Here is my homily from this morning. God bless you!
The best catechist I have ever had was my mother. Despite studying in Catholic grade and high schools, a Catholic college and in a Pontifical University in Rome, the best lessons of faith have come from my mother.
The first lesson I learned (I don’t have a specific memory of this, but I am sure it happened) was my mom took my right arm when I was but an infant, and she traced the sign of the cross on me, saying, “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Her first lesson was that there existed a Triune God.
The second lesson she taught was I was to to glorify this God. So, she taught me the Glory Be.
The third lesson was that God was my Father. So, she taught me the Our Father.
The fourth lesson was that I had a spiritual mother whose name was Mary. So, she taught me the Hail Mary.
Interestly, the fifth lesson was that I had a guardian angel sent by God to be with me. She taught me the prayer,
Angel of God, my guardian dear
to whom, God’s love, commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side
to light, to guard, to rule, to guide.
Yes, the fifth lesson was there were angels!
We commemorate today our guardian angels. We know by faith, and through the testimony of Scriptures, that there are myriads of spirits in heaven who behold the face of God and give him praise and glory. These spirits become “angels” when God sends them forth to accomplish his will here on earth. They become angels when they have their mission.
I often hear parents say that a child who has died has become an angel in heaven. I understand what they are trying to say, I guess, but I always cringe a bit because we human beings never become angels. We have bodies; angels don’t. Yes, it is true that when we die, our spirits temporarily separate from our bodies, but we remain human nonetheless. We are sons and daughters of God. Angels are created spirits without bodies.
My friends, we can take comfort in knowing that each of us has been given a guardian angel, sent by God to be with us always. We can ask this angel to help us, to accompany us, to protect and instruct us. He is, in a very real sense, the presence of God’s loving concern for us as individuals.
I honor my mom for giving me those basic instructions in the faith. I treasure those lessons. Angels were a part of that. Lest we forget…