Memorial of the holy Guardian Angels
Today Fr Paul reads from Matthew’s Gospel (18:1-5, 10) in which Jesus uses the example of a little child to explain entry into the kingdom of heaven.
Fr Pauls begins his reflection by returning to the last lines of the Gospel when Jesus says, ‘For I tell you, their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my father in heaven’ because, today, we celebrate the feast of the holy Guardian Angels. In times past, this celebration was on the same day as the feast of St Michael, the Archangel, who we remembered this week on 29 September. In 1411, in Valencia, the celebration of a separate feast for the Guardian Angels started. As we celebrate this memorial of the Angels, we are reminded that Christ himself refers, and there are a number of references in the scriptures, to the angels.
Fr Paul, as he has done on previous occasions, quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Paragraph 336 in the section regarding angels in the life of the Church):
‘From infancy to death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading each of them to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and all those united in God.’
Fr Paul says there are some very beautiful images, not only spoken of by Jesus himself, but also in this teaching of the Church. In this particular paragraph, we hear the words of St Basil, ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading each of them to life’.
Today’s feast reminds us that God cares for each and every individual; that there is an angel standing beside us as protector and shepherd; and, that we are always under the watchful care and intercession of our Guardian Angel. These are very comforting images, says Fr Paul, especially when we feel tempted, or when we feel down or depressed, or in those times when we feel we are completely alone.
Fr Paul invites us, on this memorial, to remember that standing beside us always is our angel and (mindful of the words of the gospel) that angel is continually in the presence of the Father in heaven. He says this just demonstrates just how much God loves us.
As we reflect today on our Guardian Angel, through their intercession we place our needs before God.