Prophecy From a Catholic Perspective (35) – The People of God

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Continuing through the Catechism of the Catholic Church as it relates to prophecy:

782 The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history:
– It is the People of God: God is not the property of any one people. But he acquired a people for himself from those who previously were not a people: “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”
– One becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being “born anew,” a birth “of water and the Spirit,” that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism.
– This People has for its Head Jesus the Christ (the anointed, the Messiah). Because the same anointing, the Holy Spirit, flows from the head into the body, this is “the messianic people.”
– “The status of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple.”
– “Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us.” This is the “new” law of the Holy Spirit.
– Its mission is to be salt of the earth and light of the world. This people is “a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race.”
-Its destiny, finally, “is the Kingdom of God which has been begun by God himself on earth and which must be further extended until it has been brought to perfection by him at the end of time.”

The “end times” is marked by the inclusion of the entire world – the People of God not excluded due to race, nation, or prior (and even to some extent, current) religious affiliation. God decided to use the chosen people for His purposes for reasons that are something of a mystery, but it was in preparation for an ultimate welcoming of all mankind into the fold when the time was right. Jesus completely turned the idea of what the Messiah was to do upside down when he declared the great faith that He saw in many of the people who were not Jews during His time on earth. And ultimately – and symbolized by the baptisms of John the Baptist – being born again of the water extended the right of sonship of the Father to all, outside the direct line of Israel.

We are now the messianic people! We are sons of God – adopted as such through His grace, and with that comes an indwelling of the Holy Spirit as we traverse through this age of culmination, working to expand and extend the Kingdom to the extent we are able to. We are on the road to a destination: the fullness and the perfection of the Kingdom of God, which can only finally be brought about by Christ at the appointed time. In my view, this is likely the time when God recognizes that human efforts, guided by the Holy Spirit, have reached their maximum potential.

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