On 12th November 2008, Pope Benedict XVI continued the cycle of catecheses dedicated to the figure and thought of St. Paul, reflecting on the relationship between the present time, the time of the Church and the Kingdom of Christ, and the future (éschaton) that awaits us, when Christ will hand over the Kingdom to the Father (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:24). Every Christian discourse on the last things, called eschatology, always starts from the event of the Resurrection: In this event the last things have already begun, and in a certain sense, are already present.
St. Paul probably wrote his first letter in the year 52, the First Letter to the Thessalonians, where he speaks of this return of Jesus, called the parousía, the advent, the new and definitive and manifest presence (cf. 4:13-18). To the Thessalonians, who have their doubts and problems, the Apostle writes thus: “If we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep” (4:14).