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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Archangels Michael, Gabriel, And Raphael

Friday, September 29, 2023

by Fr. David M. Knight

View readings for Friday, 25th Week of Ordinary Time:

(Feast day reflection; daily reflection follows).

Lectionary no. 647 (Dn 7: 9-10, 13-14 or Rv 12: 7-12; Ps 138: 1-2, 2-3, 4-5; Jn 1: 47-51)

The Responsorial (Psalm 138) invites us: “In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord. ”What does it mean to live “in the sight of ” the angels?

When we gather for Mass, we are conscious that the angels gather with us. And are involved. In the Penitential Rite each of us asks “all the Angels and Saints,” along with the rest of the assembly, to “pray for me to the Lord our God.” And we end the Preface before Eucharistic Prayers II and IV saying, “with the Angels and all the Saints we proclaim your glory, as with one voice we sing, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy.’”

Scripture shows the angels involved in everything that concerns humans:

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

Do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven.

Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (Psalms 9:11; Matthew 18:10; Hebrews 1:14).

They play a part in the “end time.”

At the end of the age the angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous.

For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone.... He will send out his angels... and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God (Matthew 13:49; 16:27; 24:31; Luke 12:8).

Daniel 7:9-14 is foretelling the victory and the reign of Christ the King:

An Ancient One took his throne... a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him.... I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him. To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed.

This is what we are working for, the outcome of our stewardship. It is echoed in Revelation 5:1-13, the “theme song” of the Rite of Communion:

I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne... they numbered... thousands of thousands, singing... “Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

I heard every creature in heaven and on earth... singing, “To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

John 1:47-51: “You will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” Jesus is “Jacob’s ladder” between heaven and earth. All through Scripture we see angels facilitating the passage both ways (Genesis 28:12. See for example: Luke 1:26, the Incarnation, and the four key events recalled in the Anamnesis: Christ’s passion, Luke 22:43; resurrection, Luke 24:23;

ascension and return, Acts 1:10-11 and above).

Action: Use the angels. And let God use you as one.

Daily Reflection

Work for Change as a Steward

The Responsorial Psalm tells us not to put limits on what we expect from God: “Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God” (Psalm 43).

Haggai 1:15 to 2:9 deals with the negativism of people who are always looking backwards: “You that saw this house in its former glory; how do you see it now? Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes?” People see the Church being renewed before their eyes, and complain because it isn’t like the Church they grew up in. They are like people who would like to regenerate the dinosaurs, just to have them die out again for lack of habitat. Environments are constantly changing. We adapt or we die. But we don’t just adapt; we initiate change. The only way to live in the present is to work for the future.

Our God is “infinite,” without limits, not boxed in, always improving things, expanding horizons, leading us forward. Jesus came that we might “have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Our working attitude is: “Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.”

Through Haggai God told the Jews, “Take courage… and work!” Work is the expression of hope. Passivity is despair. God calls us to believe always that he is making things better and to cooperate with him. “Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former. And in this place I will give peace, says the Lord of hosts!” This is taking place on earth today. The Church is being renewed, and we are called to renew it. And through the Church the world will be renewed. It is our mission to renew it. This is the Church’s faith, expressed in her traditional prayer: “Send forth your Spirit and our hearts shall be regenerated. And you will renew the face of the earth!”

To believe this is to work for it. To work for it is to take initiatives. To take initiatives is to be a leader, a steward of the kingship of Christ. This is our baptismal commitment.

Luke 9: 18-22 addresses the root of our discouragement: Jesus wins by losing. He gave life to the world by dying. And we give life to others (and gain it for ourselves) by dying to ourselves to live for God and others in love. To “die to ourselves” is not just to be unselfish; it is to die to our expectations, our natural guidance system, our way of doing things. It is to accept God’s way, which is very different from ours. “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.” God’s way is the way of the cross. It is the only way. To follow it, we must keep saying, no matter what, “Hope in God… my savior and my God.”

Action: Be Christ’s steward. Look beyond the present. Work for change.

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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