Posted by: RAM | September 28, 2016

Thursday (September 29): “You will see the angels of God”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of Our Lady of Sorrows
Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels
87 Days Before Christmas
Thursday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 647

First Reading: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Psalms 138:1-5:  In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.
Gospel: John 1:47-51
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
“Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael answered him,
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this.”
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see heaven opened
and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/092916.cfm

Reflection:  What would you give to see beyond the visible – to “see heaven opened and to behold the angels” who stand in God’s presence? When Philip brought his friend Nathanael to see Jesus, Jesus did the unthinkable! He brought revelation to Nathanael – revelation of how God looks at each one of us in the very depths of our hearts and invites us into intimate communion with him in his heavenly court. Nathanael was very startled that Jesus could know him and understand what was in his heart even before Nathanael had the opportunity to speak with Jesus.

God’s word brings blessing and refreshment for those who reflect on it
What is the significance of Jesus’ revelation of seeing Nathanael “under the fig tree”? For the people of Israel, the fig tree was a symbol of God’s peace and blessing (1 Kings 4:24b-25, Micah 4:4). It provided shade from the midday sun and a cool refreshing place to retreat, pray, and reflect on God’s word. Rabbis often gathered their disciples under the shade of the fig to teach them the wisdom and revelation of God from the Scriptures. The rabbis had an expression for comparing the fig tree to being nourished with God’s word in Scripture, “He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit.”

Jesus offers the greatest gift possible – peace and friendship with God
It is very likely that Nathanial had been thinking about God “under his fig tree” and reflecting on God’s promise in the Scriptures to send a Messiah King who would free his people from sin and oppression and usher in God’s kingdom of righteousness and peace for the whole world. Perhaps Nathanael dozed off for a midday nap and dreamt of God’s kingdom like Jacob had dreamt when God gave him a vision of a great ladder which united earth with heaven (see Genesis 28:12-17). Through the gift of revelation Nathanael recognized that Jesus was truly the Messiah, the everlasting “Son of God and King of Israel” (John 1:49).  The Lord Jesus offered to Nathanael the greatest gift possible – the gift of friendship with God and free access to God’s throne in heaven.

Jesus promises that we will dwell with the living God
What does Jesus mean when he says “you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man”? One of the most remarkable revelations recorded in the bible is the dream of Jacob (Genesis 28:12-17). God had opened a door for Jacob that brought him and his people into a new relationship with the living God. In Jacob’s dream God revealed his angelic host and showed him the throne of heaven and promised Jacob that he and his descendants would dwell with the living God.

God’s angels serve us
Who are the angels and why do they intervene between heaven and earth? The Scriptures tell us the angels are God’s servants and messengers.“They are the mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word” (Psalm 103:20). The angels belong to Christ and were created for and through him (Colossians 1:16). The Letter to the Hebrews speaks of the role of the angels in God’s plan of salvation: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14)

God’s angels watch over us as his guardians
The angels are not only messengers but protectors and guardians as well. “For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all yours ways”(Psalm 91:11). We are not alone in our struggle against sin and evil in the world. The armies of heaven fight for us and with us in the spiritual battle for our hearts, minds, and wills. Do you know the peace and security of a life submitted to God and to his way of peace and happiness?

Jesus, the Son of God, unites earth and heaven in himself 
Jesus’ response to Nathanael’s new faith is the promise that Jesus himself will be the “ladder which unites earth with heaven.” Jesus proclaims that he is the fulfillment of the promise made to the Patriarch Jacob and his descendants. Jesus is the true ladder or stairway to heaven. In Jesus’ incarnation, the divine Son of God taking on human flesh for our sake, we see the union of heaven and earth – God making his dwelling with us and bringing us into the heavenly reality of his kingdom through his Son Jesus.

Jesus gives us free access to God’s presence
Jesus’ death on the cross, where he defeated sin and won new life for us through his resurrection, opens the way for each of us to come into a new relationship with God as his adopted sons and daughters. The Lord Jesus opens the way for each one of us to “ascend to heaven” and to bring “heaven to earth” in the daily circumstances of our lives. God’s kingdom is present in those who seek him and who strive to do his will. Through the gift of faith God opens a door for each one of us to the heavenly reality of his kingdom. Do you see with the “eyes of faith” what the Lord Jesus has done for us?

“Heavenly Father, through your Son Jesus Christ, you have opened the way to heaven for us. As you revealed yourself to your beloved patriarchs and apostles, so reveal yourself to me that I may recognize your presence with me and know the power of your kingdom at work in my life. May I always find joy in your presence and never lose sight of your kingdom.” http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/sep29.htm  www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2016 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Michael the Archangel, Patron of grocers, soldiers, doctors, mariners, paratroopers, police, and sickness
Saint Michael the Archangel isn’t a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title “Archangel” means, that he is above all the others in rank.

St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we know from scripture and Christian tradition.

  • The first is to combat Satan.
  • The second is to escort the faithful to heaven at their hour of death.
  • The third is to be a champion of all Christians, and the Church itself.
  • And the fourth is to call men from life on Earth to their heavenly judgment.

Very little is known about St Michael other than what we know from scriptures, which themselves are sparse.

In Daniel, St. Michael is mentioned twice. The first time as one who helped Daniel, and the second time he is mentioned with regard to the end times of the world when he will stand for the “children of thy people.”

His next mention comes in the Epistle of St. Jude, where St. Michael is said to guard the tombs of Moses and Eve and has contended with Satan over the body of Moses.

The final mention is in Revelation, where St. Michael and his angels, do battle with the dragon.

There are other scriptures where St. Michael is implied, but not mentioned by name, such as the angel; who defends the gate to Paradise, who defends against Balaam, and “who routed the army of Sennacherib.”

Today, St. Michael is invoked for protection, especially from lethal enemies. He is also the patron of soldiers, police and doctors. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=231

More Saints of the Day
St. Dadas
St. Eutychius
St. Fraternus
St. Gabriel, the Archangel
St. Gabriella
St. Garcia
St. Grimoaldus
St. Gudelia
St. Liutwin
St. Ludwin
St. Michael the Archangel
Bl. Miguel de Aozaraza
St. Quiriacus
St. Raphael
St. Rhipsime
Bl. Richard Rolle de Hampole
St. Theodota

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito Manila, Philippines

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