Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – The Memorial of The Holy Guardian Angels – October 2 – Matthew 18:1-5, 10
The Gospel reading from the Mass for the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels is is Matthew 18:1-5, 10.
Following Christ’s appointment of Peter as the “Rock” and Peter’s growing leadership, the disciples, perhaps in competitive jostling, ask Christ, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Never willing to miss an opportunity to call men to sainthood, Christ does the unexpected: to address the issue of greatness, Christ calls a child to Himself. Children in the first century were practically nonentities: children had no rights, little protection if the father was absent, did hard labor and newborns were often rejected by fathers and left out at garbage dumps to die.
In a rebuke to the disciples who seek greatness, Christ paradoxically uses a child to teach that the humility of a child is the key to greatness in Heaven. He goes further, saying that unless a man repents (turns) and becomes humble like a child, he will never even enter the Kingdom. Christ directs men to receive a child like they would receive Christ Himself and confirms that God has assigned the Holy Guardian Angels to watch over each soul (“their angels always behold the face of My Father…”).
God’s gift to men of angels who guard and protect is well-documented in the Bible. In the Old Testament, angels deliver Lot from the destruction of Sodom (Gen 28-29), an angel leads Moses (Exod 32:34), an angel heals Tobias and angels protect the faithful (Dan 10). In the New Testament, Christ is ministered to by angels (the Temptation, the Garden of Gethsemane), St. Peter is freed from prison (Acts 12:7-8) and the Book of Hebrews confirms the action of angels (Heb 1:14). St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that each man has a guardian angel who can inform and guide a man’s will, both on earth and for those who enter Heaven.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ has personal knowledge of the mysteries of Heaven and explains the Father’s personal attention to and love of every soul. Divine Judge, Christ confirms that some don’t make it into Heaven and offers some criteria for acceptance into Heaven. Divine King, Christ sets the bar high for men and gives harsh disciplines to avoid sin. Divine Teacher, Christ gives the “evergreen” Parable of The Lost Sheep, which has captured the attention of men for 2 millennia.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) In His confirmation of the dignity of children, Christ is profoundly counter-cultural in a society that considered children disposable; in the Age of Abortion, Christ’s unflinching defense of His children remains counter-cultural. Marvel at His fortitude.
2) Christ’s revelation confirms the reality of angels. Renew your understanding of Angels (CCC 57, 326-336, 350-352, 1034, 1352) and pray for Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael to pray for and protect you and your loved ones from the Evil One.
3) To help protect men against calamity and the Evil One, God in His mercy gives each man a personal Guardian Angel as a “protector and shepherd leading him to life.” Renew your understanding of your Guardian Angel (CCC 336) and pray for your Guardian Angel to draw near, protect you against evil and draw you closer to Christ.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels
Virtue of the Day – Justice
Corporal Work of Mercy – To clothe the naked
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To counsel the doubtful