Ps 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 4-5
In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
FEAST OF STS. MICHAEL, GABRIEL AND RAPHAEL, ARCHANGELS
Psalter: Proper / (White)
1st Reading: Dn 7:9-10, 13-14 (or Rev 12:7-12a)
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, honor 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.
Gospel: Jn 1:47-51
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.”
Throughout the Bible angels play a crucial role in furthering God’s overall plan of salvation. Most of the time they are not named (as is often the case in the Book of Revelation), but nevertheless they always appear as powerful agents of God. Among all these angelic figures, three are given names and stand out as particularly powerful and effective: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, whom we are celebrating in a special way today.
Some people may scoff at the idea that there exists purely spiritual beings. But why not? Apart from the clear testimony of the Bible, common sense itself suggests that, since there exists purely material beings (rocks, animals, plants) and composite beings made of matter and spirit, would it not be logical that purely spiritual beings complete the picture, as it were?
Anyhow, the fact is that the three angels explicitly named by the authors of the Bible stand out as awesome figures indeed—especially Michael, whose personal mission is to defeat Satan. We would do well to ask for the assistance of these super-powerful beings in our times of need. We might be quite surprised at what can happen next!
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