On Day 15 of our “Christmas Goodies”, we shall reflect on “The Christmas Angels”
WHAT IT IS?
Angels play an important role in the narrative of the Birth of Christ
The role of Angel Gabriel, the angels appearing in the dreams, and the visit of the angels to the Shepherds are attested in the Gospels and celebrated in the Christmas Cribs
WHAT ELEMENTS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS CHRISTMAS GOODIE -“THE CHRISTMAS ANGELS?”
- The Angels invite us to be the Messengers of the Gospel – the Good News
The word “Angel” is from the Greek word “Angelos” which means a “Messenger”
Angel Gabriel, became the messenger of God’s Wonderful Plan to Mother Mary at the Annunciation (Lk 1: 26-38) and also to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist (Lk 1: 11-20)
The angels also announced the Good News of the Birth of the Saviour to the shepherds (Lk 2:8-14)
Each one of us, as Christians – having received the mandate from Christ – are expected to become a “messenger” – of God’s love, His Hope and His joy, to all people
- St Gabriel, the Archangel reminds us to make God as our strength!
The name of the archangel Gabriel means, in Hebrew means “God is my strength”
St Gabriel is known as a “messenger of God”
He is usually pictured announcing something and sometimes with a lily or a sceptre.
He is also known as the “Patron Saint of the Sacrament of Baptism”
St Gabriel invites us
… to listen to God’s voice and inspirations through various sources.
… to find courage in situations of fear, by trusting in God’s Providence.
… to be open to surprises and wonders the Lord works in our lives.
- The Angels rejoiced at the mighty intervention of God and sang to the Glory of God
The Gospels present the Angels who rejoiced in giving the good news: Angel Gabriel rejoicing in the encounter with Zechariah and Mother Mary and the angels rejoicing in the encounter with the shepherds
They also proclaimed to the Glory of God (Lk 2:14)
Our lives ought to be a “Gospel of Joy” – recognizing and rejoicing the interventions of God in our life and moulding our life to do all our works, solely for the Glory of God.
We also make our life a “melody to God” (As exhorted by St Paul -” …singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts…” Eph 5:19b)
- The Angels dispel fear and usher in the peace of Christ
One of the constant refrains that we hear from the angels is “Do not fear”.
• To Zechariah: “Do not fear, Zechariah: for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John” (Luke 1:13).
• To Mother Mary: “Do not fear, Mary:… the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Highest shall overshadow You:…For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:30, 35, 37).
• To Joseph: “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife…Then Joseph did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him” (Matthew 1:20,24).
• To the Shepherds: “Do not fear: for, behold, I bring you good tidings…which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10,11).
The Angels teach us to always trust and have confidence in the Mighty Power of God – He is with us… always! Yes, Emmanuel is our God!
- The Angels teach us that God’s Providence will rescue and keep us safe – even in situations of danger
The Angel appeared to Joseph, in a dream, to flee to Egypt and thus the Holy Family was saved (Mt 2: 13)
The Magi also received a message from God, to take another route, in order to escape the wrath of King Herod (Mt 2:12)
We are reminded to always remain open to the voice of God – through the teachings of the Church, through various people and through situations of life
- The presence of the Angels is a sign of care and a reminder to remain in Divine Presence always
Our Christmas Cribs are often decorated with the images of Angels.
It is a beautiful reminder that we always have the presence of Angels (especially the Guardian Angel) with us.
They remind us to constantly become aware of God’s presence and also are beautiful friends, guiding us in our paths, warning us to stay away from sin and filling our lives with peace and happiness.
- The white angels used in decoration also call for purity and innocence in lives
Our Christmas trees and cribs bear the images of the white Angels
The whiteness and the serenity on their faces is a challenge to us, to remain innocent, pure and holy and also “to witness the mirth of heaven on our faces”
WHAT RESOLUTIONS CAN I PRACTISE TODAY?
Today I will seek to become a messenger of God’s love, through simple acts of charity and encouragement
Today I will seek to trust deeper in the Providence of God by casting aside all fears and also to grow in purity of heart, by casting away a sinful life.
Lord, help to be inspired and encouraged by the Angels, whom you give to us, as a constant reminder of Your Loving Presence and Providence with us, in all the circumstances of our life, Amen!
MARANATHA – COME, LORD JESUS!
We welcome you into our hearts! God Bless!