Reconciliatio per Christum
Reconciliation through Christ
1:18 Et ipse est caput corporis Ecclesiae, qui est principium, primogenitus ex mortuis: ut sit in omnibus ipse primatum tenens: [n. 45]
1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may hold the primacy: [n. 45]
1:19 quia in ipso complacuit, omnem plenitudinem inhabitare: [n. 50]
1:19 Because in him, it has well pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell: [n. 50]
1:20 et per eum reconciliare omnia in ipsum, pacificans per sanguinem crucis ejus, sive quae in terris, sive quae in caelis sunt. [n. 51]
1:20 And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth and the things that are in heaven. [n. 51]
1:21 Et vos cum essetis aliquando alienati, et inimici sensu in operibus malis: [n. 54]
1:21 And you, whereas you were some time alienated and enemies in mind in evil works: [n. 54]
1:22 nunc autem reconciliavit in corpore carnis ejus per mortem, exhibere vos sanctos, et immaculatos, et irreprehensibiles coram ipso: [n. 56]
1:22 Yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unspotted and blameless before him: [n. 56]
1:23 si tamen permanetis in fide fundati, et stabiles, et immobiles a spe Evangelii, quod audistis, quod praedicatum est in universa creatura, quae sub caelo est, [n. 57] cujus factus sum ego Paulus minister. [n. 58]
1:23 If you so continue in the faith, grounded and stable, and immoveable from the hope of the Gospel which you have heard, which is preached in all the creation that is under heaven, [n. 57] whereof I Paul am made a minister. [n. 58]
45. Postquam Apostolus commendavit Christum per comparationem ad Deum et ad totam creaturam, hic commendat ipsum in comparatione ad Ecclesiam. Et
45. After the Apostle commended Christ in his relationship to God and to all creatures, he here commends him in his relationship to the Church:
first, in a general way;
secundo specialiter quantum ad Colossenses, ibi et vos cum essetis;
second, in particular, in reference to the Colossians, at and you, whereas you were some time alienated;
tertio quantum ad suam personam singulariter, ibi cuius factus sum.
and third, in reference to himself, at whereof I Paul am made a minister.
Circa primum duo facit, quia
In regard to the first he does two things:
primo proponit habitudinem Christi ad totam Ecclesiam;
first, he mentions Christ’s relationship to the entire Church;
secundo exponit, ibi qui est principium.
and second, he explains this relationship, at who is the beginning.
46. Dicit ergo: iste, in quo habemus redemptionem, Christus, est primogenitus creaturae, sed secundum quod huiusmodi factus est caput Ecclesiae. Duo occurrunt hic exponenda. Et primo quomodo corpus sit Ecclesia, et secundo quomodo Christus est caput.
46. He says, therefore, that Christ, the first-born among creatures, is the one in whom we have our redemption. But because he has been made the head of the Church, two things have to be explained: first, in what way the Church is a body; and second, how Christ is its head.
Ecclesia dicitur corpus ad similitudinem unius hominis, et hoc dupliciter, scilicet et quantum ad distinctionem membrorum, Eph. c. IV, 1: dedit quosdam quidem apostolos, quosdam autem prophetas, etc., et quantum ad servitia, quae licet sint distincta, tamen unum servit alteri, I Cor. XII, 25: pro invicem sollicita sint membra; Gal. VI, 2: alter alterius onera portate, et cetera. Item, sicut constituitur unum corpus ex unitate animae, ita Ecclesia ex unitate spiritus. Eph. IV, 4: unum corpus et unus spiritus. I Cor. X, 17: unus panis et unum corpus multi sumus, et cetera. Item est alia consideratio membrorum ad caput Ecclesiae, scilicet ad Christum. Ipse enim Christus est caput Ecclesiae. Ps. III, 3: tu exaltas caput meum, et cetera.
The Church is called a body because of its likeness to a single human being. This likeness is twofold: first, in that it has distinct members: and his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers (Eph 4:11); second, because the members of the Church serve each other in ways that are different: the members may have the same care for one another (1 Cor 12:25); bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal 6:2). Again, just as a body is one because its soul is one, so the Church is one because the Spirit is one: there is one body and one Spirit (Eph 4:4); because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread (1 Cor 10:17). Next we have to consider the relationship of the members to the head of the Church, i.e., to Christ. For Christ is the head of the Church. But you, O Lord, are the lifter of my head (Ps 3:3).
47. Et exponit quid est esse caput, dicens qui est principium, et cetera. Caput enim respectu aliorum membrorum habet tria privilegia. Primo, quia distinguitur ab aliis ordine dignitatis, quia est principium et praesidens; secundo in plenitudine sensuum, qui sunt omnes in capite; tertio in quodam influxu sensus et motus ad membra. Et ideo
47. He explains what it means to be a head, saying, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead. The head has three privileges over the other members of the body. First, it is superior in dignity, because it is a source and a ruler. Second, it has the fullness of the senses, which are all in the head. Third, it is the source of an inflow of sense and movement to the members of the body. So
primo ostendit quomodo Christus est caput ratione dignitatis;
first, Paul shows how Christ is head because of his dignity;
secundo ratione plenitudinis gratiarum, ibi quia in ipso complacuit;
second, because of the fullness of his grace, at because in him, it has well pleased;
item tertio ratione influentiae, ibi et per eum.
and third, because of an inflow from him, at and through him to reconcile.
48. Ecclesia quidem habet duplicem statum, scilicet gratiae in praesenti et gloriae in futuro, et est eadem Ecclesia, et Christus est caput secundum utrumque statum: quia primus in gratia, et primus in gloria.
48. The Church exists in two states: the state of grace in the present time, and the state of glory in the future. But it is the same Church, and Christ is its head in both states, because he is the first in grace and the first in glory.
Quantum ad primum dicit qui est principium, quia non solum est in gratia secundum quod homo, sed etiam omnes sunt iustificati per fidem Christi. Rom. V, 19: per obedientiam unius hominis iusti constituuntur multi. Et ideo dicit qui est principium, scilicet iustificationis et gratiae in tota Ecclesia, quia etiam in Veteri Testamento sunt aliqui iustificati per fidem Christi. Io. VIII, 25: ego principium qui loquor, et cetera. Ps. CIX, 4: tecum principium, et cetera.
With respect to the first he says, who is the beginning, because he is not only first in grace insofar as he is a man, but all men are justified by faith in Christ: by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous (Rom 5:19). So he says, who is the beginning, that is, the beginning or source of justification and grace in the entire Church; because even in the Old Testament some were justified by faith in Christ: I am the beginning who am speaking to you (John 8:25); with you is the beginning (Ps 110:3).
Item est principium quantum ad statum gloriae. Ideo dicit primogenitus ex mortuis. Quia enim resurrectio mortuorum est quasi quaedam secunda generatio, quia homo in ea ad vitam aeternam reparatur, Matth. XIX, v. 28: in regeneratione, cum sederit Filius hominis, etc., et prae omnibus primus est Christus: ideo est primogenitus ex mortuis, id est eorum qui sunt geniti per resurrectionem.
Christ is also the beginning of the state of glory; and so he says, the firstborn from the dead. The reason for this is that the resurrection from the dead is a kind of second birth, because it restores us to eternal life: in the rebirth, when the Son of man sits on his glorious throne (Matt 19:28); but Christ is the first of all; and thus he is the firstborn from the dead, that is, the first-born of those who are born by the resurrection.
49. Sed contra de Lazaro Io. XI. Respondeo. Dicitur quod iste et alii non resurrexerunt ad illam vitam immortalem, sed ad mortalem; sed Christus resurgens ex mortuis iam non moritur, ut dicitur Rom. VI, 9. Apoc. I, 5: primogenitus mortuorum, et cetera. I Cor. XV, 20: nunc autem Christus resurrexit a mortuis primitiae dormientium. Et hoc, ut in omnibus sit ipse principatum tenens, quantum ad dona gratiae, quia ipse est principium; quantum ad dona gloriae, quia ipse est primogenitus. Eccli. XXIV, 9: in omni gente et in omni populo primatum habui, et cetera.
49. But what about Lazarus (John 11)? I answer that he and some others did not rise to the above mentioned immortal life, but to a mortal life; but Christ, having risen from the dead, will never die again (Rom 6:9); Jesus Christ, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth (Rev 1:5); Christ has risen from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Cor 15:20). And this is so that in all things he might hold the primacy: pre-eminent in the gifts of grace, because he is the beginning; and pre-eminent in the gifts of glory, because he is the first-born: in every nation I have had first place (Sir 24:10).
50. Deinde cum dicit quia in ipso, etc., ostendit dignitatem capitis quantum ad plenitudinem gratiarum omnium. Alii enim sancti habuerunt divisiones gratiarum, sed Christus habuit omnes. Ideo dicit quia in ipso, et cetera.
50. Then, he shows the dignity of the head with respect to the fullness of all graces. For some saints had particular graces, but Christ had all graces; and so he says, because in him, it has well pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell.
Singula verba pondus suum habent. Complacuit, designat quod dona hominis Christi non erant ex fato seu meritis, ut dicit Photinus, sed ex divinae voluntatis complacentia assumentis hunc hominem in unitatem personae. Matth. III, 17: hic est Filius meus, et cetera.
Each word has its own force. Pleased indicates that the gifts Christ had as man were not the result of fate or merits, as Photinus says, but were due to the good pleasure of the divine will taking this man into a unity of person: this is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased (Matt 3:17).
Item dicit omnem, quia alii habent hoc donum, alii aliud. Io. XIII, 3: omnia dedit in manus eius.
He says, all, because some have one gift and others different ones; the Father had given all things into his hands (John 13:3).
Item dicit plenitudinem, quia aliquis aliquod habuit donum, sed non plenitudinem eius, seu virtutis, quia forte invitus in aliquo defecit. Sed Io. I, 14 dicitur de Christo: vidimus eum plenum gratiae et veritatis. Eccli. c. XXIV, 16: in plenitudine sanctorum detentio mea.
He says, fullness, because one can have a gift without having the fullness of it or of its power, because perhaps one lacks something unwillingly. But John says that Christ was full of grace and truth (John 1:14); my abode is in the fullness of the saints (Sir 24:16).
Item dicit habitare. Alii enim acceperunt usum gratiae ad tempus, quia spiritus prophetarum non semper adest prophetis, sed in Christo est habitualiter, quia semper ad votum in Christo est dominium huius plenitudinis. Io. I, 33: super quem videris Spiritum descendentem, et in eo manentem, et cetera.
He says, to dwell, because some received the use of a grace for only a time; thus the spirit of prophecy was not always possessed by the prophets, but it is continuously present in Christ, because he always has control over this fullness to use it as he wishes: he on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit (John 1:33).
51. Deinde cum dicit et per eum, etc., ostendit Christum esse caput Ecclesiae ratione influxus. Et haec est tertia ratio capitis. Et
51. Then when he says, and through him, he shows that Christ is the head of the Church because of an inflow from him. And this is the third characteristic of a head.
primo ostendit influxum gratiae;
First, he shows the inflow of grace;
secundo exponit quod dixerat, ibi pacificans.
and second, he explains it, at making peace.
52. Dicit ergo primo: dico quod complacuit non solum quantum ad hoc quod haberet in se, sed etiam ut per eum ad nos derivaret. Unde dicit et per eum reconciliare omnia in ipsum. II Cor. V, 19: Deus erat in Christo mundum reconcilians sibi.
52. He says, therefore: I say that it pleased God not only that this fullness exist in Christ, but that it also flow from Christ to us; and so he says, and through him to reconcile all things unto himself: God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself (2 Cor 5:19).
53. Exponit autem qualis sit ista reconciliatio, et quomodo omnia reconciliata.
53. He mentions the nature of this reconciliation and how all things are reconciled.
In reconciliatione autem sunt duo consideranda: primo in quo conveniunt qui reconciliantur. Discordes enim diversas habent voluntates. Reconciliati autem consentiunt in aliquo uno. Et sic voluntates prius discordes concordant in Christo. Et huiusmodi voluntates sunt et hominum, et Dei, et angelorum. Hominum, quia Christus homo est; Dei, quia Deus est. Item discordia erat inter Iudaeos qui volebant legem, et gentiles qui non volebant legem; sed utrosque Christus concordat, quia ex Iudaeis est, et quia absolvit observantias legis.
Now there are two things to be considered in a reconciliation. First, the matters in which the reconciled persons agree. For people at odds have conflicting wills, but when they have been reconciled they agree in some things; and so wills that were before in conflict are made to harmonize in Christ. For example, the wills of men, of God, and of the angels. The will of men, because Christ is a man; and the will of God, because Christ is God. There was also conflict between the Jews, who wanted the law, and the gentiles, who did not want the law. But Christ created harmony between the two, because he was from the Jews, and he freed us from the legal observances.