THE ANGELS -Homily
September 29, 2013
from the Catechism of Catholic Church,
The Existence of Angels - A Truth of Faith
existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually
calls "angels" is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as
clear as the unanimity of Tradition.
Who are they?
Augustine says: "'Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature.
If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit'; if you seek the name of
their office, it is 'angel': from what they are, 'spirit', from what they do,
'angel.'" With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers
of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who is in
heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the
voice of his word".
330 As purely
spiritual creatures, angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal
creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendour of
their glory bears witness.
Christ "with all his angels"
331 Christ is
the centre of the angelic world. They are his angels: "When the Son of man
comes in his glory, and all the angels with him. . " They belong to
him because they were created through and for him: "for in him all things
were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or
dominions or principalities or authorities - all things were created through
him and for him." They belong to him still more because he has made
them messengers of his saving plan: "Are they not all ministering spirits
sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?"
have been present since creation and throughout the history of salvation,
announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of
the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise; protected Lot; saved Hagar
and her child; stayed Abraham's hand; communicated the law by their ministry;
led the People of God; announced births and callings; and assisted the
prophets, just to cite a few examples. Finally, the angel Gabriel
announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself.
333 From the
Incarnation to the Ascension, the life of the Word incarnate is surrounded by
the adoration and service of angels. When God "brings the firstborn into
the world, he says: 'Let all God's angels worship him.'" Their song
of praise at the birth of Christ has not ceased resounding in the Church's
praise: "Glory to God in the highest!" They protect Jesus in his
infancy, serve him in the desert, strengthen him in his agony in the garden,
when he could have been saved by them from the hands of his enemies as Israel
had been. Again, it is the angels who "evangelize" by
proclaiming the Good News of Christ's Incarnation and Resurrection. They
will be present at Christ's return, which they will announce, to serve at his judgement.
The Angels in the Life of the Church
334 In the
meantime, the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and
powerful help of angels.
335 In her
liturgy, the Church joins with the angels to adore the thrice-holy God… she
celebrates the memory of certain angels more particularly (St. Michael, St.
Gabriel, St. Raphael, and the guardian angels).
infancy to death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and
intercession. "Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and
shepherd leading him to life. "Already here on earth the Christian life
shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.”
Let this not
surprise you, the fact that He sent angels to your service. God sent himself to
your service, and gave himself to you as your food and as your heritage.
surprised; rather be amazed and reverent, because they are superior to you by
nature and by grace. By nature, because they are more perfect and powerful. By
grace, because they already see God face to face.
God wanted us
to be in a world in which the bad angels tempt us and the good ones help us, so
that we may see how powerful he is to defend us, and how good he is in putting
so perfect creatures at our service.
He wanted to
deliver us from such great enemies, and make us conquerors over them.
the angels to be, so that Christ during his earthly life could be served by
the angels to exist, to make more beautiful our triumphal entrance to the glory
of heaven, or rather the entrance of Christ and ours. –Fr.