Memory of the Church

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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

Revelation 12,7-12

And now war broke out in heaven, when Michael with his angels attacked the dragon. The dragon fought back with his angels, but they were defeated and driven out of heaven. The great dragon, the primeval serpent, known as the devil or Satan, who had led all the world astray, was hurled down to the earth and his angels were hurled down with him. Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, 'Salvation and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the accuser, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down. They have triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word to which they bore witness, because even in the face of death they did not cling to life. So let the heavens rejoice and all who live there; but for you, earth and sea, disaster is coming -- because the devil has gone down to you in a rage, knowing that he has little time left.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today the Church remembers the holy archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael and reading the book of Revelation helps us to understand their importance in God's plan of love. Revelation uses figurative language to show a fight against the dragon, the symbol of evil in all its forms, "the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil." It is the evil of division that still works in the world today, setting people against each other. As in the book of Job, he is "the accuser" who wants to test the faith of men and women. Against this evil there are the angels, whose name comes from the Greek "angelos," meaning "sent ones," who fight ceaselessly against evil and overcome it. They remind us that in the face of the force of evil, which sometimes seems so powerful, there is a force of good aroused by God's love. Their weapons are in fact "the blood of the Lamb" and the "word of the testimony" of the many disciples of Jesus who in history have faced the fight against evil by offering their lives. Today, as we remember the holy archangels, we are called to take part in this struggle with the weapons of prayer and love that they communicate to us. Each of us can be an "angel" who supports the lives of the poorest, and the good in this world.