27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

FAITH

By Lisa Fernandes

The readings today focus on faith. In the first reading we get a strong message about the righteous being faithful: “Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). So it seems appropriate that today is the Feast of the Guardian Angels, a long established element of Catholic faith.

The first Christian theologian to discuss guardian angels was Honorius of Autun in the 12th century who said that every soul was assigned a guardian angel the moment it was put into a body.

The concept of an angel assigned to guide and nurture each human being is a development of Catholic doctrine based on Scripture. Jesus says in Matthew 18:10: “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.”

A feast in honour of the guardian angels was first observed in the 16th century and, moving into modern times, in his 2014 homily for the Feast of Holy Guardian Angels, Pope Francis told those gathered for daily Mass to be like children who pay attention to their “traveling companion.” “No one journeys alone and no one should think that they are alone,” the Pope said. What are guardian angels? The word angel comes from the Greek word aggelos which means messenger. Guardian angels act on behalf of God as messengers to protect us.

As individuals, we become closer to God by having faith that guardian angels are all around us doing their job. I try to have that faith. In fact, I surround myself with images of angels. I have a guardian angel visor clip in my car, each night I go to sleep surrounded by cross stitch angels handmade by my mom and I display angels around Christmas time on the wall, on tabletops and on my “angel themed” Christmas tree.

In the first reading God is asking us to have faith – God’s gift to us. How can we do that? We can exercise our faith muscle by believing in guardian angels. Faith is powerful.

In the Gospel reading Jesus tells the apostles that if they had faith they could tell a mulberry tree to plant itself in the sea and it would obey. Maybe try opening yourself to another of God’s gifts to us – guardian angels.

Sunday’s Readings:

Habakkuk 1.2-3; 2.2-4

2 Timothy 1.6-8, 13-14

Luke 17.5-10