How I love these final weeks of Ordinary Time and the Feast Days that fall within them. The readings of these days give us such practical reminders of the “passing nature” of this world and re-orient us to our proper end, The Kingdom of God. Today’s Feast of the Guardian Angels is another one of those reminders.
John’s Gospel today has a great line calling to mind our God-given “end”…Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. (John 1:51) Who does not long to see the gates of heaven open to them? How can we not live in this world without that hope? It is always helpful for me to take the long-term look at today’s challenges. The long-term for believers is eternity.
My prayer today on this Feast of Guardian Angels is that the angels will continue to make the message of God known to all of God’s people. This is their role, as we are reminded by Saint Gregory the Great in the Office of Readings today:
“You should be aware that the word ‘angel’ denotes a function rather than a nature. Those holy spirits of heaven have indeed always been spirits. They can only be called angels when they deliver some message. Moreover, those who deliver messages of lesser importance are called angels; and those who proclaim messages of supreme importance are called archangels.”
We can do no better than to open our hearts and minds to the message of God. We can do no better than to incline our hearts to the will of God. We can do no better than to long for God’s Kingdom. We can do no better than to strive in this life through charity in the hope and expectation of someday entering the open gates of heaven and all that lies therein.
Happy Feast to all!