friday 02 October 2020
Holy Guardian Angels
The doctrine that every individual soul has a guardian angel is not an article of faith, but it is present in both the Old and New Testaments. As Jesus says, “see that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven always gaze on the face of my Father in heaven” Matthew 18:10-14. This feast reminds us that God cares for each of us, individually.
Entrance Antiphon Cf. Dn 3: 58
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all for ever.
O God, who in your unfathomable providence are pleased to send your holy Angels to guard us, hear our supplication as we cry to you, that we may always be defended by their protection and rejoice eternally in their company. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Job 38:1, 12-21, 40:3-5
From the heart of the tempest the Lord gave Job his answer. He said: Have you ever in your life given orders to the morning or sent the dawn to its post, telling it to grasp the earth by its edges and shake the wicked out of it, when it changes the earth to sealing clay and dyes it as a man dyes clothes; stealing the light from wicked men and breaking the arm raised to strike? Have you journeyed all the way to the sources of the sea, or walked where the Abyss is deepest? Have you been shown the gates of Death or met the janitors of Shadowland? Have you an inkling of the extent of the earth? Tell me all about it if you have! Which is the way to the home of the light, and where does darkness live? You could then show them the way to their proper places, or put them on the path to where they live! If you know all this, you must have been born with them, you must be very old by now! Job replied to the Lord: My words have been frivolous: what can I reply? I had better lay my finger on my lips. I have spoken once… I will not speak again; more than once… I will add nothing.
R/ Lead me, O Lord, in the path of life eternal.
- O Lord, you search me and you know me, you know my resting and my rising, you discern my purpose from afar. You mark when I walk or lie down, all my ways lie open to you.
- O where can I go from your spirit, or where can I flee from your face? If I climb the heavens, you are there. If I lie in the grave, you are there.
- If I take the wings of the dawn and dwell at the sea’s furthest end, even there your hand would lead me, your right hand would hold me fast.
- For it was you who created my being, knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of all your creation.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps 144:13
Alleluia, alleluia! The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds. Alleluia!
Gospel Matthew 18:1-5, 10
The disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, ‘I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, O Lord, the offerings we bring before you as we venerate your holy Angels, and graciously grant that under their constant protection, we may be delivered from present dangers and brought happily to life eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 137: 1
In the presence of the Angels I will praise you, my God.
Prayer after Communion
As you are pleased to nourish us for eternal life with so great a Sacrament, O Lord, direct us by the ministry of Angels into the way of salvation and peace. Through Christ our Lord.
There is this very beautiful prayer we recited as in the morning at rising and in the night before sleeping: “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to Whom His love, commits me here, ever this day (night), be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen”. I continue reciting this prayer daily even as an adult. The prayer assures us of the role of the angels to watch over us. Pope Francis in his homily on the 2nd of October 2014 insists, “Guardian angels exist, they are not (the fruit of) imaginative doctrine, but companions that God has placed beside us on our life’s journey”. They are always beside us with a very soft voice, reminding us to do the will of the Father with humility. Our guardian angels help to remind us of the need for us to always have a childlike attitude and humble ourselves for as Jesus explains in our Gospel passage, the least among us is the one who is great.