This material was first published by Redemptorist Publications
and is included here with their permission.
Angels and Ladders
The story of Jacob’s ladder and God’s angels ascending and descending on it between earth and heaven is well known to us as it would have been to all Jews during Jesus’ lifetime. In the dream God also comes to Jacob and makes promises to him about the land he will be given one day and his descendants of whom there will be many. God promises as well to be with Jacob, not leaving him to go alone into the unknown future.
When Jacob awakes he makes a pillar of the stone he used as a pillow and consecrates it with oil. He believes that this place of angels and divine promises must be sacred, the House of God, Beth-el.
Now Jesus of Nazareth, a descendant of Jacob in whom all God’s promises are to be fulfilled, re-defines the House of God. The angels of God will now ascend from and descend on to Jesus, the Son of Man. It is now through Jesus that heaven and earth are brought together. The House of God is now a person, not a place.
And God’s angels continue to carry between earth and heaven, through Jesus, news of promises, vows and re-assurances. They will go on doing so until at last, with Michael, they finally overthrow all who oppose God and they will proclaim the establishment of the reign of God’s Messiah in whom all things live and move and have their being now and for ever.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, let your angels protect us from harm and guide us ever closer to you until we see you face to face in the presence of God our Father. Amen.