Matthew 3:1-12

1 At that time John the Baptist came to the desert of Judea and started preaching.

2 “Turn away from your sins,” he said, “because the Kingdom of Heaven is near!”

3 John was the man the prophet Isaiah was talking about when he said: “Someone is shouting in the desert, ‘Prepare a road for the Lord; make a straight path for him to travel!’”

4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair; he wore a leather belt round his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.

5 People came to him from Jerusalem, from the whole province of Judea, and from all the country near the river Jordan.

6 They confessed their sins, and he baptised them in the Jordan.

7 When John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to him to be baptised, he said to them, “You snakes – who told you that you could escape from the punishment God is about to send?

8 Do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins.

9 And don’t think you can escape punishment by saying that Abraham is your ancestor. I tell you that God can take these stones and make descendants for Abraham!

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection