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I Am Loved!
Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, thank you for this precious time to spend pondering your word. Bless me as I seek inspiration for my day.
- A True Child of Israel: Our Lord told Nathanael that he was a true child of Israel, that there was “ no duplicity in him.” Jesus was drawing attention to the nobility of Nathanael’s soul. Nathanael was not about impressing others. He wasn’t concerned about appearances. He was authentic, real, honest, and trustworthy. This disposition pleased Jesus. Can we say the same for ourselves? Let us pray for the grace to be true to our Christian convictions, no matter what pressures we undergo as a result.
- I See You: “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Wouldn’t we like to know what went on under that fig tree? Any guess would be mere speculation, but the important thing to know is that the occurrence Jesus referred to was probably quite significant to Nathanael. He seemed overcome with amazement that Jesus knew him more deeply than anyone had ever known him before. Jesus also knows each of us intimately. He knows our deepest intentions when others only see words and actions. He knows our distorted intentions—ones that can corrupt even the most heroic of gestures. And he knows the deepest desires of our heart, sometimes before we do. The more we allow God into the most intimate sanctuary of our soul, the greater will be our experience of the wonders he can do in us. It is remarkable that God knows us as he does, even more remarkable that he loves us as he does, and still more remarkable that he calls us into union with him. Our experience of giving God permission to plumb the depths of our hearts opens us to the truth of being deeply, overwhelmingly loved by him, and finally to the experience of allowing him to transform us and lead us to union with him.
- Angels Accompany Us: We celebrate angels in today’s liturgy. The word “angel” means messenger. In spiritual reality, angels are everywhere. Personal guardian angels are with us throughout our life. Angels are present at each Mass adoring Jesus along with us. Angels are invoked at funerals as we ask them to lead us to paradise (CCC 335). “The whole life of the Church benefits from the mysterious and powerful help of angels (CCC 334). How blessed are we by these mysterious creatures God has given us! How often do we think of them? Welcome their presence in our life? Ask them for favors?
Conversing with Christ: Lord, I can never fully comprehend how well you know me and how much you love me. You even gave the church the gift of archangels. I am grateful for all of your spiritual gifts and want only to know you more and more with each passing day.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will be more conscious of your gift of angels and seek their guidance and favor.
For Further Reflection: Reflect on what the Catechism says about angels: The Angels.
Teresa Williams grew up in the Detroit, Michigan, area. She felt God’s call to consecrate her life to him at a young age and has been living out her vocation as a consecrated member of Regnum Christi since 2002. She has earned degrees in education and religious sciences, and worked with young people in Ireland and several cities in Mexico. Currently, she is living and working in Monterrey, Mexico.