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.