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58 The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of the Gentiles, until the universal proclamation of the Gospel. 13 The Bible venerates several great figures among the Gentiles: Abel the just, the king-priest Melchisedek - a figure of Christ - and the upright "Noah, Daniel, and Job". 14 Scripture thus expresses the heights of sanctity that can be reached by those who live according to the covenant of Noah, waiting for Christ to "gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad". 15

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671 Though already present in his Church, Christ's reign is nevertheless yet to be fulfilled "with power and great glory" by the King's return to earth. 556 This reign is still under attack by the evil powers, even though they have been defeated definitively by Christ's Passover. 557 Until everything is subject to him, "until there be realized new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church, in her sacraments and institutions, which belong to this present age, carries the mark of this world which will pass, and she herself takes her place among the creatures which groan and travail yet and await the revelation of the sons of God." 558 That is why Christians pray, above all in the Eucharist, to hasten Christ's return by saying to him: 559 Marana tha! "Our Lord, come!" 560

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674 The glorious Messiah's coming is suspended at every moment of history until his recognition by "all Israel", for "a hardening has come upon part of Israel" in their "unbelief" toward Jesus. 568 St. Peter says to the Jews of Jerusalem after Pentecost: "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 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 from of old." 569 St. Paul echoes him: "For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?" 570 The "full inclusion" of the Jews in the Messiah's salvation, in the wake of "the full number of the Gentiles", 571 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". 572

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675 Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. 573 The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth 574 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. 575

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697 Cloud and light. These two images occur together in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In the theophanies of the Old Testament, the cloud, now obscure, now luminous, reveals the living and saving God, while veiling the transcendence of his glory - with Moses on Mount Sinai, 43 at the tent of meeting, 44 and during the wandering in the desert, 45 and with Solomon at the dedication of the Temple. 46 In the Holy Spirit, Christ fulfills these figures. The Spirit comes upon the Virgin Mary and "overshadows" her, so that she might conceive and give birth to Jesus. 47 On the mountain of Transfiguration, the Spirit in the "cloud came and overshadowed" Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John, and "a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!'" 48 Finally, the cloud took Jesus out of the sight of the disciples on the day of his ascension and will reveal him as Son of man in glory on the day of his final coming. 49

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2612 In Jesus "the Kingdom of God is at hand." 72 He calls his hearers to conversion and faith, but also to watchfulness. In prayer the disciple keeps watch, attentive to Him Who Is and Him Who Comes, in memory of his first coming in the lowliness of the flesh, and in the hope of his second coming in glory. 73 In communion with their Master, the disciples' prayer is a battle; only by keeping watch in prayer can one avoid falling into temptation. 74