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Angels

A Xt3 Member asked at 11:25am on May 10th 2018
Can angels, specifically archangels, be incarnated as humans?

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Hi Anthony, since angels are pure spirits, and therefore invisible, they're often mentioned in the Bible as appearing in human form - for example the three 'men' who appeared to Abraham in Genesis 18:2 then show up as two angels who appear to Lot in Sodom (Genesis 19:1). Then there are the various appearances of angels in the Gospels, at with Gabriel appearing to Mary at the Annunciation. At the Resurrection, an angel moves away the stone at the entrance to the tomb and sat on it, terrifying the soldiers, with an appearance 'like lightning' and clothing 'white as snow' (Mt 28:2). Luke 24:4 tells how Peter and John see in the grave 'two men...in dazzling apparel.'

But there are no accounts of angels doing what the Risen Jesus does, being embraced, eating fish, allowing Thomas to put his hands in his wounds, and so on. So that even in his risen body, Jesus is still incarnate, while there's no attempt to depict these angels as other than appearing in human form. Since God is all powerful, I don't think we could exclude the possibility that angels could be incarnated as humans. But it seems clear from these and other accounts that their God-given power is limited to appearing in our space-time world, without ever becoming embodied in human flesh. Very best, Fr Brendan
Xt3's Ask a Priest answered at 4:14pm on May 27th 2018 reply
 

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