Matthew 3:1-12 Reflection – The Voice Crying Out

Reflection on Matthew 3:1-12 ~

Have you ever heard the voice crying out from the desert? It can be startling and beautiful at the same time. To respond as if it the only thing we have left to do is not easy because the depth of obligations that goes with it slowly gets revealed. As we learn to accept what is asked of us, God will make our path straight. Then at the right time we will be prepared for the metaphor of the winnowing fork throwing the wheat into the air to separate out the grain from the chaff.

The Voice in the Desert James Tissot Brooklyn MuseumSaint John the Baptist and the Pharisees, James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum

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Additional Advent Reflections


Matthew 3  New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

The Proclamation of John the Baptist

3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.’”

Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”


Thank you for meditating on this Gospel reading and considering this reflection on Matthew 3:1-12.