The Holy Guardian Angels
Epistle • Exodus 23:20-23Lesson from the Book of Exodus.
[The promise of an Angel to conduct and protect us.]
Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will send My Angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee unto the place that I have prepared. Take notice of him, and hear his voice, and do not think him one to be contemned, for he will not forgive when thou hast sinned, and My name is in him. But if thou wilt hear his voice, and do all that I speak, I will be an enemy to thine enemies, and will afflict them that afflict thee: and My Angel shall go before thee.
Gospel • Matthew 18:1-10
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
[Christ teaches humility, to beware of scandal, and to flee the occasions of sin, for our Guardian Angels see the face of God.]
At that time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who, thinkest Thou, is the greater in the Kingdom of Heaven? and Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the Kingdom of Heaven: and he that shall receive one such little child in My name, receiveth Me; but he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe to the world because of scandals: for it must needs be that scandals come; but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
See that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say to you, that their Angels in Heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in Heaven.