Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels
Job 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17
Matthew 18:1-5, 10
The disciples approached Jesus and said, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?" He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."
On September 29, we celebrated the feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. On that day we remembered how the role of the angels in the Scriptures is always linked to the "messenger"-function explicitated in the word "angelos-messenger" in the Greek language.
The message is always the same, "prepare to receive the Holy One sent from God, your Lord and Savior." Such a message is now fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ, and in the proclamation of the Good News, the Gospel of our salvation.
Since the reality of our faith has reach fulfillment in Christ Jesus, it is anachronistic to try to append to the roles of the angels the anticipation and the expectation of what was yet to come.
Since that first night of the angel’s song announcing the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem, the message and the role of the angels is now conjoined with the mystery of the incarnation and the redemption.
As Guardian Angels, the angels protect and oversee the gift of God’s indwelling in us that derives from Baptism.
In Guardian Angels, the presence of God is especially felt in those who are the most powerless and innocent of God’s creatures, the children.
By the Guardian Angels, our consciences are prompted to alert us to the entry of evil into our thoughts and actions; our Guardian Angels remind us that we belong to God and have been made members of the Body of Christ.
Today is a liturgical memorial of the reality of our spiritual selves. What a loss if we should so forget that we are spiritual beings, that the role of the Angels in our lives should be nullified by our indifference.
Yet, what a blessing, if today we could ask God to bless us with a desire to acknowledge, to listen to, and to respect the guidance that is ours because we have the Angels to speak to us of God and of God’s love for us.
Fr. Arthur Carrillo, C.P. is the director of the Office of Mission Effectiveness for Holy Cross Province. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.