The Jesse Tree
December 20 of Advent: John the Baptist
A Reading from the Gospel According to Luke (1:39-45, 57-66):
“During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.’ …
“When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, ‘No. He will be called John.’ But they answered her, ‘There is no one among your relatives who has this name.’ So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, ‘John is his name,’ and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, ‘What, then, will this child be?’ For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”
O Key of David, John the Baptist, the herald of the Lord, leaped for joy at the sound of Mary’s greeting. Even in the womb, he knew his Messiah and rejoiced at His coming. John grew and became the voice crying in the wilderness to make straight the way of the Lord. May we never hesitate to speak of You and the fulfillment of Your promises and of Your mercy to us in sending Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins and the grace of everlasting life. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.