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SEPTEMBER 28. Feast of the Angels. Jn 1. 47-51

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit.’ ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael. ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.’ Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.’ And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending.’

Nathanial was found by Philip and he invited him to come and meet Jesus, telling him: “We have found him of whom Moses wrote; -Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph.” The response of Nathanial was “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”


But Jesus dealt with his doubts in today’s reading when he told him “‘Before Philip came to call you, I saw you under the fig tree.’ A sign which Nathanael accepted and so he became the first Apostle to refer to Jesus as “the Son of God” as well as “the King of Israel!”


There can be little doubt these Apostles and first disciples were guided by the Holy Spirit and/or the angels when they responded so generously to the invitation of Jesus to become his followers.


Several of them, including Peter and his brother Andrew had been fishermen and on being called by Jesus they immediately “left everything,” including their boats and family and went off to become “fishers of men!” Where does such faith, conviction and generosity originate?


Today is the feast of the three Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael; - the only angles named in Sacred Scripture, and the readings are for this celebration.


Michael was the “Prince of all the angels” who fought against Lucifer and his followers when they rebelled against God. Gabriel announced both the birth of John the Baptist and the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary; - while Raphael was named in the Book of Tobit for curing the blindness of Tobias.


It is hard to quantify or identify the sources of one’s faith, but there is little doubt angels have a significant role in guiding us in our decisions and beliefs; - with Mary’s acceptance of her mission as the Mother of God being an excellent example of their influence and roles.


We often make major decisions, and we generally credit ourselves with making them, but when our time on this earth is over, I suspect we will discover ; - like Nathanael and the early disciples; - we were being guided and influenced by angels !


They are also probably one of the most neglected gifts God has given his people with so few of us praying to them; - and particularly our Guardian Angel; - with the Church telling us; - “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life!”


Christ, when talking of children, said “I tell you that in heaven their (guardian) angels behold the face of my Father who is in heaven,” so there is no doubt what we have here is yet another gift from God to his people that is neglected; - despite being a source of divine grace; - a divine gift from a divine source; - one we cannot afford to neglect; - given we are sinners?


Gospel Acclamation Ps102:21


Alleluia, alleluia!

Bless the Lord, all you angels,

his ministers who do his will.

Alleluia!


First reading Apocalypse 12:7-12 · Michael with his angels attacked the dragon


Now war broke out in heaven, when Michael with his angels attacked the dragon. The dragon fought back with his angels, but they were defeated and driven out of heaven. The great dragon, the primeval serpent, known as the devil or Satan, who had deceived all the world, was hurled down to the earth and his angels were hurled down with him. Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the persecutor, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down. They have triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the witness of their martyrdom, because even in the face of death they would not cling to life. Let the heavens rejoice and all who live there.’







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