Catechism of the Catholic Church

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