, the champion of the Lord and the one who smites the devil, the great enemy of all the faithful and the living. His name, Michael, means ‘Who is like God?’ that resounds with the battle cry which he uttered in the great War in Heaven that we heard in one of our first reading passages today from the Book of Revelations. That was the battle cry which St. Michael the Archangel uttered against the forces of Satan, the great enemy, who rose in rebellion against God.

At that time, the greatest and most brilliant among all the Angels of God, named Lucifer, the Angel of Light came to bear prideful ambition and the desire to surpass his own Creator, Lord and Master. He desired to sit upon the Throne of God and become the Master of all Creation, and therefore, rose in rebellion against God. One tradition stated that when God was away from His Throne, Lucifer, deluded by his own vanity, vainglory and pride, sat upon the Throne of God and claimed the rulership of all the Universe, only to be challenged and rebuked by St. Michael the Archangel, who rebuked Lucifer and cast him out from the Throne of God and Heaven, because he, thereafter known as Satan, the devil and great enemy, dared to rebel against God.

Unlike Lucifer, who was mighty and brilliant in all things, which led to his downfall through pride, St. Michael the Archangel was humble before God, and it was told according to another tradition that he trembled before the Presence of God, fully aware of the infinite glory and greatness of God, and fully devoted to his Lord and Master. But before the enemies of the Lord, this mighty Archangel stands tall as the greatest among all the champions and defenders of the Lord, leading the Heavenly Host and fearlessly crushing the forces of Satan and his allies, those fallen angels and spirits who have chosen to put their lot and trust in Satan instead of siding with God.

St. Michael has often been considered as a great protector of the people of God, as he led the forces of the Lord against all those seeking for the ruination of many souls of mankind. From the ancient days, St. Michael had appeared to Joshua at the time when the Israelites were about to enter into the Promised Land, reassuring the Lord’s chosen leader of God’s ever-present guidance, and how the Lord’s Angels, led by none other than St. Michael himself, would always march before the Lord’s faithful ones, guiding them and protecting them. St. Michael’s name has always been invoked to protect the people of God in their hour and time of distress.

Meanwhile, St. Gabriel the Archangel was known for his role in proclaiming the Good News of God to Mary, the one whom God had chosen to be the Mother of the Son of God Most High, the Mother of the Saviour of the world, and hence to be the Mother of God herself. St. Gabriel the Archangel in the Annunciation proclaimed with great joy the long awaited proclamation of the coming of God’s salvation, which He has promised and renewed the same promise to His people through His many prophets and messengers throughout time. The words of St. Gabriel the Archangel was the very first moment when the Lord’s salvation was definitively revealed to the people of God.

The name Gabriel means ‘the strength of God’ referring to the strength and encouragement that the words that St. Gabriel had spoken before Mary, a simple and humble young maiden in the little village of Nazareth, that she would be the one through whom the salvation of the whole world would come. And while he was not named, the Angel who appeared before Zechariah, the father of St. John the Baptist at the Temple of God was also often considered to be the Archangel Gabriel. In the same way, St. Gabriel proclaimed another encouraging news to Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, on the upcoming birth of their long-awaited son. That brought hope and strength back to the elderly couple once again.

Then, lastly, St. Raphael the Archangel appeared to Tobias, and assisted both him and his father Tobit, saving the new wife of Tobias, Sara from the attacks by the evil spirit Asmodeus, as well as healing Tobit from his blindness. St. Raphael brought God’s healing and consolation to the ones who were suffering and in pain, enduring hardships and difficulties, trials and obstacles in life. The name Raphael means the ‘healing of God’ which fits the works by which St. Raphael the Archangel was sent by God to this world, to heal and strengthen, to encourage and patch up those who had been afflicted by suffering, pain, grief and sorrow, among other things.

As we heard from our Scripture passages and as we have discussed just earlier on, the Holy Archangels of God were those powerful spirits whom God had entrusted with the specific mission in guiding and protecting us mankind from the attacks and efforts of the evil ones, the devil himself and the other fallen angels and wicked spirits. St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael in each of their capacities and missions are our great allies in the ever continuing constant and daily struggles for the fate of our souls. Ever since the beginning of creation, Satan, the fallen Lucifer had always despised God’s beloved creations, and especially that apply to us all mankind, and just as he brought our ancestors down, he is always ever plotting and trying to bring us all down as well.

That is why today as we celebrate the great Feast of the Holy Archangels, St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael, all of us are reminded of the great love that God has for each one of us, that He sent us His mighty servants, the three Chiefs and Princes of the Angelic Host, particularly the leader of them all, St. Michael the Archangel, to be by our side, and to lead the forces of Heaven, in the constant and daily struggle and battle for our souls. And we have to have faith in God, believing wholeheartedly that the Lord will always protect us and provide for us, and His mighty Archangels and the Heavenly forces will guard us against Satan and all of his fellow wicked spirits’ futile attacks on us.

Today, as we rejoice in the hope that the Holy and Mighty Archangels of God had brought us, let us all pray the special prayer, Prayer to St. Michael, which Pope Leo XIII had commissioned, entrusting ourselves to the guardianship of St. Michael the Archangel and the other Holy Archangels and Angels of God that through their intercession and help, we may always remain faithful and steady in our lives and faith. Let us all pray, ‘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 do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.’ Amen.

Thursday, 29 September 2022 : 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.”

Thursday, 29 September 2022 : 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!”

Thursday, 29 September 2022 : 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.

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.

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.

Friday, 29 September 2017 : 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.”