Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gospel Reflection

October 02, 2012
Guardian Angels (Memorial)
by Rev.Fr. Joseph Feng (Spiritual Director and Orientationer, Lorenzo Mission Institute)
Lunch Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord

Reading 1 Jb 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23

Job opened his mouth and cursed his day. Job spoke out and said: Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, "The child is a boy!" Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Or why was I not buried away like an untimely birth, like babes that have never seen the light? Wherefore did the knees receive me? or why did I suck at the breasts?

For then I should have lain down and been tranquil; had I slept, I should then have been at rest With kings and counselors of the earth who built where now there are ruins Or with princes who had gold and filled their houses with silver. There the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest.

Why is light given to the toilers, and life to the bitter in spirit? They wait for death and it comes not; they search for it rather than for hidden treasures, Rejoice in it exultingly, and are glad when they reach the grave: Those whose path is hidden from them, and whom God has hemmed in!

Responsorial Psalm Ps 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8

R. (3) Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
O LORD, my God, by day I cry out;
at night I clamor in your presence.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my call for help.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
For my soul is surfeited with troubles
and my life draws near to the nether world.
I am numbered with those who go down into the pit;
I am a man without strength.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
My couch is among the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom you remember no longer
and who are cut off from your care.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
You have plunged me into the bottom of the pit,
into the dark abyss.
Upon me your wrath lies heavy,
and with all your billows you overwhelm me.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.

Gospel Mt 18:1-5, 10

The disciples approached Jesus and said, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?" He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."


In one of the comprehensive exams before a seminarian graduates from college, I was a panelist who gave them an exam. In one panel, I asked one of the seminarians - Do angels have wings ? Can they fly? My student answered "Yes, Father". He said that in our church, they portrayed angels with wings. For children yes, angels have wings, but for us adults, we should understand that angels are pure spirits. They do not have wings, but they can go anywhere they want. Angels are sent by God for a mission; they are ministering spirits. They have a function in the plan of God.

Last September 29, we celebrated the Feast of the three Archangels, - Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. When we talk about angels, they are equal in dignity, but they have different functions and roles, and deliver different messages. The Archangels are considered to deliver messages of greater importance, while those who have roles of a lesser degree are called angels.

Today, we are celebrating the Feast of the Guardian Angels. Compared to the Archangels, our guardian angels were sent to us by God from the moment of our conception in our mother's womb. God already assigned an angel to us - to protect us, to warn and defend us, to guide us to the way of God. God loves us so much that God has given us His presence through the angels. God has given us our conscience, which is the dwelling place of our hearts, and God sent our guardian angel to take care of us, to guard us away from sin.

In the First Reading and the Gospel today, we can see that our angels are always in God's presence, to present us in front of God. Our guardian angel prays on our behalf. That is why even if we find ourselves exposed to dangerous situations or occasions of sin, our angels guard us that we may turn away from sin, and also be protected from the dangers around us.  

Let us be aware of God's presence through our guardian angels. We should invoke the help of our guardian angels to protect us from all dangers, and that we may be less put into temptation. We should invoke their help so that we may rely on God more ardently.

And as we are guided and defended by our guardian angels, we should also remember to be guardian angels to one another. Now, we are also called to be a guardian angel to others - not to be served, but to serve, to protect others, to teach and guide others toward God. I see that all parents are the guardian angels of their children.  

From 2004 to 2008, I took care of an old monsignor priest, who was diabetic and also broke his hip bone. I bought him all his medicines and visited him in his room to administer his medicines. I took him and assisted him in his breakfast, lunch and dinner, and accompanied him for the last six years of his life. He was very devoted to God and to Mama Mary. And you know - every time there is an occasion, Monsignor will always get something - a piece of cake - and will reserve it for me. And when the seminarians asked why, Monsignor will say, "This is for Father Joseph, because he is my angel". On one of my birthdays, even if he was already 80 plus years old, he asked his caretaker to put him on a wheelchair so that he can attend my celebration. He joined the community and he sang a song for me. I was very touched. I realized that if Monsignor saw me as his angel, he was, in fact, my angel in many ways. I love him and will always remember him.

I am sharing this with you to remind you, that you and I should be guardian angels to another - to serve, to care and defend each other. In the Gospel, one quality was mentioned. To be an angel is to be childlike - dependent on God. If I am a sinner, I cannot bring people to God. If I am constantly in the state of sin, I don't know where I am leading people to. The Gospel reminds us to strive to be holy, as our Heavenly Father is Holy. We should have childlike trust in God. Like our guardian angels sent by God, let us love and serve one another, as you and I have been sent to be angels to one another.

Holy Guardian Angels – Guide us and Defend us
Holy Guardian Angels – Pray for us

You may also want to see: A Holy Life - Guardian Angels

A Holy Life

Guardian Angels
Feast day – October 02

God does not abandon to what we call chance, any of His creatures. By His essence and providence He is everywhere present; not a sparrow falls to the ground, nor a hair from our heads, without His consent. He is not content, however, with assisting His creation daily and at every moment, with sustaining His handiwork, which without His continuous support would return to dust. His divine and infinite Love, not only maintaining the existence which He gives and perpetuates in living beings, has charged His Holy Angels with the ministry of watching and safeguarding each one of His rational creatures.
The Angels, divided into nine hierarchies, have varied obligations. Their intelligence and prudence are penetrating like the beam of a lighthouse; so it appears even when we compare it to the best of human intelligences, which are like the light of a little candle in contrast. An Angel, visualizing an end to be attained, sees instantly the means necessary to achieve it, whereas we must pray, study, deliberate, inquire, and choose during many phases of effort, in order to reach our proposed ends.
Kingdoms have their Angels assigned to them; dignitaries of the Church and of the world have more than one Angel to guide them; and every child who enters into the world receives a Guardian Angel. Our Lord says in the Gospel: Beware lest you scandalize any of these little ones, for their Angels in heaven behold the face of My Father. Thus the existence of Guardian Angels is a dogma of the Christian faith, based on Holy Scripture itself.


Sources for this article were taken from: Lives of the Saints http://magnificat.ca



Angel of God, My guardian dear
To Whom His love, Commits me here
Ever this day, Be at my side
To light and guard,To rule and guide
From sinful stain, O keep me free
And at death’s hour, My Helper be.


Holy Guardian Angels - pray for us