The Feast of St. Michael and all the angels
(Daniel 7: 9-10, 13-14, John 1: 47-51)
The passage from the Book of Daniel brought to mind a very familiar passage taken from the second Dialogue of Gregory the Great. “In the dead of night, Benedict beheld a flood of light shining down from above, so bright and resplendent that it not only dispersed the darkness of the night but shined more brilliantly than the sun. Upon this sight, a marvelously strange thing followed. According to his description, the whole world was gathered up before his eyes in what appeared to be a single ray of light.” (Chapter XXXV). The man of faith saw the world flooded with a heavenly light that the darkness could not overcome (CF. Jn 1:5). Like Saint Benedict, we are invited to stand at the threshold of night and turn our gaze toward the Light of Life (CF. Jn. 8:12).
Christ is the light of the world, and in him, we live and move and have our being. He who dwells in unapproachable light has clothed us in garments of glory. “For God, who spoke that light would shine out of the darkness, has dawned in our hearts that we would be enlightened with the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). Because Christ is Light from Light He is the image of the invisible God. In his light, we see light and can pass through the dark of night without fear. The Lord of Light, who is enthroned in the midst of the heavenly host has commanded his angels to protect us so we need not fear stumbling as we journey towards our heavenly homeland (CF. Ps. 91:11). His love for us is everlasting. Having been bathed in the Light of Life, we come to know ourselves as we are known. In this moment of insight, faith reveals itself as the ground of human experience.
While the world may occasionally be shrouded in darkness, the light that shines on the face of Christ overcomes the darkness. The Only-begotten Son, seated on the throne of glory, is the Moring Star who drives out the darkness of the night and ushers in the new and everlasting day. The Word, the full expression of God, who is the source of all life gives light to all who are willing to receive it. The light of glory shining on the face of Christ shines on us. The light of life has been given to us as a sacred trust. It is our task to take that light into the dark world where we can be beacons of hope.
We who have been baptized have been drawn into the community of Light that worships the Lamb who is seated upon the throne. As we contemplate the Lamb in glory we are being transformed into his image. United to the Lord of Light we are made ministers of light and provide safe refuge in a world forlorn. The Only begotten Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart has come into the world, not to condemn us for the mess we have made of our lives, but rather to give us abundant life by drawing us close to his heart.
May the Lord help us to become people of prayer and peace.
May he make us visible signs that all people can live together in love.
Being set ablaze by the Fire of Divine Love, may we become beacons of hope and welcome for the stranger, the alien, the outcast.
May he who is the Light and Life of the world bring us safely to our heavenly homeland.