CCC 546 Jesus’ invitation to enter his kingdom comes in the form of parables, a characteristic feature of his teaching.1 Through his parables he invites people to the feast of the kingdom, but he also asks for a radical choice: to gain the kingdom, one must give everything.2 Words are not enough, deeds are required.3 The parables are like mirrors for man: will he be hard soil or good earth for the word?4 What use has he made of the talents he has received?5 Jesus and the presence of the kingdom in this world are secretly at the heart of the parables. One must enter the kingdom, that is, become a disciple of Christ, in order to “know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven”.6 For those who stay “outside”, everything remains enigmatic.7
CCC 1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God’s will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him “they shall reign for ever and ever.”8
CCC 1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”9
Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth.”10
CCC 1720 The New Testament uses several expressions to characterize the beatitude to which God calls man:
– the coming of the Kingdom of God;11 – the vision of God: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”12
– entering into the joy of the Lord;13
– entering into God’s rest:14
There we shall rest and see, we shall see and love, we shall love and praise. Behold what will be at the end without end. For what other end do we have, if not to reach the kingdom which has no end?15
CCC 1936 On coming into the world, man is not equipped with everything he needs for developing his bodily and spiritual life. He needs others. Differences appear tied to age, physical abilities, intellectual or moral aptitudes, the benefits derived from social commerce, and the distribution of wealth.16 The “talents” are not distributed equally.17
CCC 2683 The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom,18 especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were “put in charge of many things.”19 Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.
1 Cf. Mk 4:33-34.
2 Cf. Mt 13:44-45; 22:1-14.
3 Cf. Mt 21:28-32.
4 Cf. Mt 13:3-9.
5 Cf. Mt 25:14-30.
6 Mt 13:11.
7 Mk 4:11; cf. Mt 13:10-15.
8 Rev 22:5; cf. Mt 25:21, 23.
9 Mt 7:13-14.
10 LG 48 # 3; Mt 22:13; cf. Heb 9:27; Mt 25:13, 26, 30, 31 46.
11 Cf. Mt 4:17.
12 Mt 5:8; cf. 1 Jn 2; 1 Cor 13:12.
13 Mt 25:21-23.
14 Cf. Heb 4:7-11.
15 St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 22, 30, 5: PL 41,804.
16 Cf. GS 29 # 2.
17 Cf. Mt 25:14-30; Lk 19:27.
18 Cf. Heb 12:1.
19 Cf. Mt 25:21.