Chapter 13. Our Eternal Destiny • 157
comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glo-
rious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he
will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep
from the goats” (Mt 25:31-32). The sheep will inherit the Kingdom of
God. The goats will be sent to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and
his angels. In this parable, the criteria for being saved are described as
whether one fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, welcomed the
stranger, clothed the naked, cared for the sick, and visited the prisoners.
In each of these cases, it is Jesus himself who is thus treated. “Whatever
you did for these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40). If
we care for Jesus in these ways, we will receive the Kingdom. If we do
not, we will be separated from him forever.
The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory.
Only the Father knows the day and the hour. . . . Christ . . .
will pronounce the final word on all history [making clear]
the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the
entire economy of salvation. . . . The Last Judgment will reveal
that God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by
his creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death. (CCC,
THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH
God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in
which righteousness dwells.
—CCC, no. 1048, citing GS, no. 39
Once the Kingdom of God arrives in its fullness at the end of time there
will be a renewal of the universe in Christ. Scripture uses many images
to describe this mysterious reality. There will be a new heaven and a
“Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay” (cf.
Rom 8:19-23). The holy city of Jerusalem will descend from
heaven to earth (cf. Rev 21:10). We do not know when or how