Thursday, March 24, 2011

Feast of St Gabriel Archangel

"Consider that this Angel was not one of lesser rank, even though such are, on one account or another, often sent on embassies to this earth.  That he was an Angel of greater rank is indicated by his name which signifieth: Strength of God : and by the fact that he was sent, not by some Angel perhaps more excellent than he (as is usual), but from God himself.  Therefore for this reason it is said: From God.  Or, it might be for another reason, namely, lest it should be thought that God had discourteously revealed his counsel to any of the blessed spirits, except only the Archangel Gabriel, before he did so to the Virgin.  For Gabriel alone was found so eminent among his compeers as to be held worthy both of such a name and message.

Neither do his name and his message disagree.  For whom did it more behove to announce Christ, who is the Power of God, than him who is honoured by a like name?  For what else is power than strength?  Neither doth it appear to be unbecoming or unseemly that the Lord and his messenger should be known by a like title.  Christ is called the power or strength of God in a very different sense from that in which this appellation is given to the Angel.  In the Angel it is but a name.  In the case of Christ, it is also an eternal attribute."

-- From a homily by St Bernard of Clairvaux

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