June 25, 2024

The second coming of Christ has got to do directly with Israel:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#674): “The coming of the glorious Messiah, in a determined moment in history is linked with all of Israel recognising Him as the Messiah one part of which is hardened in its incredulity with regard to Jesus. Saint Paul says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: ‘Repent, then, and convert so that your sins may be wiped away, 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’. And St. Paul echoes him: ‘For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?’ The full inclusion of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of the full number of the Gentiles, 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”.

The triumph of the Church will not be by a gradual and evolving success but, like Christ, It will have to pass through its passion and death to reach its resurrection:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#675): “Before Christ's second coming, the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth 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 himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh”. And it adds in #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. 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. 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”.

Crass millennialism is condemned by the Church especially in the form of secularised messianism:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#676): The antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realise within history that messianic hope can only be realised beyond history through the eschatological judgement: even in its mitigated form, the Church has rejected this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism (cf. DS 3839), especially in the “intrinsically perverse” form of secularised messianism. (cf. Pius XI, “Divini Redemptoris” which condemns the “false mysticism” of this “falsification of the redemption of the humble”; GS 20-21).

From the time of a decree by Pope Pius XII in July 1944, the Church condemns the idea that Christ might reign during the millennium. Be it in its crass form or in its mitigated form, the Church has always rejected carnal millenniarism especially from the exaggerations of the heretic Cerinto onwards.

The negative consequence of this condemnation, is that the great majority of theologians ruled out and rules out today all types of milleniarism together with this specific censure, denying the Dogma of Faith that was essential and generalised during the first four centuries of Christianity, which survived in some authors throughout the history of the Church, and which was taken up again by Pope John Paul II in various passages of his teaching, of which the General Audience of 14-02-2001 stands out.

From the condemnation of 1944 the only thing that one can conclude is that Christ will physically come only in the Parousia, to defeat the Antichrist and carry out the judgement of nations, after which He will ascend again to heaven and will then reign, fully, integrally and universally from the Eucharist.

A specific condemnation should not lead one to rule out the admirable fulfilment of the very goal of the redemption, as St. Paul announced to the Ephesians: “To make all that is in heaven and on the earth be restored in Christ under His Sovereign Hierarchy” (Eph. 1, 9).

The kingdom is the concrete realisation of the salvific plan of Jesus that “All may be one” (Jn. 17, 20) as He and the Father are one, so that in the end there may be “One flock, under one shepherd” (Jn. 10, 16). It will be a truly universal Kingdom, fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament “The Kingdom, the Power and the glory shall be given to Him, and all people, tongues and nations will serve Him” (Dn. 7,14); “All the Kings of the earth shall serve Him, all the nations shall serve Him” (Ps. 71,11).

The characteristics of the kingdom are given by the Scriptures themselves: it will be a kingdom of justice and peace (Is. 60, 18; Ps.71, 3). It will be a Kingdom of true prosperity (Ez. 34, 26; Hos. 2, 23; Am. 9, 13). It will especially be a Kingdom of love, where God will show Himself especially loving towards man (Is. 66, 12).

If we do not know this future, we fall into the essential ignorance of Pilate when he asked Jesus: “Then you are a King?” to which Jesus replied: “You have said it, I am a King. For that I was born and for that have I come into the world” (Jn.18, 37).

Of the two schools, millenniarism and antimillenniarism, we are inclined to the first, which we at least know is a serious scientific hypothesis. And we can, if not teach it in in either form, at least keep in mind its literal interpretation, more correct as a possible interpretation, not condemned and even recommended, as St. Jerome said, “By innumerable saints and martyrs of both churches, Latin and Greek”, knowing that the literal interpretation does not exclude, but illuminate the spiritual interpretation, which is what we must keep.

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José Alberto Villasana Munguía

José Alberto Villasana Munguía is a Writer and analyst of political, economic and religious international affairs.

He studied Theology in the Gregorian University in Rome, Philosophy in the Angelicum University in Rome, Classical Humanities in the Centre for Higher Studies in Salamanca, Spain and International Communications in the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM), specialising in Eschatology since 1995.

He is Academic Adviser to the International Institute of Human Rights.

He is a director member of the Journalist’s Club of Mexico.

He is President of the pro life civil association “Life to be Born” (Vida para Nacer).

He has received the National Award for Journalism on three occasions in the categories of in-depth investigation.