Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (1: 26-38) in which the angel Gabriel visits Mary, who trusts the Holy Spirit and accepts the angel’s message.

Fr Paul continues to read from the ‘Heart of the Disciple’* resource for our daily reflections which asks us to consider the following:

In the person of Jesus Christ, we witness something radically new. For the first time in human history, God takes on a human nature and becomes one of us. Can we ever fathom the radical act of generosity that this represents? God loves us so much that he is prepared to become one of us, and to experience everything we experience, except sin.

However, that does not mean that God was not revealing himself before the conception and birth of Jesus. Long before the birth of Jesus, God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) was communicating with humanity. Central to this revelation are the writings, events and characters of the Old Testament.

Sometimes it can be easy to love the God who is revealed in the New Testament, but difficult to love the God who is revealed in the Old. Yet, as St. Augustine once said, the New is concealed in the Old and the Old is revealed in the New. If we read the Old Testament alongside the Gospels, it is astonishing how many points of comparison there are. For example, many of Jesus’ analogies, parables, and phrases are present in the Torah, the Psalms, the Wisdom literature, and the Prophets. This is because the same God is present both in the Old Testament and in the New. If we gently persevere, we can find the same beautifully loving heart of God is revealed in both.

Recall when Jesus was a young boy and people were amazed at his knowledge and understanding of scripture (Luke 2:47). It’s no surprise he understood it, for there is a sense in which we can say that he is the one who inspired it in the first place!

For our reflection and discussion, we are invited to consider, “The prayerful reading of God’s word, which is ‘sweeter than honey'(Ps 119:103) yet a ‘two-edged sword’ (Heb 4:12), enables us to pause and listen to the voice of the Master.” (GE, 156) How can I, in my day-to-day life, respond to the God revealed to us in both the Old and New Testaments?

And today we pray:

God ever-ancient and ever-new,
allow me to be always open to the reality of who you are, so that I may become evermore the person you are creating me to be.