A week away was refreshing and needed, but now back to work.
On this 29th day of September the Church recognizes three outstanding angelic beings - the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Later this week we celebrate the gift of Guardian Angels as our companions on the journey. In the Collect Prayer for this feast the Church prays "O God, who dispose in marvelous order ministries both angelic and human, graciously grant that our life on earth may be defended by those who watch over us as they minister perpetually to you in heaven". In Psalm 103 we read "Bless the Lord, all you his angels, mighty in power, fulfilling his word, and heeding his voice".
All of us, saints and angels, are created by God to give glory to his Name and to sing his praises. All of us are entrusted with ministries that seek to make this happen at every moment of every day for all eternity. Our ministries are varied but serve one purpose.
Today the Church holds up for us three angels of outstanding reputation with ministries that touch upon the human condition. In Michael we have the champion of God, the one who stands up to evil and conquers sin and death in that cosmic struggle with Lucifer. He is the warrior. He is our defender in battle. He is our protector and our inspiration. In Gabriel we have a messenger that brings the glad tidings of God's presence to hearts that are ready and to lives that are open. Primarily he speaks to Mary a greeting that prompts her YES, and changes the course of history. In Raphael we encounter God's healing and mercy, bringing about a restoration of fragile human existence that open us to salvation.
These ministries of warrior, of messenger and of healer, joined with the ministries entrusted to each of us, and enveloped by the ministry of companionship and protection entrusted to our guardians, allows the work of God to flourish and allows us to be ever diligent in proclaiming the glory of God and singing his praises.