Today we celebrate the Feast of St. Michael and the Holy Archangels. So today it is all about angels. The word angel derives from the Hebrew word “Malakh” (Arabic: Malak) and the Greek word “Angelus”. They both refer to our word messenger. An angel is so a messenger of the most High God. They are called angels when they deliver a more general message, like the angels after the birth of Jesus. But the angels who deliver messages of supreme importance we call archangels. And so it was the archangel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary. It was fitting that an archangel should announce the greatest of all messages. The archangels have names to confirm their ministry when they came among us. So, Michael means “Who is like God”; Gabriel is “The Strength of God”; and Raphael is “God’s healing.”
Whenever Gods power is performed Michael shows up. It makes clear that no one can do what God does by his superior power. When Lucifer wanted in his pride to be like God Michael defeated him and expelled him from heaven. Lucifer overruled his power when he called out: “I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven; I will be like the Most High”. So Michael dealt with him. What Lucifer did is something that that could come from the mouth of mortals. We are also often act like we are God. But we have to understand that only God is God…and we are not. The archangel Michael throws him out of Heaven and casts him on the earth. And that is the reason why the world is in such bad shape. Because he as his angels want to bring as much people down as they can. They are jealous.
We rejoice on the Feast of the three Archangels who are mentioned by name in Scripture: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. For our mission St. Michael is extremely important as our patron Saint. But of course all of the archangels are important. All three names of the Archangels end with the word “El”, which means “God”. So God is present in their names.
The Archangels are God’s special messengers. They bring God to humankind and open heaven for mankind. The Angels speak to human beings about our true being. And so we are called to be “angels” to one another. We must be people of prayer, who intercedes with God for human beings. For all of mankind, not only those that we like. The more we do, the more we become Gods messenger.
When we reflect on the archangels we see St. Michael showing up in the book of Daniel and also in the Letter of the St Jude and in the Book of Revelation. Two roles become immediately clear: He defends against the “ancient serpent” and defends Gods people.
The serpent’s effort is to make us believe that we can't trust and that we can be more important than God. He does lie to give us the wrong perspective on God. He uses people for that as we can see on a daily basis. When people portray God in the wrong way. He is also called “the accuser of our brethren”. He tries to give us a bad name before God and before mankind. We are also called to angels to the people that God has entrusted to us. This is especially true for the clergy. We meet Archangel Gabriel in the precious moment of the annunciation to Mary of the Incarnation. God asks Mary through Gabriel for her yes. And so does he ask from us when he knocks on the door of our heart. We get the same message as the Church of Laodicea in the book Revelation. Namely: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me”. The Lord is at the door of our hearts and wants to come in, if we allow Him.
The Angel Raphael appears in the Book of Tobit as a healer. When Jesus sends out his disciples it is always a healing ministry. Just like the Archangel Raphael was an instrument of healing. He heals the disturbed relationship between a man and a woman and brings healing to the blind old Tobit. We can also be blind for seeing God in our lives. With all that surrounds us in this world, we risk becoming blind to God’s light. Raphael is there to cure us from that blindness. Our wounds cause division with one another and that needs healing It is through Gods Mercy and Grace that we are forgiven and so are healed from our blindness. Amen.