BARUCH 4: 5 – 12, 27 – 29
Take courage, my people, O memorial of Israel! It was not for destruction that you were sold to the nations, but you were handed over to your enemies because you angered God. For you provoked him who made you, by sacrificing to demons and not to God. You forgot the everlasting God, who brought you up, and you grieved Jerusalem, who reared you. For she saw the wrath that came upon you from God, and she said: “Listen, you neighbours of Zion, God has brought great sorrow upon me; for I have seen the captivity of my sons and daughters, which the Everlasting brought upon them. With joy I nurtured them, but I sent them away with weeping and sorrow. Let no one rejoice over me, a widow and bereaved of many; I was left desolate because of the sins of my children, because they turned away from the law of God. “Take courage, my children, and cry to God, for you will be remembered by him who brought this upon you. For just as you planned to go astray from God, return with tenfold zeal to seek him. For he who brought these calamities upon you will bring you everlasting joy with your salvation.”
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 69: 33 – 37 (R.) 34a
R. The Lord listens to the needy.
The poor when they see it will be glad,
and God-seeking hearts will revive;
for the Lord listens to the needy,
and does not spurn his own in their chains.
Let the heavens and the earth give him praise,
the seas and everything that moves in them. R.
For God will bring salvation to Sion,
and rebuild the cities of Judah,
and they shall dwell there in possession.
The children of his servants shall inherit it;
those who love his name shall dwell there. R.
Matthew 11: 25
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.
MATTHEW 18: 1 – 5, 10
At that the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me. “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: Your Protector and Guide
Saturday, October 2, 2021
“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.” (Matthew 18:10)
The reality of angels is fascinating to most people, especially to children. The Guardian Angels, in particular, are often pictured in sacred art as walking hand-in-hand with children. And though this is true, they also walk hand-in-hand with each one of us throughout our lives. This is their sacred duty given to them by God. In quoting Saint Basil, the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains the existence of Guardian Angels by saying: “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. ‘Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life’” (#336).
Imagine, in an earthly sense, that you had a personal bodyguard to look after you day and night throughout your life. Perhaps this evokes two different sentiments. First, it would most certainly comfort you when there is imminent danger around. You would know you are not alone and that you would be kept safe from physical harm. Another sentiment it may invoke is that of a loss of personal privacy. If someone were watching over you, day and night, you would always be aware of their watchful eye. Everything you said and did would be noticed. For some, this may not always be welcome. Why? Because this means they see all you do, including your sin. Fear of judgment, the loss of personal privacy and the like may be difficult to accept.
But now imagine that this “bodyguard” is one who offers no judgment, acts with perfect love for you, keeps confidentiality with perfection and cares only for your well-being. Though it may be hard to imagine that such a person could exist, that person does exist in the person of your guardian angel.
Your guardian angel is real, has a keen and powerful intellect, has a will perfectly united with the will of God, and was created for the single purpose of protecting you and leading you into the fulfillment of God’s will. When you sin and stray, your guardian angel’s only concern is to guide you back to God. When you are fearful or in trouble, your guardian angel’s only care is to protect you and fill you with God’s peace and courage. And though God could have provided you with all of these graces directly, without the mediation of an angel, He chose to do so through the mediation of your personal guardian angel. Only in Heaven will we fully understand the profound depth of love, protection, and care given to us by these angelic beings.
Reflect, today, upon the intimate knowledge that your guardian angel has of you. As you ponder this reality, rejoice that someone knows you so well and loves you with a perfect love. This angel of yours not only loves you perfectly but also has been entrusted with great power from God to protect you and shepherd you to the fulfillment of your life mission. Prayerfully acknowledge the great gift that your guardian angel is to you and entrust yourself more fully to this angelic mediation.
Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen. Guardian angel, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.