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Your journey this Lent.

How often do we think about creation as a partial reflection of the infinite glory of God? We give glory to God when we pray the creed with hearts filled with grateful-ness, wonder and awe when we profess, “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.”

To give glory to God is to praise him for being the Creator of all that is true, life giving, and beautiful.

The more we learn about the visible world around us, like the complexity and harmony of a single cell with its thousands of moving parts, the more we are in awe of God. The more we learn about the vastness of the universe, and how the earth is perfectly situated to sustain human life among billions of stars and planets that can’t, the more we are in awe of God and want to praise his glory.

These two examples reflect upon God’s visible crea-tion. In the creed we also profess that God is the creator of invisible creatures, the angels. We hear about the an-gels in today’s Gospel.

After his baptism in the Jordan river Jesus was driven into the desert by the Holy Spirit for forty days to fast, pray and overcome the temptations of Satan. Satan himself is a fallen angel. He refused to give God glory by choosing not to serve God nor his plan of creation and salvation.

Satan convinced one third of the angels to depart from heaven to roam on the earth. Satan and his demons tempted Jesus in the desert to stop praying, to stop fast-ing, to stop worshiping God the Father.

But we also hear in today’s Gospel about the good angels who serve Jesus Christ. We know that Lent is a time to journey with Jesus in the desert. It is a time to quiet ourselves and to trust completely in God. It is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, but these things are de-spised by the demons. They will tempt you to stop these acts of faith, hope and love.

Lent is a time to acknowledge that, just as Jesus Christ was tempted by the Devil, but never sinned, so we too will be tempted, but with the help of God’s grace and his angels, we can overcome temptations.

One way to overcome the temptations of the Devil and his demons is to think about God’s good angels. We can recall how they appeared in the light of God’s glory and announced to the shepherds the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in Bethlehem. We can think about how God the Father sent his angel Gabriel to St. Joseph to warn him to take his wife Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt in order to protect him from King Herod. And how God sent an angel to strengthen Jesus when he was in agony in the garden before his crucifixion. We can medi-tate on how there were angels at the tomb to announce that Jesus Christ had resurrected from the dead.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is a summary of what God wants us to believe and how to live, we read this about the angelic nature: “As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.” (CCC par. #330)

The Catechism continues: “From its beginning until death, human life is sur-rounded by their watchful care and intercession. St. Basil writes: „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 par. 336)

I believe that I have experienced the protection of my guardian angel many times. One example is when I was ten years old. I was playing football in my front yard with my older brother. He threw the ball to me so high and far that I had to run to the very corner of the yard where there was an apple tree. Suddenly I felt something trip me and carry me to the ground. It was a very strange and yet peaceful sensation. But I looked up to see the apple tree branches just in front of me. I truly believe that my guardian angel prevented a terrible accident.

My brothers and sisters baptized in Christ, we give glory to God when we acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all creation, visible creation and invisible creation like the angels. We give glory to God when we acknowledge that God has given each believer a guardian angel to help them on their way to heaven.

Please, after receiving Holy Communion, or making a spiritual communion, take some time to thank God for his angels, and how they served Jesus. How they walk with us and inspire prayer, acts of creative love, contrition for our sins, and hopefulness for the mercy of God, especially during this season of Lent.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Thomas McCabe


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