October 2, 2020
by Susan Naatz
Creighton University's Mission and Ministry
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels
Lectionary: 459/650

Exodus 23:20-23
Psalm 91:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 10-11
Matthew 18:1-5, 10

Praying Ordinary Time

Pope Francis on our Guardian Angels on this day in 2014.

Pope Francis on our Angels in 2015.

Today is the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels. I’m going to be honest with you.  When I was a child, I believed in angels and had a deep friendship with my Imagined guardian angel.  Growing into adolescence and young adulthood however, my angel became a distant childhood memory.  

I didn’t think about angels or consider them as a spiritual resource until several years ago when I attended the funeral of a very close friend.   I was filled with grief and deep sadness throughout her funeral liturgy and yet when the Song of Farewell began, before they would take her body from the church, I was overcome by the words:  May the Angels lead you into paradise.   The beautiful song invited angels to accompany my friend into paradise and into the presence of God.  I pictured her surrounded lovingly by angels and although I was grappling with my feelings of loss and loneliness, I was at the same time, deeply comforted.  I had a genuine, spiritual, and mystical sense that she was not alone.  

The pandemic has brought on an alarming increase in loneliness throughout the world.  Yes, people are finding new ways to connect in this era of social distancing, but loneliness continues to increase.  Loneliness impacts the physical, spiritual, and emotional health of a human person. Jamie Ducharme writes:  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, public-health experts were concerned about an epidemic of loneliness in the U.S. The coronavirus has exacerbated that problem… 1.   Could our feelings of loneliness be where our guardian angels can assist us and advocate for us?  

The faithful from most of the world’s major religions believe in angels as messengers from God.  Catholicism goes one step further saying that we are each assigned an angel to be our guardian.   The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains to us:   From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession.  Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading…to life.  Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels…united in God. 2.

In today’s gospel, Jesus explains that angels always look upon the face of God.  Since our guardian angels have that deep connection to God and because the word “angel” means “messenger” in Greek, we are invited as people of faith to turn to our angelic messengers who not only care for us but who also deliver our messages/prayers to our God.  Their reassuring presence can offer great comfort and solace, similar to what I experienced during my friend’s funeral.

In conclusion, as we reflect on today’s readings, I invite you to turn with me to today’s responsorial psalm which offers a moving image of God knitting us together in our mother’s womb.  Let’s imagine, as God knit each of us together, our guardian angel was also there to guard and love us from the onset of our creation.  While we journey through the pandemic and on this very special Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels, our faith tradition reminds us that we are never alone.

1. Ducharme, Jamie. “COVID-19 is Making America’s Loneliness Epidemic Even Worse.”  Time Magazine, May 8, 2020.

2. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 2000), 336.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Sharing this reflection with others by Email, on Facebook or Twitter:

Email this pageFacebookTwitter

Print Friendly

See all the Resources we offer on our Online Ministries Home Page

Daily Reflection Home

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook