Second Sunday of Advent, 8th December

Matthew 3:1–12

 

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the
wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come
near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice
of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his
paths straight.’” Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with
a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then
the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region
along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing
their sins. But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he
said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to
come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We
have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to
raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is lying at the root of the
trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and
thrown into the fire. I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is
more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fork is in his
hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor and will gather his wheat into the
granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

 

Reflection

 

How do I feel when confronted
with John’s call to repentance?

 

How would I prepare the way in my life, expectant
and hopefully watching for God’s approach?