Christ was made less than angels; Angels: Day 187

Arguing against heretics who denied that the Son was  equal to the Father, St. Ambrose marvels at the pride of  people who would judge God. Yet the most wonderful thing of all is not that the Son is equal to the Father, but that he made himself  less than the angels for our sake.They say he is inferior: I ask, who has measured it? Who has such an extravagantly proud heart, as to place the Father and the Son before his judgment seat to decide upon which is the greater? “My heart is not haug … [Read more...]

Demons recognize Christ but do not know him; Angels: Day 186

Christ revealed enough of  himself  to the demons so that they would fear and obey him, says St. Augustine. But they didn’t know him the way he is known by the holy angels, who love his righteousness and share his eternal life.The devils themselves knew this manifestation of God so well that they said to the Lord, though he was clothed with the infirmity of flesh, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” (Mark 1:24).From these words, it is clear that … [Read more...]

At his humblest, Christ was served by angels; Angels: Day 185

There’s  no contradiction, says  St. Ambrose, between saying that Christ was humble and saying that he was Lord of all the powers of Heaven. The Incarnation, though it made him a humble human being, did not affect his divinity.Let us not be troubled if we find the Son of Man called mighty in one place, and yet read in another that the Lord of glory was crucified. What might is greater than sovereignty over the powers of Heaven? But this sovereignty was in the hands of him who ruled over Thro … [Read more...]

The threefold temptation of Christ; Angels: Day 184

St. Augustine gives us an analysis  of  the temptation of  Christ, showing how Satan tried to appeal to Christ’s hunger, his vanity, and his curiosity.The temptation of the Lord Man was threefold:By food: that is, by the lust of the flesh, where he suggests, “command these stones to become loaves of bread” (Matt. 4:3). By vain boasting, where, when stationed on a mountain, all the kingdoms of this earth are shown him, and promised if he would worship (Matt. 4:8-9). By curiosity, wher … [Read more...]

“Angel” was his job not his nature; Angels: Day 183

Some even in the time of Christ  thought John the Baptist was a heavenly angel in the form of a man. The word “angel” is from the Greek word for “messenger,” and Greek makes no distinction between “angel” and “messenger.”  Thus  St. Cyril has to explain that “messenger” is John’s job description, not his nature.There was already a rumor going around that the holy Baptist was not really a man by nature, but one of the holy angels in Heaven, making use of a hu- man body and sent by God to preac … [Read more...]

“Increased in wisdom and stature”; Angels: Day 182

What does it mean when Luke says that the child Jesus “increased in wisdom and stature”? St. Athanasius says that the Word of God could not grow any more perfect; but the human body grew, and as Jesus grew older the people around him understood his wisdom  more and more.“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).If he “increases” in being the Word, what more can he become than Word and Wisdom and Son and God’s power? The Word is all these thi … [Read more...]