[John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”] (Mt. 3:1)
Not unlike the prophets of the Old Testament, John the Baptist calls for repentance. However John the Baptist marks a major shift of focus. He is the immediate forerunner to the Messiah, the Savior whom the Jews longed for.
In the Gospel we see two different reactions to John’s preaching. The crowds recognize their need to change, heed his plea, and receive John’s baptism of repentance. The Pharisees and scribes on the other hand ignore John’s words and merely observe the transformation of hearts. They find no fault in themselves and thus have no need to repent.
We are always presented with the option to merely watch God at work or allow God the opportunity to work personally on our heart. Maybe it’s through a homily, the words of another, a traumatic event, etc….
Is God inviting me to change/tweak aspects of my life? Who or what is the “John the Baptist” in my life, preparing me for the celebration of Jesus’s birth?