The Profession of Faith
unity as at Babel.
But, because of sin, both polytheism and the
idolatry of the nation and of its rulers constantly threaten this
provisional economy with the perversion of paganism.
The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times
of the Gentiles, until the universal proclamation of the Gospel.
The Bible venerates several great figures among the Gentiles: Abel
the just, the king-priest Melchizedek—a figure of Christ—and the
upright “Noah, Daniel, and Job.”
Scripture thus expresses the
heights of sanctity that can be reached by those who live according
to the covenant of Noah, waiting for Christ to “gather into one the
children of God who are scattered abroad.”
God chooses Abraham
In order to gather together scattered humanity God calls
Abram from his country, his kindred, and his father’s house,
makes himAbraham, that is, “the father of a multitude of nations.”
“In you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”
The people descended fromAbrahamwould be the trustees
of the promise made to the patriarchs, the chosen people, called to
prepare for that daywhen Godwould gather all his children into the
unity of theChurch.
Theywouldbe the root ontowhich theGentiles
would be grafted, once they came to believe.
The patriarchs, prophets, and certain other Old Testament
figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the
Church’s liturgical traditions.
God forms his people Israel
After the patriarchs, God formed Israel as his people by
freeing them from slavery in Egypt. He established with them the
covenant of Mount Sinai and, through Moses, gave them his law
so that they would recognize him and serve him as the one living
17:5; 12:3 (LXX); cf.