Today, Paul says something that if you think about it is truly mind blowing:
8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; 10 that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.
“Principalities and powers” is part of the biblical hierarchy of Angels. So Paul is saying that THROUGH THE CHURCH the wisdom of God will be made known to the Angels in heaven.
Stop and think about that for a second. The Angels are already in heaven with God and with Jesus but their knowledge of “the manifold wisdom of God” does not come to them directly. Rather it comes to them through the Church on earth.
The Church, which is made up of men, will teach the Angels about God. How is this even possible? How can we make sense of this passage? This is why the Catholic understanding of the Church is so important. The Church is not just a universal body of believers. Jesus so loved man that he died to found the Church. Jesus loved us so much that the breathed the Holy Spirit into the Church and said that He would “lead us into all truth”. As Paul has just said, the Church is the body of Christ, the fullness of him who is all in all (Jesus).
Another way to understand this is to realize that Jesus chooses not to be continually physically incarnate in the world. You can’t walk up to him and meet him and talk to him. Instead, he founded a Church and Christ manifests himself in the world through the Church that is his presence, his fullness. That is why Paul can say that his words are the same as “commandments of the Lord” because as a Bishop he speaks for the Church and therefore for Christ. The Church and Christ are in essence one and the same. That is why the Church can and will teach the Angels. The only way that is even possible is if the Church and Jesus are so closely related that the Church teaching Angels is the same as Jesus teaching angels. This is what St. Paul has been explaining to us throughout the letter to the Ephesians.
I have a homework assignment for everyone this weekend. On Sunday, when you go to Church, take this passage up to your pastor and ask him (or her). Can you teach the angles? Most pastors, if not all protestant pastors, will look at you like you have three heads and say “of course not”. Then show them this passage and ask them to explain it. But a good Catholic priest will tell you, “Yes, the Church can teach the angels.”
Can another Church teach Angels about God?