Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels - 29th September 2017
Reading 1, Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14,
9 While I was watching, thrones were set in place and one most venerable took his seat. His robe was white as snow, the hair of his head as pure as wool. His throne was a blaze of flames, its wheels were a burning fire.
10 A stream of fire poured out, issuing from his presence. A thousand thousand waited on him, ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was in session and the books lay open.
13 I was gazing into the visions of the night, when I saw, coming on the clouds of heaven, as it were a son of man. He came to the One most venerable and was led into his presence.
14 On him was conferred rule, honour and kingship, and all peoples, nations and languages became his servants. His rule is an everlasting rule which will never pass away, and his kingship will never come to an end.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5
In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
1 [Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, for you have listened to the cry I uttered. In the presence of angels I sing to you,
2 I bow down before your holy Temple. I praise your name for your faithful love and your constancy; your promises surpass even your fame.
3 You heard me on the day when I called, and you gave new strength to my heart.
4 All the kings of the earth give thanks to you, Yahweh, when they hear the promises you make;
5 they sing of Yahweh's ways, 'Great is the glory of Yahweh!'
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Bless the LORD, all you angels,
you ministers, who do his will.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, John 1:47-51
"You will see the angels of God"
48 Nathanael asked, 'How do you know me?' Jesus replied, 'Before Philip came to call you, I saw you under the fig tree.'
49 Nathanael answered, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.'
50 Jesus replied, 'You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You are going to see greater things than that.'
The Gospel of the Lord.
God's word brings blessing and refreshment for those who reflect on it .
Reflection: The angels are not only messengers but protectors and guardians as well. "For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all yours ways" (Psalm 91:11). We are not alone in our struggle against sin and evil in the world. The armies of heaven fight for us and with us in the spiritual battle for our hearts, minds, and wills. Do you know the peace and security of a life submitted to God and to his way of peace and happiness?
Jesus' response to Nathanael's new faith is the promise that Jesus himself will be the "ladder which unites earth with heaven." Jesus proclaims that he is the fulfillment of the promise made to the Patriarch Jacob and his descendants. Jesus is the true ladder or stairway to heaven. In Jesus' incarnation, the divine Son of God taking on human flesh for our sake, we see the union of heaven and earth - God making his dwelling with us and bringing us into the heavenly reality of his kingdom through his Son Jesus.
Jesus' death on the cross, where he defeated sin and won new life for us through his resurrection, opens the way for each of us to come into a new relationship with God as his adopted sons and daughters. The Lord Jesus opens the way for each one of us to "ascend to heaven" and to bring "heaven to earth" in the daily circumstances of our lives. God's kingdom is present in those who seek him and who strive to do his will. Through the gift of faith God opens a door for each one of us to the heavenly reality of his kingdom. Do you see with the "eyes of faith" what the Lord Jesus has done for us?
Prayer: "Heavenly Father, through your Son Jesus Christ, you have opened the way to heaven for us. As you revealed yourself to your beloved patriarchs and apostles, so reveal yourself to me that I may recognize your presence with me and know the power of your kingdom at work in my life. May I always find joy in your presence and never lose sight of your kingdom." Amen.
Jesus, the Son of God, unites earth and heaven in himself.