“…And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire... They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented. They, of whom the whole world was not worthy, wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.” (Hebr 11: 32-33, 37-40)
No, they did not receive “what was promised”; they did not witness, in their time, the revelation of God’s Son in the flesh, when He came and unified all of us, in His one Body. For reasons known only to God, the proper time for His salvific, unifying Incarnation came after the lifetimes of the great fathers mentioned here. And yet they believed in Him, and longed for Him, Whom they did not see.
Not everybody is given the gift of “seeing” Him, even today. There are people with severe spiritual or mental handicaps, or people who are perceived as inadequate in some other way; rejected by human opinion and perceived as “losers.” For some people the “something better” that God has on offer will only come in the future life, for reasons known only to Him. And at times we ourselves may feel abandonment and darkness, as if He has left us, as if He “is” not.Let me remember today, in faith, that it is ultimately God, not us, Who “makes perfect” that which in our world is “destitute, persecuted, tormented.”
Let me be faithful to Him today, whether I see His light or don’t. Glory be to Him, Who has “something better” in store for those who long, thirst, and hunger for Him today, rejected and inadequate in this world.