Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Guardian angels - homily

The following is the homily I gave this morning at the school Mass which celebrated the feast of the Guardian Angels:

How many of you have learned about angels?... Who can tell me what an angel is?...An angel is a spirit who is a messenger of God’s. Who has learned about guardian angels?...Who can tell me what a guardian angel is?...A guardian angel is an angel who God has sent to each one of us to protect us. How do we know that angels and guardian angels exist? That’s right, because the Bible tells us that they do. And especially Jesus, who tells us in today’s Gospel that we all have an angel.

Now, I have a story that is a true story and most likely has to do with a guardian angel., although we don’t know for sure. It happened about 20 years ago in the Midwest. Two young men were driving home from college, and they had a long drive. They drove through one place where it was really, really cold. Like, really cold. Think of the coldest you’ve ever been…it was even colder than that. It was about eighty degrees BELOW zero! That’s cold!

As they were driving along, they realized that no one else was on the road. The people on the radio were saying it was too cold to go out, so everyone had stayed inside. These two young men were thinking to themselves, ‘I hope we’ll be ok’. As they began to get scared, their car just konked out because it was so cold. They realized that they could freeze to death. One of the men said a short prayer to God for help.

A few moments later, all of a sudden a car was behind them. Actually, it was a truck. Actually, it was a tow truck! It had been pitch black and they didn’t see any lights approaching their car. They hadn’t heard the truck pull up. Before they could make sense of any of it, there was a tap on their window from the tow truck driver and he said, “you guys need a lift?” Before they could talk with him, their car was already loaded on the tow truck and being towed down the road. The driver didn’t ask for directions on where they lived.

The next thing they know they are home. When they arrive, they get out of the car and go into the house to get money for the tow truck driver. When they come back out, the driver and tow truck are gone. They didn’t hear the truck start up or drive away. They ran into the snow-covered street to look for tire tracks. They saw only one set – the tracks of their car. The driver never said goodbye, never received payment, and didn’t leave any trace that he had been there.

The mother of one of the young men has written a book about this. She said that they don’t know for certain that it was a guardian angel but it sure seems like they believe it.

As we said earlier, each one of us has a guardian angel. If there are about 500 of us here in Church, then there are about 500 angels in Church this morning; each one of them is right next to us. They will never leave us. In addition to our own guardian angels, our school has guardian angels. The Bible tells us (the Book of Daniel) that communities (cities, states, schools, the Redskins!) all have their own angels. As you’re walking through the halls, think about the angels that are there, protecting you and keeping you safe.

Even the Dallas Cowboys have guardian angels! (God’s ways are not our ways)

Now, when we think about angels, we think about holy creatures whose whole lives are God and us. And that’s true. But, when it comes to the Eucharist, not even angels can receive the Body and Blood of Christ. It’s only for us to receive. This might seem unfair but angels know that they can’t receive – they don’t have human bodies or souls. Also, their whole job is to help us to love Jesus, especially Jesus in the Eucharist. They will be right next to you as you approach the Eucharist and return to your pew.

Let’s finish as we usually do at these Masses. When I cue you, you loudly say three words, THANK YOU, JESUS. For the Eucharist, our guardian angels, and all the blessings He has given us: THANK YOU, JESUS!!


At 9:47 PM, Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I had never really 'got' the guardian angel thing as a child. But last year, just before I began a cycling trip in the Loire in France, my French friend farewelled me, while I was quaking in my boots about what I was about to begin. And she told me not to worry, that my guardian angel would be looking after me. My very first day of actual cycling in the Loire I had a very scary, nasty experience, and I feared the worst. But I came to no harm, and it truly did seem like my guardian angel had me firmly in hand.


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