September 29, 2019
Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
THE HOLY ANGELS
This week I would like to write on an important truth of our Catholic faith, the Holy Angels. I do so because Wednesday is the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels (October 2nd) and today (September 29th) is the Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Each Sunday when we come to Holy Mass (may God reward you for doing so) we pray the Nicene Creed or the Profession of Faith. This prayer goes back to the year 325 and we should all rejoice in the fact that we profess the same faith that our ancestors have professed for centuries before us. In fact, many in our Church today may count among their ancestors the Holy Martyrs who shed their blood for the faith which we now profess.
Each week we say that I believe in One God, the Father almighty maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. What is meant by the phrase invisible? We know that God Our Lord has made everything that we see…all the animals, plants, and minerals of the visible order. But he has also created a vast creation that is invisible, that we cannot see. This is the order of the Angels.
Angels are intelligent creatures of the spiritual order. They do not have bodies and thus do not change. They are pure intelligence. They are purely spiritual and thus are invisible. That angels exist we are certain. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament speak constantly of the presence and work of the angels. God promised Moses that he need not fear about leading the Chosen People from Egypt, because My angel will go before you. And it was the Holy Angels who ministered to Our Divine Savior during His fast of forty days in the desert.
Since the Angels are pure spirits without a body they may not be seen. The Holy Angels are invisible but when God gives them a mission on earth they appear in a visible form. Often they are seen as young men as they were at the tomb of Our Lord on the first Easter morning. In art they are pictured with wings simply to remind us of how they may travel in speed from one place to another. Since the angels cannot change, they were not given the grace of the redemption as was the human race. The wonder of our glorious human nature is that we can change; we can repent. The angels cannot change and thus once they chose between Good and evil their choice was final. The devils are angels, but evil, who are forever in rebellion against the goodness of God.
To each of us has God assigned a Guardian Angel. The guardian angel is our dearest friend who inspires us with good thoughts and protects us both in body and soul. Not only do individuals have angels but God has assigned guardian angels to protect cities, villages, nations and parishes. (Please pardon the personal reference,). On April 29, 2013, I arrived for the first time at St. Paul. I had been appointed Pastor only the previous week and it would be my first visit ever to St. Paul and to visit my beloved predecessor Monsignor Clerkin. Monsignor had invited me for lunch at noon (which was delicious). But I arrived at 11.30 to walk the grounds and to invoke the Guardian Angel of St. Paul’s Parish and of all our beloved parishioners, especially the Guardian Angels of our dear young people, of the sick, and of the elderly. Only then was I ready to ring the bell of the parish office. (I no longer ring the bell since I now have a key).
May I encourage all of you to be on intimate and friendly terms with your guardian angel. The Holy Angels will do great services for us both in the material and spiritual order. Parents should invoke the Guardian Angels of their children so that the Angels may watch over and protect them. Holy Guardian Angels pray for us and protect us.
One of the great services of the Guardian Angels is that they serve as ambassadors. If we are not getting along with anyone, we should invoke the Guardian Angel of that person and ask him to sort things out. We may ask our own Guardian Angel to work in concert with the other’s Guardian Angel to make peace and relieve tension, friction, and strife.
FIRST FRIDAY ADORATION: May I remind you that Friday of this week (October 4th) is First Friday. The Most Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in the Daily Mass Chapel from 12 noon until 8.00pm at which time there will be Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. I would encourage everyone to spend some time on Friday in adoration. It is the remedy to every ill that afflicts us. No one ever leaves Our Lord’s sacred presence without a sense of peace and serenity. There is a special Holy Hour from 7PM until 8PM.
BLESSING OF ANIMALS: On Friday October 4th we celebrate the Liturgical Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi. On Saturday October 5th we will have the traditional blessing of the animals in honor of the saint who loved the animals so dearly. Please bring your animals to the lovely plaza in front of the Church at 11.00AM so the prayer of blessing may be said over all the animals.
How blessed we are that we have a statue of St. Francis in the Church. We are coming to the home stretch in the completion of the renovation. In past articles I have written about our beautiful new statues carefully explaining the identity of each one. But I am sure every Catholic knows the identity of the saints who stand with us in the nave of the Church in adoration of the Triune God. About a month ago I explained in the homily what saints are depicted here in the Church.
As has already been explained, the donor plaques as well as the Tree of Life will be displayed after the construction is completed.
LOOK TO MARY: Look to the star of the sea, call upon Mary…in danger, in distress, in doubt, think of Mary, and call upon Mary. May her name never be far from your lips, or far from your heart…If you follow her, you will not stray; if you pray to her, you will not despair; if you turn your thoughts to her, you will not err. If she holds you, you will not fall; if she protects you, you need not fear; if she is your guide, you will not tire; if she is gracious to you, you will surely reach your destination. – St. Bernard of Clairvaux
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda