December 4, 2022
John the Baptist appeared preaching in the Judean Desert
and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"
The prophet Isaiah spoke of him when he said:
The voice of one who cries in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
straighten his paths.
John wore camel hair clothes
and had a leather belt around his waist.
His food was grasshoppers and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,
and all the region around the Jordan
we go to him
and were baptized by him in the Jordan
as they acknowledged their sins.
When he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to his baptism, he said to them: “You race of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Produce good fruit as proof of your repentance.
And don't pretend to tell yourself,
“We have Abraham as our father.
Because I tell you,
God can raise children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax is at the root of the trees.
Therefore any tree that does not bear good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I baptize you with water, for repentance,
but he who comes after me is mightier than me.
I am not worthy to wear his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clean his threshing floor
and lay up his wheat in his barn,
but straw he will burn with an inextinguishable fire."