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

Homily for September 29, 2022 – The Feast of St. Michael and all angels

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO

The Feast of St. Michael and all angels

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, John 1: 47-51

Today’s feast is a challenge for people who have to see to believe and have to touch to comprehend. Being created spirits, angels cannot be heard, touched, or seen. We are so geo-technically oriented that we cannot wrap our brains around anything that lies beyond our empirical world. Not only that, but many people have also stopped believing in God. This makes the whole concept of divine providence irrelevant to many. I often tell my atheist friends that God does not need their belief in him to exist. The existence of spiritual beings tells us that there are Extraterrestrial Beings, but they are not aliens to our created reality. I guess one could say, it is not they who have to call home, but we. Home is where the heart is. God sends his angels to accompany us along the path that leads to our heavenly home.

Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
—But who is that on the other side of you?
(T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland)

Today’s feast reminds us that we are not orphans and that we have a Father who loves and awaits our homecoming. Robert Frost penned these wonderful words about home. “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Keep in mind that our home is in heaven (CF. Phil. 3:20). The celebration of Michael and the angels tells us more about us than about the heavenly host. The scriptures tell us how the angels surround the throne of God. Human beings, however, having been made sons and daughters of God in the Son are near the Father’s heart (CF Jn. 1:18). The Psalmist wrestled with this. “When I look at your heavens, the work of your hands… what is man that you are mindful of him… yet you have made him a little lower the angels and crowned him with glory and honor” (Ps. 8: 3, 4, 5). We who are creatures of dust are called to join the heavenly hosts in offering hymns of praise to the Divine Majesty. Through Christ, we commune with the heavenly hosts. In our risen and ascended Lord, things in heaven and things on earth are reconciled and brought together. May all God’s works worship him.

“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him,
we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.
Amen.”