- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

September 29, 2017

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael
Revelation 12: 7 – 12a; Ps 138; John 1: 47 – 51

The account of the great warfare between Michael and the angels against Satan and his angels ends in their defeat; they are hurled to the earth. Then St. John heard a loud voice in heaven proclaim: “Now have salvation and power come, the reign of our God and the authority of His Anointed One.”

The majesty, the power, the omnipotence of our God proclaimed by the loud voice could make one, anyone, so fearful of this awesome Divinity that it would be impossible, undesirable to relate to such a God – that is, if this were the only revelation of God. But it is not.

In the Gospel in Jesus meeting with Nathanael, the Lord reveals His and the Father’s majesty, power, omnipotence in the very personal encounter of “a true child of Israel” and Jesus whom Nathanael is graced to see as the “Son of God, the King of Israel.” In response to Nathanael’s confession, Jesus makes a promise that will grace his life and deepen his belief: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Will Nathanael actually see this with his eyes or will this perception be something he realizes in his heart?  There is no way of knowing and we really do not need to know.

We gather for this Eucharist with our belief in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior, our Beloved, the Son of the Father because Jesus’ promise to Nathanael is also made to us. By God’s grace, through Jesus’ faithfulness to His promises, each one of has perceived in faith the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We can truly say that the angels of God are ascending and descending on us all our lives.

Faith in the Lord Jesus and through Him to the Father and the Holy Spirit is a grace received – it is never due to our initiative. This precious grace comes from the majesty, the power, the omnipotence of God – in a word, from His love.