One Minute Reflection – 29 September – The Feast of Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Readings: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 or Apocalypse (Revelation) 12:7-12, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, Gospel: John 1:47-51
“Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and it’s angels fought back …” … Apocalypse 12:7
REFLECTION – “We must not think that the devil and his angels dared to fight in heaven, since he could not even tempt Job without God’s permission. Rather by “heaven” he quite manifestly indicates the Church, where each one of the faithful constantly contends against spiritual evils. Therefore, the apostle says, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers and against the world rulers of this present darkness.”
And so he says here, that Michael with his angels fights against the devil because by praying according to the will of God, for the Church in this world and, by granting her his aid, he is properly understood to be fighting for her. And so the apostle says, “Are not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?” Indeed, the name of Michael himself is interpreted to mean “the helper of God” and so, this work is properly assigned to him. Also Daniel said, that in the last distress, [Michael] would come for the succour of the church: “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who stands for the children of your people. And there shall be a time, such as has never been since the nations first began to be. And in that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book.” The angels are said to be his by a certain manner of speaking, such as we read, “For their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
And so it speaks of those who, by believing, began to be citizens in Christ and thus are His angels, because they are regarded as protected by one guardian king and as made glad by one life-giving spirit. The devil and his angels are not only those who are similar to him in nature and will. They are also as men, who after being caught in his traps, became pursuers of such things. Indeed, because of the qualities of his wil,l it is said about the devil, “An evil man has done this” and about Judas, “[One of you] is a devil.” The devil is said to express himself by way of a twofold body. When he is conquered, he is said to be thrown out by those who have renounced him and have received faith in Christ and so no longer copy his errors. Rather, in them “love [remains] from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.” Or, since the Church is already separated from any admixture of evil and is glorified by the future blessedness, no place is given to the devil and to his angels to seduce the evil, or to tempt the good. The psalm refers to him and says, “I passed by and lo! he was not and I sought him, but his place was not found.” … Primasius of Hadrumetum Bishop (Died c 560) – Commentary on the Apocalypse, 12
NOTE: Primasius (died c 560) was Bishop of Hadrumetum and primate of Byzacena, in Africa. One of the participants in the Three Chapters Controversy, his commentary on the Book of the Apocalypse (Revelation), is of interest to modern scholars for it’s use of the lost commentary of Ticonius on the same book of the New Testament.
PRAYER – Dear and Holy God, let us offer You all our daily struggles against sin and evil. Grant us the strength to resist all forms of idolatry, to seek only You and never to allow the material goods of this world to seduce us. Sustain us ever more with Your word and help us to find in it, the source of life. Grant that the angels who always minister to You in heaven may defend us during our life on earth and protect us from evil. Grant this, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen