Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael
The US Armed Forces have different service branches. These include the Army, Marines, Navy, Airforce, Space Force, and National Guard. Each of the branches has a specific purpose – there is a branch focused on domestic matters like border protection and humanitarian disasters; there is a branch that fights on land, another on water, another in the air, another in cyberspace; and another that has the capacity to operate in all these multiple spaces. Depending on the task available, trust the US Armed Forces to provide someone who is up to the task!
What is of interest, though, is that within the US Armed Forces, there is a special category of highly trained soldiers drawn from all these six branches, the best of the best, that comprise what is known as the Special Operations Forces. This category is where we have units such as the Navy Seals and the Delta Force that are only deployed for sophisticated missions such as counter-terrorism and hostage rescue. When the Special Operations Forces are deployed, you know the stakes are very high; you know the mission is very sensitive.
Today we celebrate the Feast Day of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. We Catholics deeply believe in the angels and refer to them throughout Mass and in different devotional prayers. This Feast Day reminds us that while we have different branches of angels within the army of angels, just like in the US Armed Forces, there exists a “Special Operations Unit” within God’s army of angels. These are angels sent by God on sensitive and highly sophisticated missions. They are not simply referred to as “Angels” —rather, they are referred to as “Archangels” given the high caliber of missions they are sent to by God.
Today we celebrate the three Archangels—Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Michael fought against Lucifer when Lucifer rebelled against God in heaven. Michael continues to fight our battles against Satan and his minions. The angel Gabriel is the one who announced the good news to Mary about the birth of Jesus and the salvation of the world. Gabriel continues to visit us to tell us what God is asking us to do and what God is asking us to be. The Archangel Raphael, whose name means “God Heals,” is sent to us to assist us through sickness, sorrow, and pain.
Today, we pray in gratitude to God for the gift of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. May we ask God to heighten our awareness of His daily availability and assistance to us through these Archangels. May we learn to daily turn to these Archangels in our lives and in our families for protection, for guidance, and for healing.
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