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(Part 53)


Memorial of the Guardian Angels
October 2, 2014

Today’s readings:
Exodus 23:20-23
Psalm 91:1-11
Matthew 18:1-10

We are warriors. And we face a formidable enemy, a fallen angel, Lucifer, who has become Satan. On our own we cannot hope to prevail against him. He is the strong man, but of course Jesus is the stronger man. Jesus, as prophesied in Eden (Gen 3:15), already crushed the head of the serpent on Calvary. We are on the side that is already victorious.

Now the war has been from time immemorial. War had raged in heaven, and Michael and his angels defeated Lucifer and his angels (Rev 12:7-9), who then became demons. Today the war continues. The devil is still able to cause the downfall of many, especially during these times. Thus, in the call to the New Evangelization, God is mobilizing His army. That includes us. In this difficult fight, we can count on angels to help us.

First, we each have our guardian angel. In talking about the little ones, Jesus says, “their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” (Mt 18:10b). Our guardian angels are there in the very throne room of God in heaven. They act on behalf of God. Israel (Jacob) speaks of God and his angel in the same breath: “the God who has been my shepherd from my birth to this day, the angel who has delivered me from all harm” (Gen 48:15c). God bids them to take care of us. “For he commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go.” (Ps 91:11). What great comfort to know that the angels, who have already defeated the demons, go with us into battle and guard us!

Second, in seeking to take the land for our Lord, we look to angels who have territorial jurisdiction. Daniel speaks about “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” (Dn 10:13a). These princes are the angel-guardians of territories (there are also demonic counterparts). God placed them there to guard over the peoples of the different lands. “When the Most High allotted each nation its heritage, when he separated out human beings, he set up the boundaries of the peoples after the number of the divine beings” (Dt 32:8). These angel-guardians report to “chief princes” (Dn 10:13b), who are the archangels (the Bible mentions three: Gabriel, Raphael and Michael).

Third, in the work throughout the whole world, with the authentic Church established by Jesus spearheading the way, we have one of the chief princes, the patron angel of Israel, and now the angel-protector of the Catholic Church. He is the archangel Michael.

And so God sends His angels to guard and protect us. “See, I am sending an angel before you, to guard you on the way and bring you to the place I have prepared.” (Ex 23:20). What is the place God has prepared for us? It is heaven. The angels minister to us in order to bring us to the fullness of salvation as God intends. “Are they not all ministering spirits sent to serve, for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (Heb 1:14).

We go as warriors, to bring back Satan’s captives. Even just one angel is powerful. When King Hezekiah of Israel cried out to God for help against King Sennacherib of Assyria, God sent just one angel. What did the angel do? “That night the angel of the Lord went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp.” (2 Kgs 19:35a). We go forth into battle, not only with one angel, but with an angelic host, “the armies of heaven” (Rev 19:14a).

So be not afraid. We are empowered to witness, to help bring all to salvation. We are warriors!

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