“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”

The grace and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ be with you.

“I am sending an angel ahead of you, to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” [Exodus 23:20]

On October 2nd, the Catholic church recognizes the feast celebration of Holy Guardian Angels.  Many of us, from the time of our childhood, believe that God has sent down to us- a Guardian Angel.  An angel all our own.  An angel who circled above our beds as we slept or followed us to school. We were certain the angel was there in the playground, beside us when the ‘training wheels’ were removed from out bike and yes, maybe even in the back seat when we took our drivers’ license test.

But therein lies a point- at what age does the Guardian Angel leave us? Do they?  As children, we were certain they were there. As adults, in this crazy fast paced world- well, we’re too sure.  After all, have we ever really seen an angel?  Christ tells us that “angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven” [Matthew 18:10], but have we ever seen one? I think we have, and on a daily basis.

We are taught in Scripture: “Do not neglect to show friendship to strangers, for thereby some have attended to angels.” [Hebrews 13:2]. So those people who we come into contact with on a daily basis, may indeed be angels.  Are we being tested to see if our care, compassion and charity are genuine? Perhaps. Or is there another possibility-  that it is we who may be the Guardian Angels of others!

When God asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I do not know” Cain replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” [Genesis 4:9]; God was setting forth an important lesson.  We are indeed our brother’s keeper.  It is our responsibility to be that hand, that shoulder, that ear- to lend to those that need help; whether they be a friend or stranger.  It must be our voice that is raised to shout at an injustice or whispered when one is frightened or lost.  It must be us- through our prayers, actions and involvement; that bring to life the compassion of Christ.  For “are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” [Hebrews 1:14]

So then, it is our charge to be “ministering spirits”- to be “angels” as it were.  To do the work of God so that others may know of the love and compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and rejoice with us!  For our good deeds, our caring actions, our voices of encouragement and equality will lift God up.  “By their fruits you will recognize them. A good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad fruit. However a good tree can never bear bad fruit, as a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” [Matthew 7:16-18]

So let us be those trees that bring forth good fruit, and let us offer to those who are hungry.  To lend a hand when we can to a friend or stranger. To be that kind word, that warm smile, that loving embrace or just that silent prescence that speaks volumes- you are not alone, I am here with you.  Like a Guardian Angel.

“For He will command His angels to have charge over you, and guard you in all your ways.” [Psalms 91:11]

Let us pray- “Angel of God- my guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here; be ever this day at my side- to light my way and guard and guide.”  Almighty God- make me an instrument of your love, your compassion, your chairty and your intervention.  Do not let me ignore, neglect or forget those who may turn to me today for help. Make of me to be for them a guardian angel. So help me God. Amen.

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