Monday, 2 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate together the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, remembering all those spiritual guardians who are constantly watching each one of us, defending us in the constant battle raging around us, even though we may not be aware of what is happening.

In the first reading today, taken from the Book of Exodus, we heard how God sent His Angels to guide the people of Israel as they made their way down towards the Promised Land from Egypt, from where they had been freed from the bonds of their slavery. The Angels of God protected them and cleared the path before them, and all of the enemies of Israel were defeated while the Angels of God were with the Israelites.

That was what God had done with His people, sending His Angels to help them. Those who are faithful will not be abandoned or left alone, for God will send His Angels to defend us, against all those who seek to destroy us. We may not be aware, but Satan and his fellow fallen angels are always out there, ready to strike at us and snatch us from God’s loving hands. They do this through their persuasions, temptations and even if necessary, force.

In the Gospel passage today, we heard Jesus talking to His disciples, about the faith of a child, that is truly the greatest among the people in the kingdom of heaven. And unless they have the same kind of faith as the faith of young children, they will not be great in the kingdom of Heaven. Why is that so? That is because, a child’s faith is pure and genuine, not yet corrupted by the many concerns of the world and by the temptation of sin.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we often find it difficult to listen to the Lord, because temptations are always around us, the tempters are out and active, speaking to us, urging us to follow our desires, and therefore, doing what is sinful in the sight of God. And when we sin, the devil has been victorious in his plans for us, as with every sin we committed, we draw ever closer to the path to damnation.

But our guardian Angels are also always active, protecting us from the predation and attacks by these demonic forces. They are always out and about, keeping us safe and close to the way of the Lord. They also speak in the depth of our hearts, urging us to think about what it is that we believe in our faith, and how the temptations are wrong, and are urging us to do something that is against God’s teachings, and which are rebellious acts against His will.

This constant struggle is the spiritual warfare raging at all times around us, like a game of tug-of-war, with our souls at stake. Should Satan and his forces win, then we will end up in the eternal damnation in hell. And should God and His Angels, including our guardian Angels triumph by pulling us free from the bonds of Satan and from the temptations of sin, then we will receive the eternal glory and joy in heaven promised to us all who are faithful to God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must be really careful so as not to ignore the constant battle raging around us and not to be lukewarm in our faith. Otherwise, we will become easy prey for the devil who will do whatever is in his disposition to tempt us, to persuade us, to cajole us, to force us to do what he wants us to do, that is to sin against God.

Many of us have also been too busy to spend time with God, and our faith in Him had been muddled by the many worldly concerns we have. That is why all of us need to rediscover that faith which we once had as a child, or what we have seen in how a child believes. We must have that pure heart once again, wholly dedicated to God, just as a child would.

Therefore, let us from now on pledge ourselves, to do our best in order to do God’s will, guided by our holy Guardian Angels, that we always ready our ears, open our minds and hearts to listen to them, as they convey to us the message of God. Let us resist the temptation of sin, and do our best that we may come out from the daily and constant spiritual struggle over our souls triumphant, worthy of God’s grace and eternal life. May God and His Guardian Angels be with us always. Amen.

Monday, 2 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Matthew 18 : 1-5, 10

At that time, the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Then Jesus called a little child, set the child in the midst of the disciples, and said, “I assure you, that, unless you change, and become like little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble, like this child, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and whoever receives such a child, in My Name, receives Me.”

“See that you do not despise any of these little ones; for I tell you, their Angels in heaven continually see the face of My heavenly Father.”

Monday, 2 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 90 : 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 10-11

You, who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who rest in the shadow of the Almighty, say to YHVH, “My Stronghold, my Refuge, my God in Whom I trust!”

He will rescue you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions and give you refuge under His wings.

You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrows that fly by day, nor the pestilence that stalks by night, and the plague that destroys at noonday.

No harm will come upon you; no disaster will draw near your home. For He will command His Angels to guard you in all your ways.

Monday, 2 October 2017 : 26th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Exodus 23 : 20-23

See, I am sending an Angel before you to keep you safe on the way and bring you to the place I have made ready. Be on your guard in his presence and listen to him; do not resist him for he will not pardon your wrongdoing, for My Name is in him.

If you listen to him and do what I say, I will be the enemy to your enemies and the opponent of your opponents. My Angel will go before you and bring you to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; all these I will destroy.

Sunday, 2 October 2016 : 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the word of God in the Sacred Scriptures which spoke to us about the faith which all of us have to have in the Lord as His people. This is shown in the first reading, taken from the Book of the prophet Habakkuk, when the prophet in his anguish cried out to the Lord, asking Him why He had not moved His hands in order to help the people who have suffered from the persecutions and troubles in the world.

This is a common form of doubt, which we mankind often uttered in our anguish, in our moments of difficulty and suffering, as we thought that God had turned a blind eye to our sufferings and therefore did not care about us. Worse still, some and indeed quite a few among us used this to justify for their reason of abandoning the faith in God, and thinking that God does not exist. This is all in fact, what happened when we mankind try to think of the Lord in terms of human understanding.

It is often that we do not realise just how much God takes part in our own lives in His own mysterious ways, taking care of us and fulfilling our needs. We often do not realise this because firstly, we are not able to understand the way that God does things. His divine ways are often mysterious and seemingly incomprehensible to us because our human intellect and thoughts do have a limit in our ability to understand heavenly ways.

There is a story which is quite well known and is often repeated as an example to show the love which God has for each and every one of us. It might as well be a true story or adapted from one. It was told that a man was walking along the seashore with God side by side, and as they walked along that seashore, both of them left behind their footprints in the sand. There were therefore two sets of footprints, one belonging to God and the other for the man.

And then, when times went rough for the man, when difficulties and challenges came his way, he noticed that on the sand there is only one set of footprints instead of two. Then the man complained and became angry at God, whom he accused to have abandoned him when he was in his time of greatest distress and trouble. The attitude of the man in this story is no different from what we have heard from the prophet Habakkuk, and certainly not different from what we have heard in the real life. 

But God simply calmly and slowly said to him with love and concern, that when the man was having a difficult time, there was only one set of footprints because that footprints belonged to the Lord Himself, Who was carrying the man on His shoulders, helping him to shoulder and carry his own burdens. The man did not know it, but God did His works and wonders, helping the man to persevere and carry on despite the difficulties.

Thus, let us all spend some time to reflect on this, brothers and sisters in Christ? God loves us all so much, that He has given us His own Son, out of His boundless love and His never-ending desire to see us saved from harm’s way, and be liberated from our bondage to sin and to its consequence that is death. He wants us all to enjoy forever the gifts of the eternal life in bliss which He and prepared for us, and not for us to suffer damnation in hell for eternity.

He has willingly carried that burden for us, the burden and the consequences of our sins, so that by taking upon Himself our sins, we who believe in Him and put our trust in Him may die together with Him to our sins and to our past wickedness, and therefore, share also in His glorious resurrection and victory against sin and death. Just as death has no power over Him, it is therefore not going to have any power over us either.

God wants us to be well and good, and He wants us all to be saved. And to that extent, He has given us all His own Spirit, the Holy Spirit to guide us and to show us the way to reach out to Him. The Spirit that has descended down upon us Christians who believe in the Lord lives in our hearts and minds, and from there, it inflames our hearts with the strong desire to love the Lord and to follows His laws and precepts.

And today, as we celebrate together the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, we also remember all of our own guardian Angels, whom God had sent and stationed at our sides, protecting us from the machinations of the evil one, and reminded us from time to time whenever we are going towards the wrong path. These guardian Angels are always on the front line of the spiritual warfare raging around us which is waged for the sake of our souls.

Therefore today, first of all, let us reflect on our own lives and think of our actions. Have we been faithful to God in the way that He wanted us to? And secondly, let us all think, how have God been so kind to us in His love even when we do not realise it? How can we thank Him for His limitless and never-ending love for us? And last of all, let us all ask our guardian Angels to pray for us and to watch over us at all times, that we will not falter and be snared by the traps of the devil who desires only our ruination.

Let us all change ourselves and our ways from now on, if we have not been faithful and be thankful of God and all that He had done for us. All that He had done, He had done for our sake alone. Let us all imitate our Lord in all of our ways, so that in everything we do, we will always do them with love and compassion, showing care, concern and mercy for our fellow brethren, and devote ourselves wholly to the Lord our God. Amen.

Sunday, 2 October 2016 : 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Luke 17 : 5-10

At that time, the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” And the Lord said, “If you have faith, even the size of a mustard seed, you may say to this tree, ‘Be uprooted, and plant yourself in the sea!’ And it will obey you.”

“Who among you would say to your servant, coming in from the fields after plowing or tending sheep, ‘Go ahead and have your dinner?’ No, you tell him, ‘Prepare my dinner. Put on your apron, and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink afterwards.'”

“Do you thank this servant for doing what you told him to do? I do not think so. And therefore, when you have done all that you have been told to do, you should say, ‘We are no more than servants; we have only done our duty.'”

Sunday, 2 October 2016 : 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
2 Timothy 1 : 6-8, 13-14

For this reason I invite you to fan into a flame the gift of God you received through the laying on of my hands. For God did not confer on us a spirit of bashfulness, but of strength, love and good judgment. Do not be ashamed of testifying to our Lord, nor of seeing me in chains. On the contrary, do your share in labouring for the Gospel with the strength of God.

Follow the pattern of the sound doctrine which you have heard from me, concerning faith and love in Christ Jesus. Keep this precious deposit with the help of the Holy Spirit Who lives within us.