Christian living takes place ‘between the times,’ between the first coming of Christ and his second coming. The first coming was humble, to say the least: an infant born of poor parents in an obscure village. The second coming will be different: “The powers in the heavens will be shaken and people will be distraught at the roaring of the sea and the waves.”
Both comings of Christ bring justice. Jeremiah says of the coming messiah that he will be “for David a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land,” and because of him Jerusalem shall be called “The Lord our justice.” The second coming is also about justice, about God setting things right, about the ransoming of those who “can stand up straight and stand secure before the Son of Man.”
Jesus came to us in Bethlehem to renew the world in love and justice. Christ will come again to fulfill God’s promise of love and justice.
Love induces the Church to concern herself constantly about the true temporal welfare of men. Without ceasing to recall to her children that they have not here a lasting dwelling, she also urges them to ... promote justice, peace and brotherhood among men, to give their aid freely to their brothers, especially to the poorest and most unfortunate. The deep solicitude of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, for the needs of men, for their joys and hopes, their griefs and efforts, is therefore nothing other than her great desire to be present to them, in order to illuminate them with the light of Christ and to gather them all in Him, their only Savior.
Pope Paul VI, Solemn Profession of Faith
at the Closing of the Year of Faith, June 30, 1968