Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels
(Revelation 12:7-12ab; John 1:47-51)
Pope St. Gregory the Great reminds us that angels are spirits by nature and angels only by their function as messengers. Angels are not actually angels when they are not on a mission from God. What do they do in the meantime? They enjoy the presence of God.
Today the Church celebrates three angels that are mentioned by name in Scripture. Michael is cited in the Book of Revelation as the hero of the war against the Satan, who is called the Dragon. Gabriel is the best known of the trio as he appears twice in the Gospel according to Luke. First, he announces the birth of John the Baptist to his father Zechariah. Then, he tells Mary that she will be the mother of Jesus. Raphael accompanies Tobias on his journey to his father’s relative house. There the young man marries the previously ill-fated Raguel with the blessing of his spiritual companion.
All three angels represent God’s mysterious splendor. We should not dismiss attention given to them because they appear as fanciful creatures. With the angels and, today, because of them, we should want to praise God. He has manifold ways to help us, and we can always count on Him.