Homily for the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
Theme: In the presence of the Angels I will praise you, O Lord.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf.
READINGS: Daniel 7: 9-10. 13-14, Ps. 138, John 1: 47-51
Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Archangels. It is another celebration in honour of the creatures who are spirits made by God called angels. Angel means messenger or someone sent on a mission. We have in the Catholic Church distinguished three classes of angels namely: The Archangels, the Guardian Angels and the Minor angels. Their names are given due to the duties they carry out not in terms of order of importance and greatness.
The Archangels are those ministering spirits who are sent on strong and special as well as particular missions. These are the creatures mentioned in the first reading of Prophet Daniel who worshipped in his holy presence. They did some spectacular duties that are well known and so are given names to correspond to that. We identify three of them namely Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. All their names end in the suffix –el. This is a reference to God called Elohim in the Old Testament. Michael then means who is like God (Onyedikachi in Igbo, hwan na oti se Awurade in Ashanti Twi). Gabriel means God is my strength (Chibuikem in Igbo, Nyame ne me ahuoden (Nyame Tumi) in Ashanti Twi). Raphael means God has healed or God heals (Chibuogwu or Chinagwo oria in Igbo, Nyame na asa yadie in Ashanti Twi). All their names depict that they are creatures that God uses to do some special things or interventions in the life of man here on earth. It means that such names are not proper nouns but adjectival verbs.
Beloved, God decided in his wisdom and good will to do marvelous things using his creatures. He has the power to command such things like in creation events and they would happen but chooses to use spiritual beings that live with him to come down to manifest his spiritual powers. They are believed to be among the Dominions and Blessed Seraphim and Heavenly Hosts and Virtues of heaven. We cannot forget the display of power of God by Archangel Michael when he made the Lucifer and his own angels know that no one can actually be like God in strength and emulation. This is a counteraction of the same satanic deceit of Eve that when she eats of the fruit forbidden, that she would be like God. From creation, the family of Lucifer has tried to destroy creation. Michael dealt them deadly blow by leading the other angels in victorious battle against them and threw them down to the earth. We remember how God used Gabriel to demonstrate his strength in wonderful manner in giving Mary and Elizabeth the fruit of the womb in unprecedented manner. We also recall how God healed the sickness of Tobit in his blindness and rectified the fortune of their family. It is believed that the healing of Job and the leprosy of the people of Old was under his ministration. He must be the angel who turns the water of Siloam that healed miraculously. He is the force of the healing water that flows into the Araba and to the temple.
Beloved, the angels of God are in our midst doing great wonders in our lives, they direct us and assist us do good things, they help us worship God properly and defend us in moments of battle beyond our physical ability. They bring us good news and heal our sicknesses. They do many special ministrations in our lives. We must recognize that we are not alone but with them always and feel their spiritual and actual presence. Whenever we worship God, we must remember that in the presence of the angels our worship goes higher before God. The angels ascend and descend from heaven to earth ministering to us. We must not annoy them by doing sinful and atrocious things; if we do, they will show us their back and may not do their rightful duties in our lives which will make our lives on earth to be hellish.
I pray that we shall live to testify the goodness of the Lord in our lives and so praise God in the presence of the angels both here on earth and in the heavens. We pray that the angels would never depart from us or resist doing their work in our lives rather may they present our predicaments and prayers before God, Amen. Archangel Michael! Defend us in the battle of life. Archangel Gabriel! Bring us joyful messages from God and Archangel Raphael!
Heal the sick among us miraculously in the name of Jesus our Saviour, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf.
FOR A SIMILAR HOMILY CLCIK HERE>>>>>