Archangels

War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
The dragon and its angels fought back,
but they did not prevail
and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
The huge dragon, the ancient serpent,
who is called the Devil and Satan,
who deceived the whole world,
was thrown down to earth,
and its angels were thrown down with it.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed.
For the accuser of our brothers is cast out,
who accuses them before our God day and night.
They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
love for life did not deter them from death.
Therefore, rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them.”
(Revelation 12:7-12)

Scripture Study

12:7 Michael: The heavenly warrior and archangel (Jude 9) who protects the People of God (Dan 12:1). Here he leads the heavenly army in the attack against Satan and his hoards.

12:9 that ancient serpent: Satan, who took the form of a reptile when he instigated the fall of man in Gen 3:1–13. His name in Greek is the Devil, meaning “slanderer”, and his name in Hebrew is Satan, meaning “adversary”. the deceiver: Satan is the father of every lie and falsehood (Jn 8:44).

12:10 Now the salvation: Heaven celebrates the expulsion of the devil and his angels. This is not the fall of the angels at the dawn of time (12:4), but the defeat of evil at the turning point of salvation history, when Christ mounted the Cross and cast out the ruler of this world (Jn 12:31–32; Col 2:15). the kingdom: See note on Rev 11:15–19. accuser of our brethren: The devil is a prosecuting attorney who makes damning accusations against the saints (Job 1:6–11; Zech 3:1).

12:11 conquered … unto death: The martyrs appear defeated by death but are actually victorious. They, most of all, have shown the greater love (Jn 15:13) that makes them like Christ, even in his death (Phil 3:10).

Scripture Reflection

Once a most exalted creature, he became a devil because when God created man in his own image and likeness, he refused to acknowledge the dignity granted to man. Michael obeyed, but the devil and some other angels rebelled against God because they regarded man as beneath them. As a result the devil and his angelic followers were cast down to earth to be imprisoned in hell, which is why they ceaselessly tempt man, trying to make him sin so as to deprive him of the glory of God.

In the light of this tradition, the book of Revelation emphasizes that Christ, the new Adam, true God and true man, through his glorification merits and receives the worship that is his due—which spells the total rout of the devil. God’s design embraces both creation and redemption. Christ, the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, defeats the devil in a war which extends throughout human history; but the key stage in that war was the incarnation, death and glorification of our Lord.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

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