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(Homily delivered by His Grace, Most Rev. Leonardo Z. Legaspi, OP, D.D., Archbishop of Caceres, during the Tricentennial Celebration
of the Foundation
of the Congregation of Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena
on July 26, 1996 [Friday], at the Manila Cathedral, Intramuros, Manila at 8:00 a.m.)

"Therefore, seeing that we also have so great a cloud of Witnesses
standing over us, let us run with patience the race
that is set before us. " (Heb. 12:1)


Heritage and hope -these are the burdens of St. Paul's message to the Hebrews. The long record of the great achievements of the heroes of the Old Testament history -Noe, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses –all this shows great achievements through faith. It was through faith that they became pleasing to God. It was through faith that Abraham left his country in obedience to God's call, through faith that he and his descendants dwelt in tabernacles in the wilderness. For they looked for a city. ",hose foundation, whose builder and maker is God. This is the rich heritage of which St. Paul reminds the Hebrews.

At the same time, Paul is careful to emphasize the moral implication of that inheritance: to live in hope and to give hope. The holy patriarchs were pleasing to God because they were perfectly content to go on and in hope, obeying him and worshipping him, although they knew that the promise which had been made to them would not be fulfilled in their lifetime, or for many centuries after it. They lived as exiles, believing that their children would have a country that promise was not fulfilled until the time of Josue. They lived in tents without an)' fixed dwellings, and it was in a tent that they worshipped the God of their fathers, believing that their children would be able to raise Him up a majestic temple, in enduring stone -that promise was not fulfilled until the time of King Solomon.