Mass of the Holy Angels, Student Reflection

Who are the Angels Really?

Caroline Baur, ’25

Angels? What do we really know about angels? Well, like God’s existence, the existence of the Holy Angels is something that is mystifying. For centuries, artists and painters have depicted angels as glorious figures with wings and a glowing light, completed with a halo. While that depiction of angels is beautiful, some may not realize how alike the holy angels can be to us. God created angels, just as he created every one of us. Some of us may think, “Oh! Angels are extremely holy, live in heaven, and are composed of only a spiritual soul and not a body; we are so different from them.” This way of thinking is true, because holy angels are purely spirits and they do not possess physical bodies as we do, but in Hebrews 1:14, it reads, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent to serve?” The Holy Angels are not usually seen by humans, unless revealed to us by God. For example, various angels took on a bodily form and appeared to certain people in Scripture, walking and talking in a way that we could understand.

Today in Mass we heard about the Holy Angels battling Satan. The Bible specifically mentions three Holy Angels, known as the archangels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael. Michael is Hebrew for “Who is like God,” Gabriel is Hebrew for “Man of God,” and Raphel is Hebrew for “God heals.”  Like Michael, we are so much like our Father in the way that we are created in His image and likeness. Relating to Gabriel, we are called to be the people of God mirroring his eternal, selfless love towards others. Raphael, meaning “God heals,” reminds and reassures us that God is ever present, and that we can turn to him for anything and everything. God is the only true way of our healing.

Sometimes it can get difficult to make the right choice in life. Do I do my homework as soon as I get home from school, or do I watch TV first and then do my homework later? Our choices between right and wrong can range from small to big; which major do I pick for college, or am I in a safe situation right now? We are all given the free will to choose, but sometimes we know how to choose the right thing and still end up choosing the opposite. With each choice we make there is an equal outcome that follows it. The Holy Angels can be sent to us to help guide us on our path to eternal life in heaven; however, we have to be open to them to let them do so.

For me, I let the holy angels be examples and guides of how to love and serve our God, even though I physically cannot see them. Matthew 6:10, states, “Your will be done, on earth as  in heaven.” In Heaven, God’s will is done by the holy angels, choosing to love and serve God without question. They fulfill God’s will no matter how big or small the task. The word “angel” is related to the word “messenger”. Since the Holy Angels are purely spirits that have no physical body, they are known to be the messengers of God in Heaven. Likewise, we are called to spread God’s word as messengers to others, throughout our life on earth.

The holy angels also stand as a model for us of how to worship. In Revelation 5:11-12,  the voices of many angels cried out, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory, and blessing.” Reading this verse, I thought, “If the angels find it their joy to praise the Lord in this way, shouldn’t we?”

So, the holy angels are really not as different from us, as some of us may think. Although they do not have a physical body like ours, they love and choose the Lord, just like we are called to do. Call upon the Holy Angels to give you the strength and knowledge that you may serve God wholeheartedly. Today, I invite all of you to find joy in praising Him, above all else, for all He has done for us. Just remember, the holy angels are a model for who we should be and how to love and serve God.