Written by: Denise Serafini on Wednesday, May 03, 2017
On April 4th we had the honor of presenting our 2017 program at the parish of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Monroe, Michigan. What a magnificent church they have erected in his honor. The gold leaf used on the altars and statuary in the sanctuary is exceptional. How fitting it is to accentuate the entire church in gold as a tribute to St. Michael the Archangel when you consider that he isn't a saint, but an angel, and the leader of all angels in the heavenly army of God.
Among the many roles St. Michael has as the warrior champion of Christians, he is also the special patron of the Chosen People of the Old Testament and guardian of the Church. The early Christians also revered him and depended on him as a significant intercessor for the sick.
In Luke 22:41-43 we learn: "He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 'Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.'" An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” There is no reference that tells us exactly which angel was sent to help Jesus but I suspect that St. Michael might have been the one sent to help Jesus in his anguish, but even if not, I’m sure St. Michael would have had a stake in selecting just the right angel to Jesus in his role as Warrior for Our Salvation.
In presenting the Relics of the Passion at St. Michael’s Church we made the acquaintance of many people, but two stand out. Their names, I believe, were Ricky and Susan. We just happened to choose them from the attending faithful in the pews to help us hold the relics for veneration.
At the end of veneration, each of them had a unique but related story to tell. Ricky is a young man in his twenties that was raised Catholic but had let his relationship with Jesus fall to the wayside. He recently had an encounter that sounded to me like the prompting of the Holy Spirit that brought him back to his Catholic roots in prayer. Because of that he has returned to the Church to re-engage in the Sacraments. He kept hearing a voice that was telling him that he needed to prepare himself for some significant work to do to help prepare “God’s fields” for a harvest. As winter set in, he felt an inner voice telling him that just because it’s not planting season it doesn’t mean that you can ignore preparing the soil, so he simply began evangelizing to his friends. He’s not sure where this is all taking him, but he’s given his “yes” to be one of the laborers in the field.
Susan had a similar experience but the message she got was to engage in “holy boldness.” She had no idea what that meant when she first heard it but she is more or less on the same path as Ricky, speaking out to her friends and acquaintances, boldly proclaiming the love of Jesus that is there for each of us.
Similar to the angel chosen to help Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, perhaps St. Michael has a hand in selecting and guiding these two young individuals to help build God’s Army of prayer warriors here on earth.
Jean and I were both touched and inspired by their story. What a privilege for us to be standing among God’s warriors for today and the future. We wish them a plentiful harvest in “God’s fields”.