Late September and early October is a time when we are reminded by the Church of the importance and significance of angels. On 29 September we celebrate the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels, and on 2nd October we do the same for the memorial of The Holy Guardian Angels.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that ‘the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels’. I’m sure you all remember the dramatic intervention of the angel of the Lord in Acts 5:19-21, when the prison gates were opened and Peter and the Apostles were led out to freedom by the angel who instructed them to stand in the Temple and tell the people all about the new life in Christ.
When we consider the meaning of the names of the archangels, Michael (who is like God), Gabriel (strength of God) and Raphael (healing of God), it would be very worthwhile I think to ask them for strength and healing, and the grace to be more like Jesus Christ.
A parishioner approached me last Friday to express her gratitude for opening up the church for Sunday and weekday Masses and for the livestreaming service too. I often get thanked in this way and there’s no denying it’s nice to be appreciated. Of course, it is very much a team effort. None of what we do would be possible if it were not for the clergy team and the staff who run the parish office, the presbytery and the parish premises. May I also extend my thanks to the stewards, cleaners, altar servers and anyone else who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep things running relatively smoothly and those who are ‘out there’ supporting the sick, house-bound and the lonely in this time of pandemic restriction. Thanks also to the sterling work the SVP does in helping struggling families and individuals. Happy feast day this Sunday!
Above all I’m so very appreciative – as I’m sure we all are – of the prayers offered by so many for the well being of our parish family at this time. We should never underestimate the power of prayer. Of course, as September becomes October, we are reminded of the influence of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the recitation of the rosary.
I wish very happy and Joyous feast days to anyone who has the names Vincent, Wenceslaus, Lawrence, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Jerome or Therese as their feast days occur this week. Please don’t forget to pray for their intercession for your lives and the important decisions you have to make and directions you have to take.
Finally I leave you with St Therese of the Child Jesus who in an epiphanic moment said, “I understood, therefore, that the Church has a heart – and a heart on fire with love. I saw, too, that love alone imparts life to all the members, so that should love ever fail, apostles would no longer preach the Gospel and martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. Finally, I realised that love includes every vocation, that love is all things, that love is eternal, reaching down through the ages and stretching to the utmost limits of earth”.