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On this last Sunday before Christmas, the Church’s Liturgy reveals the true identity of our Redeemer:
He is, as today’s First Reading says, the “ruler…whose origin is from…ancient times.” He will come from Bethlehem, where David was born of Jesse the Ephrathite and anointed king (see Ruth 4:11-17; 1 Samuel 16:1-13; 17:1; Matthew 2:6).
The people in today’s Gospel are “filled with expectation.” They believe John the Baptist might be the Messiah they’ve been waiting for. Three times we hear their question: “What then should we do?”
The Messiah’s coming requires every man and woman to choose – to “repent” or not. That’s John’s message and it will be Jesus’ too (see Luke 3:3; 5:32; 24:47).
Today’s Psalm paints a dream-like scene – a road filled with liberated captives heading home to Zion (Jerusalem), mouths filled with laughter, tongues rejoicing.
As we start the second week of Advent, the Church turns her attention from the second coming of Christ to his first coming, and in particular to the figure of John the Baptist, the forerunner or herald of Jesus Christ.