Since 2000, Ottawa Archbishop Marcel Gervais has expressed his opinion on a variety of faith topics. These texts were initially published in the "Ask the Religion Experts" column which appears every Saturday in The Ottawa Citizen. As of June 2005, Msgr. Patrick Powers, Vicar General, will be taking on the responsibility of the weekly articles.

Scientists tell us that the sun has a finite life and will eventually destroy our earth in a fiery inferno. Does your religion believe this prediction, and if so, does your religion believe that God will intervene to save mankind?

Revelation has nothing to say about the end of the world as a purely physical phenomenon that can be forecast in scientific terms. Seeking such information in the Bible is futile. We are primarily concerned with the relationship between humanity and God, in reference to humanitys ultimate destiny.

One is accustomed, however, to associate the general judgment with other events at the end of time, notably Christs Second Coming and the resurrection of the dead. Following the imagery of Scripture, one thinks of Christ coming on the clouds of heaven in great glory. The dead are raised by His power in a never-ending union of body and soul. And all are gathered before Him, the good on one side and the wicked on the other.

But one must recognize that Scripture in these places is using a symbolic language to help people understand the greatness of this concluding intervention of God in human history. Neither Christs ascension into heaven nor His Second Coming should be thought of in terms of local motion simply visible to the eye. Christ "ascends" into heaven by entering into His glory, by being raised from the dead and completely filled in His humanity by the power of the Holy Spirit, by being associated as man in Gods supreme Lordship over all creation. He comes again when by an exercise of His fullness of power, He makes Himself present in the world, transforming it and bringing it to the sense of its final perfection.

His work done, the Son will deliver the kingdom to the of God to the Father, and as all things are then subject to Christ and Christ is subject to the Father, there will begin the everlasting kingdom of the Father, where God is all and in all (cf. 1 Cor. 15:24-28).