Lumen Gentium 48

Lumen Gentium Chapter VII leads off:

THE ESCHATOLOGICAL NATURE OF THE PILGRIM CHURCH AND ITS UNION WITH THE CHURCH IN HEAVEN

The Church, to which we are all called in Christ Jesus, and in which we acquire sanctity through the grace of God, will attain its full perfection only in the glory of heaven, when there will come the time of the restoration of all things.(Acts 3, 21.) At that time the human race as well as the entire world, which is intimately related to (humankind) and attains to its end through him, will be perfectly reestablished in Christ.(Cf Eph. 1, 10; Col. 1, 20; 2 3, 10-13.)

Ah! End things. The ultimate makeover for the Bride: “full perfection.” The council reminds us of the saving mission of Christ, and its link with the establishment of the Church, and that the foundation for this makeover is already in progress:

Christ, having been lifted up from the earth has drawn all to Himself.(Cf. Jn. 12, 32.) Rising from the dead(cf. Rom. 6, 9.) He sent His life-giving Spirit upon His disciples and through Him has established His Body which is the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation. Sitting at the right hand of the Father, He is continually active in the world that He might lead (people) to the Church and through it join them to Himself and that He might make them partakers of His glorious life by nourishing them with His own Body and Blood. Therefore the promised restoration which we are awaiting has already begun in Christ, is carried forward in the mission of the Holy Spirit and through Him continues in the Church in which we learn the meaning of our terrestrial life through our faith, while we perform with hope in the future the work committed to us in this world by the Father, and thus work out our salvation.(Cf. Phil. 2, 12.)

There’s nothing much unfamiliar to a New Testament fanatic in the sentences that follow. The references fairly exhaust the funeral Lectionary:

Already the final age of the world has come upon us (Cf 1 Cor. 10. 11.) and the renovation of the world is irrevocably decreed and is already anticipated in some kind of a real way; for the Church already on this earth is signed with a sanctity which is real although imperfect. However, until there shall be new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells,(Cf. 2. Pet. 3, 13.) the pilgrimChurch in her sacraments and institutions, which pertain to this present time, has the appearance of this world which is passing and she herself dwells among creatures who groan and travail in pain until now and await the revelation of the (children) of God.(Cf. Rom. 8, 19-22.)

Joined with Christ in the Church and signed with the Holy Spirit “who is the pledge of our inheritance”,(Eph. 1, 14.) truly we are called and we are (children) of God(Cf. 1 Jn. 3, 1.) but we have not yet appeared with Christ in glory,(Cf. Col- 3. 4) in which we shall be like to God, since we shall see Him as He is.(Cf. 1 Jn. 3, 2) And therefore “while we are in the body, we are exiled from the Lord (2 Cor. 5, 6.) and having the first-fruits of the Spirit we groan within ourselves(Cf. Rom. 8, 23.) and we desire to be with Christ”‘.(Cf. Phil. 1. 23.) By that same charity however, we are urged to live more for Him, who died for us and rose again.(Cf. 2 Cor 5, 15.) We strive therefore to please God in all things(Cf. 2 Cor. 5, 9.) and we put on the armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil and resist in the evil day.(Cf.Eph.6, 11-13.) Since however we know not the day nor the hour, on Our Lord’s advice we must be constantly vigilant so that, having finished the course of our earthly life,(Cf. Heb 9, 27.) we may merit to enter into the marriage feast with Him and to be numbered among the blessed(Cf. Mt. 25, 31-46.) and that we may not be ordered to go into eternal fire(Cf. Mt. 25, 41.) like the wicked and slothful servant,(Cf. Mt. 25, 26.) into the exterior darkness where “there will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth”.(Mt. 22, 13 and 25. 30.) For before we reign with Christ in glory, all of us will be made manifest “before the tribunal of Christ, so that each one may receive what he has won through the body, according to his works, whether good or evil”(2 Cor. 5, 10.) and at the end of the world “they who have done good shall come forth unto resurrection of life; but those who have done evil unto resurrection of judgment”.(Jn. 5, 29; Cf. Matt. 25, 46.) Reckoning therefore that “the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us”,(Rom. 8, 18; cf. 2 Tim. 2, 11-12.) strong in faith we look for the “blessed hope and the glorious coming of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ”(Tit. 2, 13.) “who will refashion the body of our lowliness, conforming it to the body of His glory(Phil. 3, 21.). and who will come “to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all those who have believed”(2 Thess. 1, 10.).

End things always get fantasy/sf and evangelicals excited. Any such excitement in the commentariat today?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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