Monday, October 8, 2012

Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels- Reflections2

Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels; Reflections(Fr. Michael U Udoekpo)
Readings: Dan 7:9-10, 13-14 or Rev 12: 7-12ab; Ps 138: 1-2ab, 2cde-3, 4-5 and John 1:47-51

May the angel of the Lord accompanies us on our journeys

 I know that I am always very happy person. But every feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael brings me such an additional joy and happiness. I think partly is because I was fortunate to be named Michael by my parents. I want to believe that many of us who bear these names Michael, Gabriel or Raphael in our community feel the same, joy and happiness on your feast day!  Personally, we are 4 boys and 2 girls in my family- Maria and Patricia. One of my other 3 brothers is named Gabriel.  Maria has a daughter, my nice named, Angela- Angel. If Am not mistaken we have Angelo here in our seminary community this year.

These are highly significant – theological, spiritual names- Michael (who is like God), Gabriel (God’s strength, the power of God) and Raphael (God’s remedy, God heals). Parents who name these names after their children were not kidding. They knew Angels are God’s messengers to those who trust and put their faith in the Lord. Their existence is always a proof of God loves care for humanity.

They travel with us on every step of the journey of a believer, even when we are unaware!
I am sure you would recall the biblical incident of a pious Jew, Tobit deported to Israel to Nineveh in Assyria after the fall of Samaria in 722 BC. There Tobit is persecuted not because he committed any crime, but because he was holy, he was pious, burying the dead and practicing good virtues.

Blinded by accident, he accepted his condition with patience-endurance. At the same time, far away in another region, Persia, Sarah a young relative of his is afflicted by the demon called Asmodeus who causes the death of her seven husbands, one after another. Tobit and Sarah, one blind, one afflicted with demons prayed that God should better take their lives. Thinking that he will die soon Tobit sends his son Tobias to far away Medes to collect a debt from his kinsman Gabael which he intends to give to his son as his inheritance. Tobias meets the angel Raphael, whom he initially thinks is his cousin Azarias, and Raphael, agrees to accompany him on the journey to Medes. On the way Tobias catches a big fish and Raphael tells him how to use it to cure both Sarah and his father Tobit.

Similar predicaments and dangers could be said of Daniel, another Jewish young man exiled in Babylon, in today’s first reading. But in each of these cases it was the Angel of the Lord who ministered to Tobit, Sarah, and Daniel.   We saw Gabriel too, God’s power in the lives of Mary and Joseph in their trials, in the infancy narratives.  Therefore what we celebrate today, is an   Amazing God! Whom non is like Him. And He is nearer to us in our daily lives, in our studies, in our ministries, in our trials in one another, through his Angels, more than we think!