Thursday, December 1, 2011

Of Men and Angels

We are not going to turn into angels in the next life. We have a much higher destiny than that, for angels, although glorious beings, are still inferior to a glorified human being.

The first glory God bestowed upon mankind was to create us, and only us, in His own Image. No angel has that honor.

Again, God bestowed the highest honor upon humanity by becoming one of us. When have we ever heard He became an angel?

The God-Man laid down his own life to conquer death for us. For which angel did He ever die?

When the God-Man ascended into heaven, it was in His flesh, in His full humanity, to “sit at the right hand of the Father”. With which angel did the Father ever share His throne? In the Person of Jesus Christ, our humanity is perfectly united with the Godhead, without compromise to either. No angelic being has that honor.

We become, even in this life, members of Christ, grafted into His Being by Holy Baptism. Are angels baptized? We take God’s own flesh and blood into ours and mingle them together; do angels receive Holy Communion? We share the Body and indeed, the whole Being, of Christ, who is “so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (Hebrews 1:4)

Our destiny is to become deified and to share forever in the inner life of the Holy Trinity. We are sons and daughters of God’s; angels are and forever remain God’s servants – and ours.

For to which of the angels did He ever say:

“You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You” ?

And again:

“I will be to Him a Father,
And He shall be to Me a Son” ?

But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:

“Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

And of the angels He says:

“Who makes His angels spirits
And His ministers a flame of fire.”

But to the Son He says:

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

Hebrews 1:5-9

2 comments:

Ps-Iosifson said...

Important, too, is the LXX version of Isaiah 63:9: "Not an intercessor, nor an angel, but the Lord himself has saved them." (cf. "The spirit of Eastern Christendom (600-1700) by Jaroslav Pelikan, p. 206).

Something like this is also sung

GretchenJoanna said...

Very good reminder. The truth about men *and* about angels has been pretty much lost to most of the population, so I appreciate your publicizing of it.