“…They (the saints of the Old Testament) were stoned, they were sawn in two; they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebr 11: 37 – 12: 2)

The saints of the Old Testament “did not receive what was promised”; that is, the Promised One, Who was Jesus Christ, and salvation in His Spirit. It is in His Person, and thanks to His salvific works, culminating in the sending down of the Holy Spirit, that all of God-embracing humanity, – from the past, present, and future, – was gathered together and “made perfect” or “made whole,” that is to say, “saved.”

Let me once again join in today, as we celebrate the Sunday of All Saints, and “be” with my great family, at His “table”; at the Meal offered to all of us by the Pioneer and Perfector of our cross-embracing faith, Jesus Christ. Let me open my eyes, in gratitude, and “look to” Him and all His saints of the past, present, and future, as I continue my cross-carrying journey, facing my responsibilities, – not alone, but “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” Thank You, Lord, for gathering us together, in You, again and again. “All saints, pray to God for us!”

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