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Liturgical day: Sunday 2nd (A) of Advent

Gospel text (Mt 3,1-12): In the course of time John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea and began to proclaim his message, «Change your ways, the Kingdom of heaven is now at hand!». In the course of time John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea and began to proclaim his message, «Change your ways, the Kingdom of heaven is now at hand!». It was about him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said, «A voice is shouting in the desert: prepare a way for the Lord; make his paths straight». John had a leather garment around his waist and wore a cloak of camel's hair; his food was locusts and wild honey. People came to him from Jerusalem, from all Judea and from the whole Jordan valley, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan as they confessed their sins.

When he saw several Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he baptized, he said to them, «Brood of vipers! Who told you that you could escape the punishment that is to come? Let it be seen that you are serious in your conversion, and do not think: ‘We have Abraham for our father’. I tell you that God can raise children for Abraham from these stones! The axe is already laid to the roots of the trees; any tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire. I baptize you in water for a change of heart, but the one who is coming after me is more powerful than me; indeed I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire. He has the winnowing fan in his hand and He will clear out his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn in everlasting fire».

Illustration: Pili Piñero

Today we present you to John the Baptist. He was born half a year before Jesus. He was a prophet, i.e., someone who tells us the right way we have to follow. He was the last one of the prophets of the Old Testament, and had the honour to announce and present Jesus Christ to the people: «after me comes one (…). He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire».

-«Convert, for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near»: we have to prepare ourselves for Christmas!