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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,

no. 1040)


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

new earth:

“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