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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memorial of the Saint Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. The Ethiopian Church, one of the first among the African churches, venerates St. Michael as her protector.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 1,47-51

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, 'There, truly, is an Israelite in whom there is no deception.' Nathanael asked, 'How do you know me?' Jesus replied, 'Before Philip came to call you, I saw you under the fig tree.' Nathanael answered, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.' Jesus replied, 'You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You are going to see greater things than that.' And then he added, 'In all truth I tell you, you will see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending over the Son of man.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today’s liturgy remembers the Holy Archangels: Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael. Their names indicate their missions. Michael means, "Who is like God?" It is a name that indicates his power to remind people of God’s greatness, against the pride of those who want to put themselves in God’s place. In the Biblical tradition, he is the one who fights against the devil, the prince of division who is always trying to use pride to separate humanity from God. Gabriel means "God’s proclamation." He is the Angel who proclaims what the Lord is about to do. We find this Angel in the Book of Daniel and in the Gospel of Luke. He is the one who brings the good news to Zacharias in the temple of Jerusalem and to the Virgin Mary in Nazareth. Raphael means "God heals." He is the protagonist of the entire book of Tobit. He leads Tobias through impassable roads and difficult passages. He accompanies him and heals his life and the lives of his loved ones. ? As summarized in the Letter to the Hebrews, in the biblical tradition angels: "are spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation" (1:14). To them God entrusts the task of communicating his will. It is true that Paul reminds us that "there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human" (1 Tim 2:5), but nonetheless the Churches attest to the role of these messengers of God in the history of salvation. Either way, they assure us of God’s constant presence at our side. Moreover, they celebrate a continuous liturgy in God’s presence in heaven, which believers join each time they celebrate the Mass, proclaiming God, thrice Holy. ?And with his words to Nathanael, Jesus reveals a great truth to us today. He really is the only mediator between God and humanity. He is the one who opened heaven once and for all. Through him, the Angels descend to bring every heavenly gift to men and women. Through him the Angels climb into heaven to present to God every request for grace, blessing, and salvation. They are effective, and mysteriously at work, in the prayer that we address to the Lord every day. "Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." The Angels are then ministers of the Lord Jesus. Ministers of his grace, his truth, and his glory. Ministers of his love for men and women. Ministers of comfort and consolation. Ministers who are called to accompany men and women on their journey to heaven. With their "ascending and descending" they testify to the constant presence of the Lord in our lives. Therefore the fear that can arise in believers when faced with the randomness and the dark forces of nature is out of place. The Lord does not abandon us. God surrounds us with his angels so that nothing can take us away from Him and to the power of the forces of evil.

Memory of the Church