The head of the Church
1:22 Et omnia subjecit sub pedibus ejus: et ipsum dedit caput supra omnem Ecclesiam, [n. 66]
1:22 And he has subjected all things under his feet and has made him head over all the Church, [n. 66]
1:23 quae est corpus ipsius, et plenitudo ejus, qui omnia in omnibus adimpletur. [n. 70]
1:23 Which is his body and the fullness of him who is filled all in all. [n. 70]
65. Supra egit Apostolus de exaltatione Christi, et quantum ad eius transitum de morte ad vitam in illa particula suscitans illum, etc.; et de eius exaltatione ad gloriam altissimam, in illa particula et constituens ad dexteram, etc., hic agit de eius exaltatione quantum ad potestatem maximam.
65. The Apostle has previously dealt with the exaltation of Christ both from the viewpoint of his passing over from death to life, at raising him (Eph 1:20), and from that of his exaltation to the highest glory, at setting him on his right hand. Now he treats of the immense power of his exaltation.
Circa quod duo facit, quia
Concerning this he does two things:
primo agit de Christi potestate respectu totius creaturae;
first, he discusses the power of Christ with respect to the whole of creation;
secundo de eius potestate respectu Ecclesiae, ibi et ipsum dedit, et cetera.
second, his power in relation to the Church, at has made him.
66. Dicit ergo, quod respectu totius creaturae habet universalem potestatem, quia omnia subiecit, scilicet Deus Pater, sub pedibus eius.
66. He affirms that, with respect to the whole of creation, Christ has universal power since God the Father has subjected all things under his feet.
Ubi sciendum est, quod hoc quod dicit sub pedibus, potest accipi dupliciter. Uno modo, ut sit locutio figurativa et similitudinaria, ut scilicet per hoc detur intelligi, quod omnis creatura totaliter est subiecta potestati Christi. Illud enim est a nobis omnino subiectum, quod pedibus conculcamus. Et de ista potestate dicitur Matth. ult.: data est mihi omnis potestas in caelo et in terra. Hebr. II, 8: in eo enim, quod ei omnia subiiciuntur, nihil dimisit non subiectum ei.
The phrase under his feet can be taken in two ways. In one it is a figurative and symbolic way of saying that every creature is totally subject to the power of Christ. What we trample under foot is certainly subjected to us. Regarding this power it is written: all power is given to me in heaven and in earth (Matt 28:18). For in subjecting all things to him, he left nothing not subjected to him (Heb 2:8).
Alio modo, ut sit locutio metaphorica. Nam per pedes intelligitur infima pars corporis, per caput vero suprema. Licet autem in Christo divinitas et humanitas non habeant rationem partis, tamen divinitas, quae est supremum in Christo, intelligitur per caput, I Cor. XI, 3: caput vero Christi Deus, humanitas vero, quae infima est, intelligitur per pedes, Ps. CXXXI, 7: adorabimus in loco ubi steterunt pedes eius. Est ergo sensus, quod omnia creata non solum subiecit Pater Christo inquantum est Deus, cui ab aeterno omnia sunt subiecta, sed etiam humanitati eius.
In another acceptation it is a metaphorical way of speaking. By the feet the lowest part of the body is understood, and by the head the highest. Although the humanity and divinity should not be thought of as parts of Christ, nonetheless the divinity is preeminent in Christ and may be understood as his head—the head of Christ is God (1 Cor 11:3). The humanity is lower and may be taken as the feet—let us worship at his footstool (Ps 132:7). The meaning of this passage is then that the Father has not only subjected all of creation to Christ as he is God, to whom everything is subject from eternity, but also to his humanity.
67. Advertendum est autem hic, quod Christo subiiciuntur aliqua dupliciter, quia quaedam voluntarie, et quaedam involuntarie. Hoc autem Origenes non intelligens, sumpsit ex hoc verbo Apostoli occasionem erroris, dicens, quod omnia quae subiiciuntur Christo participant salutem, quia ipse est vera salus. Et ideo dixit, quod omnes daemones et damnati aliquando salvabuntur, cum subiiciantur sub pedibus Christi. Hoc autem est contra sententiam Domini Matth. XXV, 41: discedite a me, maledicti, in ignem aeternum, qui paratus est diabolo et angelis eius; et concludit in fine capituli: ibunt hi in supplicium aeternum.
67. Notice how something may be subjected to Christ in two ways, some are so voluntarily and others involuntarily. Origen overlooked this distinction so that this saying of the Apostle occasioned an error on his part. He claimed that everything subjected to Christ, who is true salvation, must share in salvation. He concluded that the demons and damned will be saved at some time since they are subjected under Christ’s feet. But this is contrary to the Lord’s pronouncement: depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels; and he concludes at the end of the chapter, and these shall go into everlasting punishment (Matt 25:41, 46).
Dicendum est ergo, quod omnia subiecit sub pedibus eius, sed quaedam voluntarie tamquam Salvatori, puta iustos, qui in vita praesenti implent voluntatem Dei, et isti subiiciuntur ei ut impleat eorum desiderium et voluntatem, expectantes illud quod dicitur de bonis Prov. X, 24: desiderium suum iustis dabitur. Quaedam vero subiiciuntur ei invite tamquam iudici, ut Christus de his suam voluntatem faciat. Et isti sunt mali, de quibus potest intelligi illud Lc. XIX, 27: verumtamen inimicos meos illos qui noluerunt me regnare super se, adducite huc et interficite coram me.
It must be held, therefore, that he has subjected all things under his feet, some as willingly, as to their Savior, such as the just who fulfill God’s will in the present life, and are subjected to him that they may satisfy their desire and will, awaiting for what is said of the good: to the just their desire shall be given (Prov 10:24). Others, however, are subjected to him unwillingly, as to their judge, that Christ may accomplish his own will in their regard. These are the wicked of whom it may be understood to be written: but as for those my enemies, who would not have me reign over them, bring them here and kill them before me (Luke 19:27).
68. Deinde cum dicit et ipsum dedit caput, etc., agit de potestate Christi respectu Ecclesiae.
68. Next, at has made him head, he deals with Christ’s power with respect to the Church.
Circa quod tria facit; quia
In reference to this he makes three points:
primo ponit habitudinem Christi ad Ecclesiam;
first, he sets down the relation of Christ to the Church.
secundo habitudinem Ecclesiae ad Christum;
second, he lays out the relation of the Church to Christ;
tertio exponit illam habitudinem.
third, he explains this relationship.
69. Quantum ad primum dicit et ipsum dedit, Deus Pater, caput super omnem Ecclesiam, scilicet tam Militantem, quae est hominum in praesenti viventium, quam Triumphantem, quae est ex hominibus et angelis in patria.
69. Concerning the first, at and made him head, he says God the Father made him head over all the Church, both of the Church Militant, composed of men living in the present, and of the Church Triumphant, made up of the men and angels in the fatherland.
Christus enim secundum quasdam communes rationes caput est etiam angelorum, Col. c. II, 10: qui est caput omnis principatus et potestatis; sed secundum speciales rationes est Christus caput hominum spiritualiter.
On account of certain general reasons, Christ is even the head of the angels—who is the head of all principality and power (Col 2:10)—whereas Christ is spiritually the head of mankind for special reasons.
Nam caput triplicem habitudinem habet ad membra. Primo quidem quo ad praeeminentiam in situ; secundo, quo ad diffusionem virtutum, quia ab eo omnes sensus derivantur in membra; item, quo ad conformitatem in natura. Sic ergo quantum ad praeeminentiam et quantum ad diffusionem Christus est caput angelorum. Nam Christus praeest angelis, etiam secundum humanitatem. Hebr. I, v. 4: tanto melior angelis effectus, quanto prae illis differentius nomen haereditavit. Item Christus, etiam secundum quod homo, angelos illuminat et in eis influit, ut Dionysius probat ex verbis Is. LXIII, 1 scilicet: quis est iste, qui venit de Edom, etc., dicens haec verba esse supremorum angelorum. Quod autem sequitur: ego qui loquor iustitiam, dicit esse verba Christi eis immediate respondentis. Ex quo datur intelligi quod non solum inferiores, sed etiam superiores angelos Christus illuminat.
For the head has a threefold relationship with the other members. First, it has a preeminent position; second, its powers are diffused since all the senses in the members are derived from it; third, it is of the same nature as the other members. Thus, Christ is head of the angels in regard to preeminence and the diffusion of his power. Even in his humanity Christ surpasses the angels: being made so much better than the angels as he has inherited a more excellent name than they (Heb 1:4). Moreover, even as man, Christ enlightens and influences them; Dionysius proves this from what is written: who is this that comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra? (Isa 63:1), claiming that these words are those of the highest angels. The response which follows: it is I, announcing justice mighty to save, he says are the words of Christ who immediately answers them. From this it should be understood that Christ not only illumines the lower but also the higher angels.
Quantum autem ad naturae conformitatem, Christus non est caput angelorum, quia non angelos apprehendit, sed semen Abrahae, ut dicitur Hebr. II, 16 sed est caput hominum tantum. Cant. IV, 9: vulnerasti cor meum, soror mea, scilicet per naturam, et sponsa per gratiam.
With respect to a conformity of nature, Christ is not the head of the angels, for surely he did not take angels to himself, but he took the line of Abraham (Heb 2:16); but in this respect he is the head of men only. You have wounded my heart, my sister, through nature, and my spouse, through grace (Song 4:9).
70. Quantum ad habitudinem Ecclesiae ad Christum, dicit quae est corpus eius, scilicet inquantum est ei subiecta, et recipit ab eo influentiam, et habet naturam conformem cum Christo. I Cor. XII, 12: sicut enim corpus unum est et habet multa membra, omnia autem membra corporis cum sint multa, unum tamen corpus sunt, ita et Christus; etenim in uno Spiritu omnes nos in unum corpus baptizati sumus.
70. He speaks of the relation of the Church to Christ at which is his body, inasmuch as she is subject to him, receives his influence, and shares the same nature with Christ. Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body (1 Cor 12:12–13).
71. Exponit autem quod dixit, quae est corpus ipsius, subdens et plenitudo eius, et cetera.
71. He explains which is his body by adding the fullness of him.
Quaerenti enim cur in corpore naturali sint tot membra, scilicet manus, pedes, os et huiusmodi, respondetur hoc esse ideo ut deserviant diversis operibus animae, quorum ipsa potest esse causa, principium, et quae sunt virtute in ipsa. Nam corpus est factum propter animam, et non e converso. Unde secundum hoc corpus naturale est quaedam plenitudo animae. Nisi enim essent membra cum corpore completa, non posset anima suas operationes plene exercere.
To one asking why there are so many members in a natural body—hands, feet, mouth, and the like it could be replied that they are to serve the soul’s variety of activities. The soul itself is the cause and principle of these members, and what they are, the soul is virtually. For the body is made for the soul, and not the other way around. From this perspective, the natural body is a certain fullness of the soul; unless the members exist with an integral body, the soul cannot exercise fully its activities.
Similiter itaque est hoc de Christo et de Ecclesia. Et quia Ecclesia est instituta propter Christum, dicitur quod Ecclesia est plenitudo eius, scilicet Christi, id est, ut omnia, quae virtute sunt in Christo, quasi quodam modo in membris ipsius Ecclesiae impleantur, dum scilicet omnes sensus spirituales, et dona, et quidquid potest esse in Ecclesia, quae omnia superabundanter sunt in Christo, ab ipso deriventur in membra Ecclesiae et perficiantur in eis. Unde subdit qui omnia in omnibus adimpletur, scilicet dum hunc quidem, qui est membrum Ecclesiae, facit sapientem secundum perfectam sapientiam, quae est in ipso: illum vero iustum secundum perfectam iustitiam, et sic de aliis.
This is similar in the relation of Christ and the Church. Since the Church was instituted on account of Christ, the Church is called the fullness of Christ. Everything which is virtually in Christ is, as it were, filled out in some way in the members of the Church. For all spiritual understanding, gifts, and whatever can be present in the Church—all of which Christ possesses superabundantly—flow from him into the members of the Church, and they are perfected in them. So he adds who is filled all in all since Christ makes this member of the Church wise with the perfect wisdom present in himself, and he makes another just with his perfect justice, and so on with the others.
Vita Nova in Christo
New Life in Christ
Vita antea in mundo
Former life in the world
2:1 Et vos, cum essetis mortui delictis et peccatis vestris, [n. 73]
2:1 And you, when you were dead in your offences and sins, [n. 73]
2:2 in quibus aliquando ambulastis secundum saeculum mundi hujus, secundum principem potestatis aëris hujus, spiritus, qui nunc operatur in filios diffidentiae, [n. 74]
2:2 Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of this air, of the spirit that now works on the children of unbelief: [n. 74]
2:3 in quibus et nos omnes aliquando conversati sumus in desideriis carnis nostrae, facientes voluntatem carnis et cogitationum, et eramus natura filii irae, sicut et ceteri: [n. 80]
2:3 In which also we all conversed in time past, in the desires of our flesh, fulfilling the will of the flesh and of our thoughts, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest: [n. 80]
72. Supra enumeravit Apostolus beneficia humano generi per Christum communiter exhibita, hic Apostolus commemorat eadem per comparationem ad eorum statum praeteritum. Status autem eorum praeteritus dupliciter considerari potest. Primo quidem quantum ad statum culpae; secundo quantum ad statum gentilitatis eorum. Apostolus ergo duo facit, quia
72. Above, the Apostle enumerated the blessings bestowed on the human race in general through Christ. Here the Apostle sets them in relief by comparing them to mankind’s former condition. Their past state can be considered in two ways: first as a state of sin, and second as a state of paganism. Therefore, the Apostle does two things:
primo commemorat beneficia quantum ad primum statum eis exhibita;
first, he recounts the blessings shown them in regard to their first state;
secundo commemorat ea per comparationem ad statum secundum, ibi propter quod memores estote, et cetera.
second, he recalls those related to their second state, at for which cause be mindful (Eph 2:11).