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Whether Christ's judiciary power extends to the angels?

Objection 1: It would seem that Christ's judiciary power does not extend to the angels, because the good and wicked angels alike were judged in the beginning of the world, when some fell through sin while others were confirmed in bliss. But those already judged have no need of being judged again. Therefore Christ's judiciary power does not extend to the angels.

Objection 2: Further, the same person cannot be both judge and judged. But the angels will come to judge with Christ, according to Mat. 25:31: "When the Son of Man shall come in His majesty, and all the angels with Him." Therefore it seems that the angels will not be judged by Christ.

Objection 3: Further, the angels are higher than other creatures. If Christ, then, be judge not only of men but likewise of angels, then for the same reason He will be judge of all creatures; which seems to be false, since this belongs to God's providence: hence it is written (Job 34:13): "What other hath He appointed over the earth? or whom hath He set over the world which He made?" Therefore Christ is not the judge of the angels.

On the contrary, The Apostle says (1 Cor. 6:3): "Know you not that we shall judge angels?" But the saints judge only by Christ's authority. Therefore, much more does Christ possess judiciary power over the angels.

I answer that, The angels are subjects of Christ's judiciary power, not only with regard to His Divine Nature, as He is the Word of God, but also with regard to His human nature. And this is evident from three considerations. First of all, from the closeness of His assumed nature to God; because, according to Heb. 2:16: "For nowhere doth He take hold of the angels, but of the seed of Abraham He taketh hold." Consequently, Christ's soul is more filled with the truth of the Word of God than any angel: for which reason He also enlightens the angels, as Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. vii), and so He has power to judge them. Secondly, because by the lowliness of His Passion, human nature in Christ merited to be exalted above the angels; so that, as is said in Phil. 2:10: "In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth." And therefore Christ has judiciary power even over the good and wicked angels: in token whereof it is said in the Apocalypse (7:11) that "all the angels stood round about the throne." Thirdly, on account of what they do for men, of whom Christ is the Head in a special manner. Hence it is written (Heb. 1:14): "They are [Vulg.: 'Are they not'] all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall receive the inheritance of salvation (?)." But they are submitted to Christ's judgment, first, as regards the dispensing of those things which are done through them; which dispensing is likewise done by the Man Christ, to whom the angels ministered, as related (Mat. 4:11), and from whom the devils besought that they might be sent into the swine, according to Mat. 8:31. Secondly, as to other accidental rewards of the good angels, such as the joy which they have at the salvation of men, according to Lk. 15:10: "There shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance": and furthermore as to the accidental punishments of the devils wherewith they are either tormented here, or are shut up in hell; and this also belongs to the Man Christ: hence it is written (Mk. 1:24) that the devil cried out: "What have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth? art Thou come to destroy us?" Thirdly, as to the essential reward of the good angels, which is everlasting bliss; and as to the essential punishment of the wicked angels, which is everlasting damnation. But this was done by Christ from the beginning of the world, inasmuch as He is the Word of God.

Reply to Objection 1: This argument considers judgment as to the essential reward and chief punishment.

Reply to Objection 2: As Augustine says (De Vera Relig. xxxi): "Although the spiritual man judgeth all things, still he is judged by Truth Itself." Consequently, although the angels judge, as being spiritual creatures, still they are judged by Christ, inasmuch as He is the Truth.

Reply to Objection 3: Christ judges not only the angels, but also the administration of all creatures. For if, as Augustine says (De Trin. iii) the lower things are ruled by God through the higher, in a certain order, it must be said that all things are ruled by Christ's soul, which is above every creature. Hence the Apostle says (Heb. 2:5): "For God hath not subjected unto angels the world to come"---subject namely to Christ---"of whom we speak" [Douay: 'whereof we speak'] [*The words "subject namely to Christ" are from a gloss]. Nor does it follow that God set another over the earth; since one and the same Person is God and Man, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let what has been said of the Mystery of His Incarnation suffice for the present.

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