On September 29th the Church celebrates the Feast of three Archangels present in the Bible: St. Michael, the Archangel, the Archangel St. Gabriel, and the Archangel St. Raphael. The three are intimate friends of God, but also, they would like to enter into a deep friendship with you right now.
ARCHANGEL GABRIEL. Let us strive to get to know, love, and establish a deep and dynamic relationship of friendship between ourselves and the Archangel Gabriel. As mentioned in the title of this short article, the name Gabriel actually means Power of God. True, one of the most important attributes of God is that He is All-Powerful, of if you like, Omnipotent. However, the nature of God is to share, to give, and He shares His power even with His angel friends among whom is Gabriel—Power of God!
BIBLICAL LOCATION. The Archangel Gabriel can be found in the Old Testament in the Book of Daniel, the Prophet known for his visions, intelligence and mystical insights. However, of greatest importance, this great Archangel is found in the first chapter of St. Luke and in two key passages in this longest chapter of the New Testament (81 verses): in the Temple with Zechariah and with Mary in the Annunciation. These are two of the primary and pivotal passages in all of Sacred Scripture.
THE PRIMARY IMPORTANCE OF THE ARCHANGEL GABRIEL FOR THE WORLD. These two relatively short passages have enormous importance in the context of the Bible, but also for the Church, and for the salvation of the world at large.
Let us enumerate the abundant flow of graces that can descend upon us and the world at large if we can simply open up our hearts to the deluge of God’s graces communicated through this humble, but giant of an angel—the Archangel St. Gabriel.
1. MESSENGER. The word Angel, from Greek, means Messenger. Gabriel is sent from the throne of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as a Messenger. These Divine and Angelic messages are of the greatest importance. First, that John the Baptist will be born despite the advanced age of his Mother, St. Elizabeth. Second, the greatest message of all times will be delivered on the part of the Archangel Gabriel and that will be to Mary.
2. THE ANNUNCIATION. The Archangel Gabriel announces to the Blessed Virgin Mary the greatest message in the history of the world—namely, that Mary is chosen by God to be the Mother of Jesus, the Savior of the world. Never was there a more important message—Good News, Gospel—in the history of humanity, that Jesus, the Savior will enter the world through the announcement of the Archangel Gabriel and the consent of the humble Virgin of Nazareth.
3. THE HAIL MARY. The prayer that is recited millions of times every day throughout the entire world, has as its origin the words and the announcement of the Archangel Gabriel—“Hail Mary, full of grace….” For that reason, the technical name of the Hail Mary is really “The Angelic Salutation”—the greeting of the Archangel Gabriel. This being said, every time we pray the prayer that Our Lady loves most, we start off the prayer using the words of the Archangel Gabriel. How important is this angel and how underestimated he is in the history of salvation!
4. CONVERSATION WITH THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY. The Archangel Gabriel maintains a reverential, cordial, and highly respectful conversation with the Blessed Virgin Mary. We might even term this a Colloquy—a familiar conversation with some person; in this case it is with the person who will say YES to becoming the Mother of God, the Mother of the Church, and the Mother of all of us! In a very real sense, a greater knowledge of and devotion to the Archangel Gabriel can open the floodgates of a more frequent, fluent, fervent, and faithful conversation with Mary who is truly our Mother in the order of grace.
5. MARY’S CONSENT WITNESSED BY THE ARCHANGEL GABRIEL. The conclusion of the dialogue between the Archangel Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin Mary culminates in Mary’s consent, in Latin, Mary’s FIAT: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk. 1:38) Not only does the Archangel Gabriel deliver this all-important message to Mary, but he hears and witnesses what can be considered among the most important words in the history of the world’s salvation. Therefore, the Archangel Gabriel can intercede for us to plumb the depths of Mary’s Yes in God’s plan for our eternal salvation.
6. PRESENT AT THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD IN MARY. Developing this theme further, Mary’s consent results in the transformation of the whole universe—the reality of the Incarnation of the Son of God. With Mary’s Yes, with her generous consent, God the Father sends His only begotten Son, and through the overshadowing of Mary by the Holy Spirit, Jesus enters into the world in the womb of Mary. The reality of the Incarnation through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit accomplishes the many prophecies of the past—Emmanuel, God with us—becomes a reality in the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This profound Mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus, Son of God, in the womb of Mary is carried out by God but through the intervention and working of the Archangel Gabriel. Therefore, we can conclude in our own spiritual-mystical life that the Archangel Gabriel can help us immensely in striving to plumb the profound depths of the Mystery of the Incarnation.
7. THE EUCHARIST, HOLY COMMUNION, MARY AND ARCHANGEL GABRIEL. Pope Saint John Paul II stated that our saying AMEN in the reception of Holy Communion is parallel to Mary’s consent, her Fiat, when she received Jesus into her heart and womb at the moment of the Incarnation. Therefore, not only can Our Lady help us in more worthy and fervent receptions of Holy Communion, but also the Archangel Gabriel. Saint John Chrysostom states that the Tabernacle is surrounded by adoring angels. Why not invite the angels, your Guardian Angel, as well as the Archangel Gabriel to help you to make more fervent and loving Holy Communions? He will fly to your aid!
8. WATCH OVER OUR SPEECH: THINK BEFORE SPEAKING. In the Archangel Gabriel’s previous visit to the father of Saint John the Baptist, Zechariah opened up his mouth doubting God’s message. As a result of speaking and saying what he should not have said, Zechariah was struck dumb. His chastisement was meted out through the mediation of the Archangel Gabriel. Let us turn to this Angelic Friend and beg for a very special grace: to always use our speech and communication for the honor and glory of God! The primary purpose of speech is to communicate the Truth in Love. Saint Bernard reminds us to open our mouths on three occasions: 1) to praise God; 2) to accuse ourselves; 3) to edify our neighbor. Archangel Gabriel, be present and assist us when we open up our mouth!
9. PATRON OF MODERN COMMUNICATION. Pope Saint Paul VI has proclaimed the Archangel Gabriel as the patron-saint of Modern Communication. How important his patronage in this precise moment of world history. The Social Media, if used properly, can be utilized to preach the Word of God throughout the entire world, implementing the last words of Jesus before he ascended into Heaven: “Go out to the whole world and teach them all I have taught you; baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And behold I am with you always even until the end of time.” (Mt. 28:19-20) May the Archangel Gabriel help us to use all the modern social media for the honor and glory of God: Radio, T.V., Internet, You-tube, Blogs, Podcasts, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Online Books and eBooks. May the Archangel Gabriel guide all our communication towards God and the salvation of countless souls!
10. ARCHANGEL GABRIEL: FRIEND OF GOD, FRIEND OF MARY, AND OUR FRIEND. In such a critical time in world-history with drastic changes occurring so quickly that our head spins, many people experience, especially in the context of huge monolithic cities, a crushing, disheartening, and even despairing loneliness. The Archangels Michael and Raphael, and the Archangel Gabriel are always willing and ready to come and walk with us, listen to us, talk to us, inspire us, console us, encourage us, direct us, support us, and pave our steps on the right roadway to Heaven! We are never alone! God’s angels, our Guardian Angel, and especially the Archangel Gabriel will be at our side to help us arrive at our eternal destiny—Heaven. Once arrived at our eternal home, in the company of the Angels, the Saints, and Mary the Queen of the Angels and Saints, we will be rejoicing, praising and worshiping the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit for all eternity!