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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason


Angels Among Us

Saint Michael the Archangel


Hospitality do not forget; for by this some, being not aware of it, have entertained Angels. (Hebrews 13.1)

Think of it! Some of us have unknowingly entertained Angels! The thought fascinates us, thrills us!

But, really ... Saint Paul is letting us off the hook.

It is true that we may have, at some time in our lives, perhaps many times, entertained an Angel in the form of a man, a woman, or a child — entirely unknown to us. Yet, if we reflect upon it, it is terribly odd that this possibility, this mere prospect, should fascinate us so, for Christ tells us that whatever we do
to least of these we do — not to His Angels — but to Christ Himself! 1

When Saul (soon to become St. Paul) was vigorously persecuting the Church before his conversion, Christ made this absolutely clear when, appearing in great light, He threw Saul off his horse and smote him with blindness, saying:

Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?’ ... ‘Who art thou, Lord?’ And He answered, ‘I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest.’” 2

Let us make this more succinct still: What we do to each other, to the Body of Christ, the Church, we do to Him!

We may indeed entertain Angels unwittingly ... now and then ... or perhaps never entertain one at all. We cannot know this. But we always entertain Christ in our brother  —  day in and day out — and give no second thought to it.

We are astounded at the prospect that an Angel should come to us — and with incredible audacity we are totally indifferent to God Himself Who comes to us, stands before us, in our neighbor, begs on our street corners, pleads for
spare change” from the squalor of our public alleys, or Who shuffles behind to the battered shopping cart that is his mobile home in our cities of the homeless — and, yes, even in the arrogance of those who hate us.

Thrilled ...?

We are thrilled to find an Angel ... and so disappointed when we only find God in the disfigured face of our brother.

An Angel comes periodically and we deem ourselves extraordinarily blessed!  God Himself comes to us every single day in every person we meet ... and we yawn ...

We are eager that our blindness be dispelled to what we may never see, and perfectly willing to be blind to what we see with our waking eyes!

Dominus Deus Sabbaoth! The Lord God of Angelic Hosts!” Your sense of awe is so misplaced!  Unlike you who ought to see, and do not — they whom you would see, and do not, know better.

Is it any wonder that you — who should know God in the salt of your brother's tears — do not so much as see their Angels who ever behold the face of God? 3

Christ has not sent His Angels ... He comes Himself! ... disguised, disfigured, and disdained ... and we do not know Him. On the other hand, perhaps we do ... and simply choose to look away.

Boston Catholic Journal


1 St. Matthew 25.40
2 Acts 9.4-5
3 Saint Matthew 18.10

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Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name. (Apocalypse 3.8)


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