And in those days cometh John the Baptist preaching in the desert of Judea. And saying: Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by Isaias the prophet, saying: A voice of one crying in the desert, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. And the same John had his garment of camels' hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the country about Jordan: And were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them: Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of penance. And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham for our father. For I tell you that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.
For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doth not yield good fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you in the water unto penance, but he that shall come after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his floor and gather his wheat into the barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.
Matthew 3:1-12 (Douay-Rheims Bible)
Dear Father you know our hearts, our thoughts and our souls. You gather us together and teach us repentance for our sins. You teach us forgiveness and love. You sent us John the Baptist to prepare us for the coming of your Son. Have we forgotten his message to repent of our evil ways and make our paths straight. I am reminded of a dream I once had where my path was leading me, but in it I saw that on the way I veered off and took another route to my destination. That other route was in darkness all the while the one path that I was headed was the light of God. Sin causes our paths to end up crooked and not straight at all. Why did this come to me this particular time, maybe as a way of pointing out that our paths lead to God, but in our journey we often let sin mar the way. For me it was a turning point in my life where I chose to follow God and to repent of my sins so I may be on the right path that leads to eternal salvation. He is my hope in this otherwise dark world we live in. We have choices in the direction we travel, I pray it will be the one that leads to the light of our Lord and not the one that is nothing but darkness. Amen