Bible venerates several great figures among the Gentiles: Abel the just, the king-priest Meichisedek — a figure of Christ — and the upright ‘Noah, Daniel, and Job’.’4 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 2569 children of God who are scattered abroad’.’5

God chooses Abraham

59 In order to gather together scattered humanity God calls Abram from his country, his kindred and his father’s house,’6 and 145, 2570 makes him Abraham, that is, ‘the father of a multitude of nations’. ‘In you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.”7 6o The people descended from Abraham would be the trustee of the promise made to the patriarchs, the chosen people, called to 760 prepare for that day when God would gather all his children into 762, 781 the unity of the Church.’8 They would be the root on to which the Gentiles would be grafted, once they came to believe.’9 6i The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honoured as saints in all the Church’s liturgical traditions.

God forms his people Israel

62 After the patriarchs, God formed Israel as his people by freeing them from slavery in Egypt. He established with them the coven- 2060, 2574 ant of Mount Sinai and, through Moses, gave them his law so that 1961 they would recognize him and serve him as the one living and true God, the provident Father and just judge, and so that they would look for the promised Saviour.2° 63 Israel is the priestly people of God, ‘called by the name of the 204, 2810 LoRD’, and ‘the first to hear the word of God’,2’ the people of 839 ‘elder brethren’ in the faith of Abraham. 64 Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant 711 intended for all, to be written on their hearts.22 The prophets 1965 proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, a salvation which will include all the