Church Column with Father Paul Dowling

Father Paul Dowling.
Father Paul Dowling.

In recent years new methods of communication have become very influential in our lives.

As someone who is involved with social media, I sometimes ask myself if I spend too much time with trivia and not enough time on important news and current affairs that effects nations.

St Mary's Church, Market Weighton.

St Mary's Church, Market Weighton.

Social media is too specific on to one individual person and cannot be relied upon to have our best interests at heart.

Sending a message or text to someone is easy but with what intention is it being sent? Is it for the good of the person receiving the message or is it to challenge or put stress or public pressure onto them?

In the Bible we encounter different messengers of God.

Some are prophets, people who were given a message by God to a group of people and others are angels.

We all probably have an image of what an angel is and the image is a comforting one for us. Angel is a Greek word for “messenger”.

We frequently read of angels in Scripture, but only three are named – Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

They are servants and messengers of God sent to perform a mission.

Gabriel brings the news of the birth of John the Baptist to Zachariah and Elizabeth (Lk 1:11 20) and news of the birth of Jesus to Mary (Lk 1: 26­38).

Michael is the powerful prince of the heavenly host assigned to battle with the devil and casts him down (Daniel 10:13 and 12:1; Rev 12:7­9). Raphael wiped away the blindness of Tobit and led Tobias to a happy marriage (Tobit Ch 6).

As people we are in need of affirmation and reassurance. If we do not get it from those closest to us then we may look elsewhere for it such as social media.

However, can the people we find on there be relied upon? Perhaps it is better for us to rely on the messengers that God sends for help and support?

In the Catholic Church, the feast day for Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael is 29 September.