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Wednesday, September 29, 1999

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Sts. Michael, Gabriel, & Raphael

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 or
Revelation 12:7-12
Psalm 138
John 1:47-51

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reality check

"His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire. A surging stream of fire flowed out from where He sat; thousands upon thousands were ministering to Him." —Daniel 7:9-10

Many people have a false impression of angels. They think angels are cute or sweet. This false impression contributes to a skewed view of God and of the entire plan of salvation. Many people think that life is a game and that life in Christ is nice, but not necessary.

The fact is that angels are formidable and even terrifying. The name "Michael" means "Who is like God?" This is an in-your-face challenge to repent and humble yourself. The archangel Gabriel doesn't tolerate any foolishness. When Zechariah didn't immediately believe a message from Gabriel, the archangel said to Zechariah: "Now you will be mute — unable to speak — until the day these things take place, because you have not trusted my words" (Lk 1:20). If you don't talk properly to an angel, you may not talk at all. Moreover, the archangel Raphael doesn't seem to feel any "warm fuzzies" for us. He bluntly states: "As for me, when I came to you it was not out of any favor on my part, but because it was God's will" (Tb 12:18).

Angels don't necessarily make you feel good about yourself. Rather, the true understanding of angels confronts us with reality to check us from making God in our own image and likeness, and thereby warping Christianity past recognition. Believe divine revelation about angels, tremble at God's word (Is 66:2), and know that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb 10:31), for He is a consuming Fire of love (Heb 12:29).

Prayer:  Father, on this day give me the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10).

Promise:  "I solemnly assure you, you shall see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."—Jn 1:51

Praise:  "Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. Although the dragon and his angels fought back, they were overpowered and lost their place in heaven" (Rv 12:7-8).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999