Commentary on the Gospel of

Claretian Bible Diary


Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels


Have you ever wondered what the “el” at the end of certain names means?  Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Daniel, Ezechiel, etc.  Sometimes the “el” is at the beginning:  Elizabeth, Elijah, Elisha.  It is a short for “Elohim,” a Hebrew name for God.  All these names have meanings of course.  But even if your name is not one of these, you can still think of it as naming your relationship to God.  The deepest layer of our identity is our relationship with God, and God calls us by our name.  If you bring strength and support to another person, you are (in a sense) an angel to that person.  Angel means “a messenger of God.”  What we write in our address books is one thing, but our deepest identity and our most secret name is our relationship to God. 


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