October 2, 2012 - Memorial of the Guardian Angels

Exodus 23.20-23
Psalm 91.1-2, 3-4ab, 4c-6, 10-11 Resp. 11
Matthew 18.1-5, 10

It is very foolish to say, “I will pray directly to God rather than go through one of the saints.” In the economy of salvation, the direct action is less efficient than the indirect. God, wishing to protect us weak humans from the powerful forces of evil that surround us, has created angels with the simple task of guarding us. Angels are very powerful creatures, far stronger and far more intelligent than we are. Angels are capable of knowing the mysteries of the universe and can stop the sun in the sky, but then they are tasked with guarding humans, protecting us from evil though we constantly sin and undermine their efforts. But this is how things are in the Kingdom of God. The strongest serve the weak.

On earth, we do everything backwards: the weak serve the strong, but in the Kingdom of God, logic prevails. Why should the weak carry the strong, when the strong are the ones able to carry and the weak are the ones in need of help? In this world, the poor support the rich, but in the Kingdom of God, the rich have their riches in order to provide for the poor. If things were they way we take for granted in this world, we would serve the angels, but instead the angels serve us, not because we are greater but because we are weak and in need of their help. In this world, we respect a person or dismiss them based on how powerful they are. Imagine if we could see the angels who guard each person! It would be impossible to despise them when such beautiful, powerful, intelligent creatures are devoted to them.

Why do we try to be rich and powerful and ready to defend ourselves? If we could see our guardians who are ready to care for us! Every angel who speaks to a human says, “Be not afraid.” This is what they have been longing to say as they watch us fearfully stumble in this world. If we could only see them and the whole spectacle of the supernatural taking place around us, we would forget the useless things of this world, like who gets to have the most dead trees and shiny dirt. They protect us because God loves us, and they love God. So we need to become guardian angels too, caring for people whom God loves, who are weak and in need of our help.