The Holy Gospel according to John (1:47-51)
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Reflection: Today is the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels. This is a special day for me personally. My father-in-law, Martha’s father, died on this day over 40 years ago. My sister died on this day 7 years ago. I believe the archangels escorted them both to heaven on the day they died. This is part of the funeral liturgy when we pray, “May the angels lead you into paradise.” Over my career as a police officer, I would also attend a “Blue Mass” for law enforcement officers and support personnel. St. Michael the archangel is the patron saint for law enforcement officers. My middle name is Miguel, which is Michael in Spanish.
In today’s liturgy, we celebrate angels, who are God’s messengers to us. All three of the archangels are mentioned in the Scriptures. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael have traditionally held special roles in salvation history as agents of God who minister to human beings. Michael defends us in the battle against evil and Satan and whenever we experience temptation. Gabriel helped our Blessed Mother Mary to trust in God’s promise and calmed her fears by telling her, ““Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Raphael guided Tobias and healed his father. We know that the archangels are always ready to help us whenever we ask them.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls Nathanael a true child of Israel. By saying there was no duplicity in him, Jesus knew that Nathanael was an honest, trustworthy and holy man. Nathanael began to follow Jesus when he made his profession of faith in Jesus, calling him the Son of God and King of Israel.
As we reflect on this Gospel, will Jesus say the same things to us that he said about Nathanael? Will Jesus say to us that he finds no deceit in us, that we are honest, trustworthy and trying to live holy lives?.
Action of the Day: God still loves us in spite of our sinfulness, which makes us loved sinners. Because of sin, at times we have deceit in our hearts and in our actions. In our prayer, ask Our Lord for the grace to be more aware of the angels around us, and to take away our duplicity and ask for forgiveness and the grace to be holy.