CCC 671 Though already present in his Church, Christ’s reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled “with power and great glory” by the King’s return to earth.1 This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ’s Passover.2 Until everything is subject to him, “until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God.”3 That is why Christians pray, above all in the Eucharist, to hasten Christ’s return by saying to him:4 Marana tha! “Our Lord, come!”5
CCC 677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.6 The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.7 God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.8
CCC 972 After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary. In her we contemplate what the Church already is in her mystery on her own “pilgrimage of faith,” and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. There, “in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity,” “in the communion of all the saints,”9 the Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother.
In the meantime the Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God.10
CCC 1037 God predestines no one to go to hell;11 for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance”:12
Father, accept this offering
from your whole family.
Grant us your peace in this life,
save us from final damnation,
and count us among those you have chosen.13
CCC 1042 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed:
The Church. .. will receive her perfection only in the glory of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ.14
CCC 1043 Sacred Scripture calls this mysterious renewal, which will transform humanity and the world, “new heavens and a new earth.”15 It will be the definitive realization of God’s plan to bring under a single head “all things in [Christ], things in heaven and things on earth.”16
CCC 1405 There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth “in which righteousness dwells,”17 than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, “the work of our redemption is carried on” and we “break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ.”18
CCC 2822 Our Father “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”19 He “is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish.”20 His commandment is “that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”21 This commandment summarizes all the others and expresses his entire will.
1 Lk 21:27; cf. Mt 25:31.
2 Cf. 2 Th 2:7.
3 LG 48 # 3; cf. 2 Pt 3:13; Rom 8:19-22; I Cor 15:28.
4 Cf. I Cor 11:26; 2 Pt 3:11-12.
5 1 Cor 16:22; Rev 22:17,20.
6 Cf. Rev 19:1-9.
7 Cf Rev 13:8; 20:7-10; 21:2-4.
8 Cf. Rev 20:12 2 Pt 3:12-13.
9 LG 69.
10 LG 68; Cf. 2 Pet 3 10.
11 Cf. Council of Orange II (529): DS 397; Council of Trent (1547):1567.
12 2 Pet 3:9.
13 Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 88.
14 LG 48; Cf. Acts 3:21; Eph 1:10; Col 1:20; 2 Pet 3:10-13.
15 2 Pet 3:13; Cf. Rev 21:1.
16 Eph 1:10.
17 2 Pet 3:13.
18 LG 3; St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20, 2: SCh 10, 76.
19 1 Tim 2:3-4.
20 2 Pet 3:9; cf. Mt 18:14.
21 Jn 13:34; cf. 1 Jn 3; 4; Lk 10:25-37.