First Reading for the Monday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1

Hebrews 11:32-40

Summary: Ancient heroes like Gideon, Barak, Samson, and others, through faith, achieved extraordinary feats and endured severe trials. Their faithfulness, combined with God's plan, unites us all in His promise.

Faith of the Ancients

Brothers and sisters:

What more shall I say? I have not time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, did what was righteous, obtained the promises; they closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring sword; out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned back foreign invaders.

Women received back their dead through resurrection. Some were tortured and would not accept deliverance, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword’s point; they went about in skins of sheep or goats, needy, afflicted, tormented.

The world was not worthy of them. They wandered about in deserts and on mountains, in caves and in crevices in the earth.

Yet all these, though approved because of their faith, did not receive what had been promised. God had foreseen something better for us, so that without us they should not be made perfect.

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