Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  176 / 904 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 176 / 904 Next Page
Page Background

176

Part One

The glorious advent of Christ, the hope of Israel

673

Since the Ascension Christ’s coming in glory has been

imminent,

566

even though “it is not for you to know times or

seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.”

567

This

eschatological coming could be accomplished at any moment, even

if both it and the final trial that will precede it are “delayed.”

568

674

The glorious Messiah’s coming is suspended at every mo-

ment of history until his recognition by “all Israel,” for “a harden-

ing has come upon part of Israel” in their “unbelief” toward

Jesus.

569

St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost:

“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted

out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the

Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,

whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that

God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old.”

570

St.

Paul echoes him: “For if their rejection means the reconciliation of

the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the

dead?”

571

The “full inclusion” of the Jews in the Messiah’s salva-

tion, in the wake of “the full number of the Gentiles,”

572

will enable

the People of God to achieve “the measure of the stature of the

fullness of Christ,” in which “God may be all in all.”

573

The Church’s ultimate trial

675

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass

through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.

574

The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth

575

will

unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception

offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of

apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of

the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies him-

self in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

576

566 Cf.

Rev

22:20.

567

Acts

1:7; cf.

Mk

13:32.

568 Cf.

Mt

24:44;

1 Thess

5:2;

2 Thess

2:3-12.

569

Rom

11:20-26; cf.

Mt

23:39.

570

Acts

3:19-21.

571

Rom

11:15.

572

Rom

11:12, 25; cf.

Lk

21:24.

573

Eph

4:13;

1 Cor

15:28.

574 Cf.

Lk

18:8;

Mt

24:12.

575 Cf.

Lk

21:12;

Jn

15:19-20.

576 Cf.

2 Thess

2:4-12;

1 Thess

5:2-3;

2 Jn

7;

1 Jn

2:18, 22.

1040, 1048

840

58

769