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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Michael The Archangel (Holy Warriors Part 71)

Feasts of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

Today’s readings:

Revelation 12:7-12

Psalm 138:1-5

John 1:47-51

Of the three Archangels whose feast the Church celebrates today, Michael is the most important for us as MFC. This is not to downgrade the other two, as what they represent is also crucial for our overall life and mission. Gabriel is connected with the Annunciation, and we are called to defend family and life. Raphael is connected with intercession, healing and exorcism, and we are called to prayer/intercession, the work of total human liberation, and the assault on evil spirits.

But as holy warriors currently engaged in brutal spiritual war, we look to Michael. When war broke out in heaven, due to the rebellion of Lucifer against God, Michael was the one who did battle and defeated the dragon and its angels (Rev 12:7-8). The dragon is the ancient serpent (Rev 12:9a), which is the same serpent that deceived Adam and Eve in Eden. This serpent “who is called the Devil and Satan,” has also “deceived the whole world” (Rev 12:9b). Satan, who is the father of lies, continues today to deceive the whole world. He is “the accuser of our brothers …. who accuses them before our God day and night.” (Rev 12:10c).

At that time, Michael defeated the huge dragon in heaven. On earth, Jesus has defeated Satan through the cross. Through the cross, “now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed.” (Rev 12:10b). How does this salvation come about specifically for people? Through the work of evangelization, by which this good news is proclaimed, and those who hear come to faith in Jesus. This is the work of evangelizers in defeating the enemy today. “They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Rev 12:11a).

Now this spiritual war goes on, even more savagely than ever. The head of the ancient serpent has been crushed, but its tail still swings and brings many to ruin and spiritual death. In fact, since the thrashing of its tail will come to an end, the devil is even more determined to get more souls. Many are still perishing. “But woe to you, earth and sea, for the Devil has come down to you in great fury, for he knows he has but a short time.” (Rev 12:12b).

So this is the situation we are in today. We as MFC, an evangelistic and missionary community, which is the Army of Mary, are to engage the enemy. The enemy in turn wars against Mary and us. “Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.” (Rev 12:17). We are the rest of Mary’s offspring, aside from Jesus. As those who keep God’s commandments are those who are holy, and those who bear witness to Jesus are those who are his warriors, we are holy warriors.

Now when Michael defeated the ancient serpent, he “and his angels battled against the dragon.” (Rev 12:7b). There were also angels on the enemy side, as “the dragon and its angels fought back.” (Rev 12:7c). When the dragon “was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it” (Rev 12:9c), those angels became demons. So today the war rages between angels and demons.

Satan and the demons are spiritual beings, more powerful than we human beings. But on our side we have Michael and his angels, who already defeated this same enemy. These angels are here to accompany us, protecting us and fighting with us. When we pray, they are there, as David said, “in the presence of the angels to you I sing.” (Ps 138:1b). If only we could see them, as Jesus told Nathanael: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (Jn 1:51).

We cannot see the angels, but they are there. When Jesus was doing his ministry on earth, these angels were constantly moving back and forth between heaven and earth, between the Father and His Son. They are still doing so today, keeping us constantly connected with God in heaven, as we do Jesus’ work on earth.

In our struggle on earth, as the Church Militant, the angels and the saints, the Church Triumphant in heaven, are cheering us on. If we are faithful to our call, we can say to them, “Therefore, rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them.” (Rev 12:12a). And we too can rejoice on earth, because we are privileged to be Jesus’ and Mary’s holy warriors, with our commanding general as St Michael the Archangel.

St Michael the Archangel, our protector against the devil, and the Prince of the heavenly host, defend us in battle.

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