To read the texts click on the texts: Ex 23:20-23; Mt 18:1-5,10
The English word Angel comes from the Hebrew ‘malakh’ or the Greek ‘ángelos’ which means messenger or envoy. The Angel is regarded as a being which bears messages from God and communicates what God wants to communicate. The Feast of the Guardian Angels is a reminder that our God is not a God who created the world and left it to its own designs, but a God who is constantly involved with and in the world. It is a reminder that when we need succour or help, we can always call on God’s angels.
The Gospel of Luke narrates how Angel Gabriel carries God’s message of birth to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist and Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the Gospel of Matthew, when speaking of the ‘little ones’ in Community, Jesus says, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven” (Mt 10:18)
The Feast was placed in the General Roman Calendar in 1607 by Pope Paul V. The papal decree establishing the feast was co-signed by Robert Bellarmine, which has led some scholars to speculate that the feast was created under the influence of the Society of Jesus.
The Gospel text for the memorial is similar to the one for the Feast of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus. However verse 10 is added and speaks of the angels of the ‘little ones’ who are constantly before the Father.
In a world where challenges constantly come our way, we need the assurance that the decisions we make are the right ones. The Feast of the Guardian Angels is a reminder that God (through the Angels) is willing to be constantly available, whenever we make a decision to turn to God.