A Little Piece of Heaven on Earth

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The WORD in other words (2021) Fr. Bubi Scholz, SVD (Germany)

Solemnity of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, the Archangels — September 29

Older people may remember the popular TV series, “Charlie’s Angels.”  Those angels were the assistants of a police chief called Charlie. Together, they combated crime so that people could feel safe. 

The original and real “angels” are found in the Bible. These are mysterious spiritual creatures, helpers of God for our benefit. Jesus refers to them in today’s Gospel: “You see heaven open and the angels going up and down between earth and heaven.” Michael fights evil and protects us against dangers. Gabriel conveys God’s good news of redemption. Angels bring God’s care close to people and make people look up to God. 

Whenever angels are present and active, a little piece of heaven appears on earth; God still “holds the whole world in his hand.” Angels show that God loves people and cares for them, especially the little ones. Misery and evil will not prevail. 

In the 1970s, the Swedish singing group ABBA sang a famous song with the refrain “I believe in angels.” The song wanted to express hope: to have a dream, to see something good in everything, to cope with anything. 

As Christians, we believe and feel assured that we can dream and hope for the best, because, as today’s Responsorial Psalm says,  “God commands his angels to guard you in all your ways.” This reality is wonderfully expressed in the “Salubong” on Easter morning. The statue of Mary, covered with a black veil – sign of sadness, misery, death – is met by the figure of the glorious risen Christ through whom God has defeated evil and restored life. To show this change from sorrow to joy, a little angel (a small girl) pulls a black veil away from Mary’s head. Angels show that God’s love is close by.  

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