Fr. Mike’s Homily for the Feast of the Archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Fr. Mike’s Homily for the Feast of the Archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Theme: The mission of angels

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches


Homily for Wednesday September 29 2021

Feast of the Archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael
Jn 1:47-51

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Today is the feast of the saints who have no relics. This is because they are angels. They are pure spirits. The word ‘angel’ means ‘messenger’. They are messengers of God to His people. When the message is of great significance for the salvation of mankind, they are called archangels, as in the case of St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael. St. Michael is mentioned in the Book of Daniel, and in Jude 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and Revelation 12:7-9. St. Gabriel is the angel who brought the message to Mary in Luke 1:26ff. St. Raphael is mentioned in the Book of Tobit.

The angels are frequently mentioned in the New Testament. Angels delivered messages to Mary, Joseph, Zechariah and to the shepherds at Bethlehem. There are angels ministering to Jesus during His forty-day fast in the desert as well as during His agony in the Garden. An angel was at the tomb of Jesus after His resurrection. And in the Acts of the Apostles, Peter was freed from prison by an angel. These heavenly spirits, though invisible to us most of the time, are for real.

Unfortunately, there are people who think that angels are only for children, just like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. But they easily believe in evil spirits and other characters of darkness. That is why, stories and movies about vampires, ghosts, and other ghastly creatures are very popular. And this makes the devil more powerful in our time, and the first likely victims are these people.

The angels are concrete proofs of God’s love for us. Their mission is twofold. First, to serve God’s people: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Heb 1:14). And second, to protect and defend His people against the enemy and from all bodily and spiritual harm. And they always prevail against the forces of darkness because they possess the power of God.

As we celebrate today the feast of the archangels, let us reflect on two important lessons. First, let us always stay vigilant. St. Peter gives this serious warning: “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour” (1Pet 5:7-8). And St. Cyprian describes his strategy: “He encircles each one of us like an enemy besieging a fortress examining the walls to find a weak spot at which to launch an attack.”

However, this should not frighten us. God’s protection is always with us, especially through His holy angels. The Book of Revelation assures us of this. Michael, the Prince of the heavenly host, leads in the battle against Satan and emerges victorious. Victory is always certain for us who are on the side of God. As St. Paul said, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31). No reason, then, to worry or be afraid. We just have to call on the angels, and they will surely come to help us.

And, second, the weapon that can finally defeat the devil is no other than humility and obedience to God. If Satan, in his pride, vows, “Non serviam” (I will not serve), we, in turn, should never cease repeating the Blessed Mother’s response to the angel Gabriel: “Be it done unto me according to your word.” Humility and obedience are our key to victory. As St. Augustine said: “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”

Let us, then, resolve to call upon the angels and archangels all the time. May we never doubt their active presence and divine power. Before Vatican II, the Prayer to St. Michael was recited at the end of every Mass. But it was abolished after the liturgical reform of Vatican II.

Nevertheless, the Bishops of the Philippines “HIGHLY RECOMMENDS the recitation of the PRAYER TO ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL composed by Pope Leo XIII at every Mass celebrated in all churches in the Philippines.” (CBCP Circular Letter No. 04 – Sept 25, 2013). Let us earnestly heed the call of the Bishops to regularly recite this Prayer to St. Michael and be assured of God’s help and protection through the angels.

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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