Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits, . . .
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! Psalm 103:1-2; 91:9-12; 103:20-22
“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:1-3
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” Revelation 12:7-12
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 18:10-11
Today marks the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels. The name of the archangel Michael means “Who is like God?” Scripture speaks of Michael in Daniel 12:1 as the angelic helper of Israel who leads the battle against the forces of evil; and in Revelation 12:7 as leading the angels in the fight that defeats Satan and his evil angels, driving them from heaven in Christ’s Resurrection victory march. Michael is often associated with Gabriel and Raphael, the other chief or archangels who surround the throne of God. Tradition names Michael as the patron and protector of the Church, especially as the protector of Christians at the hour of death. [TDP editors]
What is the [angels’] attitude toward men? This the Lord Jesus Christ reveals with one word when He calls them “THEIR angels,” that is, the angels of the little ones, the servants of the children and all believers. . . . They render this service to every Christian in manifold ways. While we re children, God assigns our angel to us, as Christ tells us in the holy gospel. When we grow older and go our own way, that is, walk in the ways of our calling, God also assigns angels to us (Psalm 91:11-12). When we sleep, the angels watch and protect us against the devil. When we die, they carry our soul to Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22). Their protection is ours through life. . . . Why is it that the angels readily serve the believers though they are much nobler and higher than we? (1) Because they are confirmed in the good and therefore gladly and fully obey God’s will. God’s will and order is that they serve us (Hebrews 1:14). The army of the heavens–sun, moon, and stars–maintain their order given them by God for man’s sake. The army of the heavens–sun, moon, and stars–maintain their order given them by God for man’s sake. All the more will the heavenly army of the holy angels maintain its order. (2) Because our nature is raised in Christ above all angels and archangels (Ephesians 1:20-21; Hebrews 1:4). Therefore the angels do not refuse to serve us men, in honor of the human nature assumed by Christ. As an entire race is is brought to honor by a marriage, so the marriage of the Son of God with humanity has restored the human race to honor (Matthew 22:2). What wonder, then, that the angels serve us, since the Son of God, the Lord of the angels, came to earth that He might serve us? (3) Because love is pure and perfect in them, the angels joyfully serve us, as does the Lord, who Himself is Love (1 John 4:8), . . . and who declared: “I will rejoice in doing them good” (Jeremiah 32:41). . . . [Johann Gerhard–17th Century Lutheran pastor, theologian, and confessor]
DAILY PRAYER for THURSDAY
O Lord Jesus Christ, true King of heaven and earth, You promised to Your Church that the gates of hell would not prevail against her, and You still cause Your Word to be preached and Your Holy Sacraments to be administered among us. But ah! O Lord, the sins of Your people obscure the majesty of Your bride. Your holy vineyard is trampled and Your blessed sacrifice stands neglected. Many think themselves strong and despise the life-giving food that You have ordained for Your holy people, for the forgiveness of their sins.
Pardon all our arrogance and do not come to us in wrath to remove the lamp of Your Word from before our eyes! O Lord, we pray You: visit this vine, which You once established for Yourself, and renew us with the sun of Your mercy and the water of eternal life.
Give us a great hunger for the food of Your true body and blood, and let all Your faithful people ever be found in the apostles’ doctrine, in the fellowship, in the breaking of Your bread, and in the prayers.
We implore You, O Lord, for our altar; that it may ever be a place where the medicine of eternal life, the forgiveness of our sins, strengthens us in body and soul; that disbelief and impenitence may stay far from all who come there so that they may not eat and drink to their own judgment.
O Eternal High Priest, let the fruit of Your Spirit grow in us, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and chastity. Cause us to live in holy conduct toward one another to the glory of Your holy name, here in time and hereafter in eternity; for You live and reign with the Father and the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.