Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.
Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
(Heb 11, 32-40, 12:1-4)
Tomorrow’s feast will interrupt the conclusion to this great passage on the saints who have gone before us. So wise celebrants will make sure that the lector includes today the ending as the lectionary intends. This “great cloud of witnesses” that spurs us on to cross the finish line. It’s an image that recalls the Olympic Games and the running of the marathon. The great cloud of witnesses have finished their race and have taken their seats in the stadium. And when we enter the stadium after our cross-country trek, they erupt in cheers for us to complete the course!