The Catholic Church is under withering attack everywhere today. Why would anyone want to join such a Church? I would. And I did. My reasons have accumulated as the years have passed, but first and foremost was the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in our own time!
Jesus told the Jews in the Temple, “Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” Lk 21:24. St. Paul explained, “A hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in” Rom 11:25.
This is the story:
Soon after Pentecost Acts 2:1-12, the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem raised a great persecution against the young Christian Church Acts 8:1-3. It continued until the First Jewish Revolt of AD 66-70 when Rome began persecuting both Jews and Christians and destroyed the Second Temple and with it all Jerusalem. Especially after the Bar Kokhba Revolt of AD 132-135 Jerusalem remained either partly or entirely under Gentile control for two thousand years, the “times of the Gentiles.”
But as a result of Israel’s Six Day War, June 5-10 1967, all Jerusalem was for the first time in thousands of years firmly under Jewish authority, no longer trodden down by the Gentiles! On June 10, 1967 the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled! Lk 21:24.
St. Paul’s prophecy was also fulfilled Rom 11:25. During all of those two thousand years virtually no Jews had come into the Church. But after June 10, 1967 when Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled, Jews began streaming into the Catholic Church. The Association of Hebrew Catholics was formed.
During the late 1960s Satan began a ferocious assault against the whole world, but especially against Jews and Catholics. Jesus is using the opportunity to prepare the Church for this extraordinary phase of his war against Satan. He is allowing Satan’s assaults to shake lukewarm Catholics off the Catholic tree as he promised Rev 3:16.
Jesus has always emphasized total commitment. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” Mt 22:37–40.
It’s an exciting time to be a Catholic. The war is on. This lifelong war is won as Jesus taught, through heroic love for God and neighbor. As the Catholic Church assures us, § 1022 “At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.”
Jesus even gave us preparation and comfort in his Sermon on the Mount:
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. Mt 5:11–12.
§ 1-3 This is the life of man, to know and love God. Everyone is welcome.