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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

October 2nd: Guardian Angels

Gospel text (Mt 18,1-5.10): At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, «Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?». Then Jesus called a little child, set the child in the midst of the disciples, and said, «I assure you that unless you change and become like little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes lowly like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and whoever receives such a child in my name receives me. See that you do not despise any of these little ones, for I tell you: their angels in heaven continually see the face of my heavenly Father».

«Their angels in heaven continually see the face of my heavenly Father»

Dr. Antoni PUJALS i Ginabreda (Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we celebrate the memory of the Guardian Angels. For a long time, Sadducees and Pharisees had been struggling over the question whether angels existed or not; Sadducees said angels were nothing but chimeras and ignorant fancies.

But Jesus, as in passing, decided to clarify the doctrine leaving no doubts. «Then Jesus called a little child, set the child in the midst of the disciples, and said (...). See that you do not despise any of these little ones, for I tell you: their angels in heaven continually see the face of my heavenly Father» (Mt 19:2-3.10). The existence of the angels «is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition» (Catechism of the Church, n. 328).

—O Jesus, I have never doubted the existence of angels. When I was a child, my mother used to remind it to me when going out to school. And he guided my steps until becoming a priest. The Catechism, again, teaches us: «From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life’ (St. Basil)» (Catechism of the Church, n. 336).

St. Josemaría advocates having not only a devotion to our Guardian angel but also our friendship: «Have confidence in your guardian Angel. Treat him as a lifelong friend —that is what he is— and he will render you a thousand services in the ordinary affairs of each day».

—I often ask for his help and he has never neglected me: «You are amazed that your guardian Angel has done you such obvious favors. And you should not be amazed: that's why our Lord has placed him beside you». And when I am walking in the street I think: this one perhaps does not realize he has an angel next to him. Angel, help him! Another quote from St. Josemaria: «Get into the habit of praying to the Guardian Angel of each person you are following up».

Anyway, «In the meantime, the whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels», the Catechism of the Church (n. 334) tells us. —How many motives do I have to thank God and his Mother, Our Lady Queen of the Angels!

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