While the readings of the gospels turn to John the Baptist the first readings stay with Isaiah. Again Isaiah tells us of the beautiful love that God has for us. "I am holding you by the right hand" and "do not be afraid Israel, puny mite."
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The tenderness of the Lord's words are beautiful.
In the gospel Jesus tells us that John is the last of the prophets and that all the prophecies of the old testament were leading to John. John heralds the new beginning, the direct work of God in Israel. If you have ears listen, says the Lord: the time has come for the Lord to act in the history of humanity.