Old Fulfilled In The New

I’m almost 100% positive that every single one of my 6th-grade students can hear my voice when they dream shouting in excitement, “THE OLD IS FULFILLED IN THE NEW AND THE NEW IS HIDDEN IN THE OLD!” I’m confident that they would all call that dream a nightmare. I get excited about this almost every day in my 6th-grade class as we make our way through the Old Testament. When this happens, I look out to find a class filled with tweens rolling their eyes or giggling at me. Actually, scratch that. They don’t giggle- they laugh out loud. My students tend to be blunt in most circumstances and if they want to laugh at you, don’t worry they won’t hold back.

Those reactions may seem a little depressing to you and I can agree on a certain level, but there is a moment that makes it worth it. There is a moment where I’ll stop and pause as we go over stories from the Old Testament and ask, “What does this remind you of?”. Recently, they learned about Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac. We watched a video illustrating how Abraham led Isaac up to Moriah to sacrifice him. Isaac held the wood of the sacrifice upon his back as he traveled up the mountain. I paused the video. I asked the question… Mouths dropped, eyes widened- and hands shot up. “What does this remind you of?”. These moments are so necessary for understanding our faith. These moments of discovering the unity of the Old and New Testament.

In today’s Mass Readings we hear from the book of Wisdom and the Gospel of Mark. The Book of Wisdom forcefully tells us what they thought would happen to the Son of God. They believed God will defend and deliver him from his enemies, because of this they wanted to put the Son of God to test and to death. They tested God in “taking care” of him. They planned to torture him and condemn him believing that this will prove God’s gentleness and patience. If I were to pretend you were my 6th-grade reader, I’d stop and ask you the question. What does this remind you of? Why? How? I hope at this moment some wide eyes and jaw-dropping moments are happening. Or maybe you are already past that 6th-grade Catholic doctrine level. This passage reminds us of those who betrayed Jesus, those who sentenced Him to death. It reminds us of those who executed the Son of God and tested God to save Himself and come down from the cross.

If we go to read Matthew’s Gospel today, we hear Jesus’ words of utter honesty and seriousness. This was a time He brought His disciples near to Him on their journey.  He tells them the truth of what is to come. The Son of Man will be handed over and killed. He will be crucified, but He will rise. I love how straight to the point Christ always is, He doesn’t leave room for us to over analyze Him.  He makes Himself clear in the words He states, but sometimes the disciples did not understand and were afraid to ask questions. I guess Jesus forgot to tell them that, “There is no such thing as a stupid question!”. (Just kidding!)

When I look at the readings for today, my heart is drawn to the Responsorial Psalm. As fun as it is to scream and shout about the unity of the Old and New Testament to my students, sometimes I need to come into my hidden oasis with God. A place of not being a teacher, catechist, or nanny. A place where I am just His and He is mine. I hear the One Body of Christ, proclaiming in song, “The Lord upholds my life”. His mighty defense is my cause, my helper, my sustainer, my life. Freely we sacrifice offerings, freely you save me oh God. Behold, this is our God.

We believe in a God who is a Man of His word. One who fulfills His promise unto the end. He never goes back. He never changes his mind. How often do we need to be reminded that this infinite God has made all things good for those who love Him?  From the Old Testaments stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark, Abraham and Sarah. Over and over He fulfills the Old Testament through the ultimate revelation- the ultimate sacrifice: His Son Jesus Christ. He will forever uphold your life. He will forever be your helper. He will forever sustain you, defend you, and love you. This God of unity, integrity, and surrender.

Jesus, be not far from us.  Guide us and protect us always. And Jesus please teach us. Teach us how to be more like you today. Teach us how to be men and women of our words. Teach us true gentleness, patience, and integrity.

We ask this in Jesus’ name,


Briana is a Catholic Doctrine teacher at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel school in Cleveland, OH. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Catechetics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH and is excited to use these skills to bring her students closer to Christ and His Church. “My soul has been refined and I can raise my head like a flower after a storm.” -St. Therese