John 1:6-8, 19-28
In keeping with the Advent theme of high hope and great expectation, the Prophet Isaiah joyfully announces: “The Lord has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release the prisoners … I rejoice heartily in the Lord… As the earth brings forth its plants, so will the Lord God make justice and praise spring up before all the nations” (Is.61:1,2,l1).
St. Paul captures the joyful mood in these words: “Rejoice always … do not stifle the spirit… May the God of peace make you perfect in holiness. May you be preserved whole and entire, spirit, soul and body .. He who calls us is trustworthy, therefore He will do it” (1 Thes.5:16,19,23,24). In the Gospel Lesson, the mood of keen anticipation continues as John the Baptist proclaims “the One who is to come and bring light to the world … the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to unfasten”…
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