Offertory of Dedication of Saint Michael the Archangel

Apocalypse 8:3,4

An Angel stood near the altar of the temple, having a golden censer in his hand: and there was given to him much incense: and the smoke of the perfumes ascended before God.

Haydock

Verse 3. Stood before the altar, having a golden censer. In the visions is an allusion to the tabernacle and its parts. The altar of perfumes was in the sanctum, hard by the entrance into the sanctum sanctorum, and here the golden altar is said to be before the throne of God. The incense from the censer is said to be the prayers of all the Saints, which the Angel offered up. The altar seems to signify our Saviour Christ, as the prayers of all the faithful are always made through the merits of Christ, our only chief Mediator or Redeemer. By the fire cast upon the earth, (v. 5.) is signified the fire of divine charity, now to be exercised by the ways of justice, to draw persons to their conversion by punishments. Wi. — We may observe both in this and other places of the Apocalypse, that S. John makes continual allusions to what was done in the temple of Jerusalem, for which he gives us symbolical reasons. Thus on the present occasion, the incense which was offered morning and evening in the temple, on the golden altar, is represented as done here in heaven. Calmet.

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