29th of September (English)

Publié le 28 Septembre 2017

Gospel text (Jn 1,47-51): 

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming, He said of him, «Here comes an Israelite, a true one; there is nothing false in him». Nathanael asked him, «How do you know me?». And Jesus said to him, «Before Philip called you, you were under the fig tree and I saw you». Nathanael answered, «Master, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!». But Jesus replied, «You believe because I said: ‘I saw you under the fig tree’. But you will see greater things than that. Truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man».

 

The Application

 

The Angels have being the messengers and executers of the will of the Father. They play an important role in mediating between God and the humanity. Though I haven’t seen or witnessed, I simply believe, since it is biblical.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers

The Lord of Angels, by John Chrysostom (347-407 AD)

"Do you see how he [Jesus] leads him [Nathanael] up little by little from the earth and causes him no longer to imagine him as merely a man? For one to whom angels minister and on whom angels ascend and descend, how could he be a man? This is why he said, 'You shall see greater things than these.' And to prove this, he introduces the ministry of angels. What he means is something like this: Does this, O Nathanael, seem to you a great matter, and have you for this confessed me to be King of Israel? What then will you say when you see 'angels ascending and descending on me'? He persuades him by these words to receive him as Lord also of the angels. For on him as on the king's own son, the royal ministers ascended and descended, once at the season of the crucifixion, again at the time of the resurrection and the ascension, and before this also, when they 'came and ministered to him' (Matthew 4:11). They also ascended and descended when they proclaimed the good news of his birth and cried, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace' (Luke 2:14), when they came to Mary and also when they came to Joseph... Our Lord made the present a proof of the future. After the powers he had already shown, Nathanael would readily believe that much more would follow." (excerpt from the Homilies On the Gospel of John 21.1)

«You will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man»

+ Cardinal Jorge MEJÍA Archivist and Librarian of Holy Roman Church 
(Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, in the feast of the Saints Archangels, Jesus manifests to his Apostles and to everybody else, the presence of his angels and their relation with him. They are in the Lord's celestial glory, where they perennially exalt the Son of man, who is the Son of God. They surround him and are at his service.

This «Ascending and descending» reminds us of the episode of the Patriarch Jacob, who, while sleeping over a stone, on his trip to the dwelling land of his ancestors (Mesopotamia), he had the vision of the angels “descending and ascending” by a mysterious ladder which reached from earth to heaven, and of Yahweh renewing to him the glorious promises which He had made to Abraham and Isaac. We should notice the relation between the divine communication and the active presence of the angels.

Gabriel, Michael and Raphael appear, thus, in the Bible witnessing men's earthly vicissitudes and bringing them —as St. Gregory the Great tells us— with their presence and their own deeds, those communications that can definitely change our lives. They are precisely named “archangels”, that is, princes of the angels, because they are sent to the greatest missions.

Gabriel is sent to announce to the Blessed Virgin Mary the virginal conception of the Son of God (cf. Lk 1:28-30). Michael fights against the rebel angels who are cast out from Heaven (cf. Rev 12). He announces, thus, the mystery of his divine justice, which is also exerted against those rebelling angels, while assuring us of his victory —and ours too— over the Evil. Raphael accompanies the young Tobias, protects and advises him, and, finally, heals his father (cf. Tob). This way, we are told of the presence of angels beside each one of us: the angel we name the Guardian angel.

Let us learn from this celebration of the archangels “ascending and descending” upon the Son of man, that they serve God, but they serve him for our sake. They glorify the Holy Trinity, and they do it while serving us. And, consequently, we realize how much devotion we owe them and how grateful we should also be to the Father who sends them for our own good.

 

Rédigé par JOHNBOSCO

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