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My Own Angel
Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels
Matthew 18:1-5, 10
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, here I am with my guardian angel—teach me to pray. I love you, and long to be loved by you. I know you have a message for me today, a message of hope and love. Give me the grace to recognize your gifts in my life, respond to your call, and spread your kingdom.
- Greatest in the Kingdom: It’s very human to want to rank or categorize—to try to put some order to our surroundings. The disciples’ question, “Who is the greatest in heaven,” could be understood, therefore, as an innocent attempt to find out from Jesus a little more about who is there, what they do, and who’s in charge. They knew, for example, that Jesus’s Father reigned in heaven, but they knew little else from the obscure references Jesus made about heaven up to that point. They learned by asking Jesus that the greatest are the most childlike. Jesus would return to this theme repeatedly because he wanted them (and us) to embrace and live out the childlike virtues of simplicity, purity, and trust.
- Being Children: Jesus asks us to humble ourselves like children do. Very young children have almost no control over their environment. Without the consent of their children, parents feed them, change their diapers, carry them, put them to bed at the proper time, etc. The most a child can do to protest is cry. As they grow more aware, young children look to their parents to fulfill their needs with an adoring trust. They prefer the safety of their parents’ arms to other family or friends. Deeply reflecting and meditating on the relationship between young children and their parents teaches us volumes about how Christ wants us to behave toward him. Jesus wants to be our shelter and our security.
- We Have Angels: How often do you think about your guardian angel? Every human being has been given a heavenly helper at birth, even unbelievers (Angelus, October 2, 2011). According to the Catechism, “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. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.” (CCC 336) How grateful we can be for these heavenly intercessors, given to us by God to help us and those we love make it to our heavenly homeland!
Conversing with Christ: Lord, you have given me life, marked me through Baptism to become a child of God, showered me with graces through the sacraments, and bestowed on me a guardian angel. May I be ever more mindful of my angel, who stands nearby to guide me.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will reverently pray the Guardian Angel Prayer: “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.”
For Further Reflection: 8 Things to Know and Share About the Guardian Angels.
Written by Maribeth Harper.