In the gospel for today, Jesus calls to Nathanael by name and tells him he will see wondrous things. Jesus spoke of the angels coming from heaven to earth. Just as He called Nathanael, Jesus calls each one of us by name, asking us if we believe.
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1:51
What an incomprehensible promise Jesus is making to us, if we simply believe in Him. As human beings, it is sometime easy to forget the great divine presences that surround us. While we live out our daily lives, angels are all around us, working for our greater good. As Christians, we claim to believe in God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. We profess this belief so often; every Sunday in church as we recite the Creed, but how often do we really stop and consider what we are saying? By believing in Jesus and who He truly is–the Son of God–we also acknowledge the majesty and extraordinary components involved in the Kingdom of Heaven. As believers in Christ, we claim our place in the dominion of God. The world we see everyday is only a small piece of what we will actually inherit.
Today we celebrate the feast of the Archangels–the three who are specifically named in the Bible (Michael, Gabriel and Raphael). It is traditionally believed that there are seven archangels, but only three are given names in scripture. Angels and archangels, as well as seven other “orders” of these spiritual beings, are our guardians and messengers of God. Even in these times of uncertainty, their message will remain the same: “love for life did not deter them from death. Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them.” Rev 12:12. Let this feast day and the message of these archangels serve as a beautiful and powerful reminder that the battle for our souls is already won. Michael banished Lucifer from heaven; Gabriel brought the knowledge that Mary would be the mother of Jesus Christ to her, and Raphael healed the blindness of Tobias. Their heavenly powers are still invoked by us today, especially St. Michael’s, whose prayer is recited after every Mass. As we profess, Jesus Christ is our Savior, and we have inherited the Kingdom of Heaven, where we will one day join the nine choirs of angels in praising Him forever.