Many of us heard this past Sunday the words of our Lord Jesus concerning that poor man, Lazarus, who was so overlooked and neglected by men in his life on earth, but who in death was taken up and carried by the holy angels to Abraham’s bosom. It is a timely text as we celebrate the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels this week (Thursday, 29 September), and as we and the whole Church on earth live under the Cross in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection.
The Lord our God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, delights in love to serve and care for His Creation through His creatures, and the holy angels are a prime example of that divine mercy. He gives them charge over us, to guard us and keep us in all our ways, and I suspect that each of us could think of times when we were spared from mortal harm and danger by the miraculous intervention of the angels. Normally they work more quietly “behind the scenes,” averting tragedies on the right and on the left without our awareness. But we rightly give all thanks and praise to God for providing such protection.
Even more urgent than the care and protection of our mortal bodies in this life on earth, the Lord’s holy angels also guard and keep our bodies and souls in the health and safety of the one true faith in Christ Jesus. This they do chiefly by preserving the Church and Ministry of the Gospel, even in the midst of so many and so great dangers on all sides. Similarly, as an angel of the Lord directed the deacon Philip to the Ethiopian Eunuch on the road to Gaza, and as an angel of God directed the centurion Cornelius to seek out the Apostle Peter for the preaching of the Gospel to his household, so do the holy angels guide the children of God to seek the Lord in the preaching and administration of His Holy Gospel. And by those ways and means we also are borne to Abraham’s bosom through the grace of God in Christ.
Into Your hands we commend ourselves, O Lord, our bodies and souls and all things; let Your holy angels be with us, that the evil foe may have no power over us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.