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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 18.02.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 18.02.24


GENESIS 9: 8 – 15

God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “behold, I establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “this is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.”

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 25: 4 – 5ab, 6, 7bc, 8 – 9 (R.) 10

R/. All your paths, O Lord, are mercy and faithfulness, for those who keep your covenant.

O Lord, make me know your ways.
Teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth, and teach me;
For you are the God of my salvation. R/.

Remember your compassion, O Lord,
And your merciful love,
For they are from of old.
In your merciful love remember me,
Because of your goodness, O Lord. R/.

Good and upright is the Lord;
He shows the way to sinners.
He guide the humble in right judgement;
To the humble he teaches his way. R/.

“Baptism now saves you.”
1ST PETER 3: 18 – 22

Beloved: Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

The Word of the Lord.

Matthew 4: 4b

Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

“He was tempted by satan, and the angels ministered to him.”
MARK 1: 12 – 15

At that time: The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness.  And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

The Gospel of the Lord

GOSPEL REFLECTION: The Ministry of Angels
February 18, 2024

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. Mark 1:12–13

What an amazing event we reflect upon today. Jesus, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity humbled Himself in two ways in the passage quoted above. First, He allowed Himself to endure the temptations of satan. Second, He permitted His very own creation, the good angels, to minister to Him in His human form.

First of all, recall that satan is a fallen angel. He was created by God and was created good. But the Book of Revelation (12:4) indicates that one-third of the created angels were cast out of Heaven to roam the earth. These demons act under the direction of the highest fallen angel, satan. Thus, according to the passage above, it was satan himself who tempted Jesus in the desert. Additionally, Jesus permitted the good angels to minister to Him in His human nature. These acts reveal the perfection of the virtue of humility within the humanity of our Lord.

According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, angels were created for three primary reasons. The first is for the purpose of worship. Worship of God brings about communion with God and enables perfect love to flow back and forth from God to each angelic being. Second, angels enact the will of God in all things. This includes the implementation of the laws of nature and the imparting of the grace that Christ won on the Cross. Third, God uses angels as messengers. Scripture records various ways that the angels spoke to the prophets, to our Blessed Mother, to Saint Joseph and to others. Saint Thomas Aquinas also believed that each of us is given a particular guardian angel whose role is not only to protect us but also to communicate the will of God to us.

As God, Jesus was the Creator of all angelic beings with the Father and the Holy Spirit. As man, Jesus was the recipient of both the ministry of the good angels and the attacks of the fallen angels. By humbly subjecting Himself to the natural powers of these angelic creatures, Jesus was also teaching us that we must do the same.

One of the primary natural powers of both the good and bad angels is the power of influence and suggestive thought. Angelic beings have the ability to put before your imagination ideas meant to either influence you for the good (the good angels) or to deceive you and lead you into sin (the bad angels). These communications are real, and we should be aware of them. In his book, The Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius of Loyola devotes much time and energy to the ministry of angels. He teaches how to distinguish the lies and deceptions of the fallen angels from the consoling direction communicated by the good angels. In many ways, our Gospel passage today, by which Jesus submitted Himself to the temptations and ministry of the angels, lends much support to the importance of trying to understand how these angelic creatures influence us. For more on this, see the book Probing the Depths: Ignatian Lessons and Meditations Arranged According to the Liturgical Year.

Reflect, today, upon the amazing truth that both angels and demons are constantly active in your life, seeking to influence you. As you ponder their spiritual role in your life, consider the various ways you can learn more about them. Speak to your guardian angel. Ask for the intercession of the highest of angels. Try to join them in their divine worship. Pray for their protection. Ask them to communicate to you the highest of truths from God. Seek to be attentive to these holy angels so that as you learn to discern their voices, you will be ready to follow the direction they give to you from God.

My Lord and Creator of All, You created the angelic order for the glorious purpose of love and worship. You also gave them the mission of enacting Your holy will and communicating to us on earth. Please help me to be more aware of the deceptions of the fallen angels and the direction of the good angels. Angels of God, pray for me, protect me and guide me into God’s perfect will. Jesus, I trust in You.

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