Down to the Wire: Just $7,553 left to match to win our Challenge Grant. Your gift will still be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The preparations

522 The coming of God's Son to earth is an event of such immensity that God willed to prepare for it over centuries. He makes everything converge on Christ: all the rituals and sacrifices, figures and symbols of the "First Covenant". 195 He announces him through the mouths of the prophets who succeeded one another in Israel. Moreover, he awakens in the hearts of the pagans a dim expectation of this coming.

523 St. John the Baptist is the Lord's immediate precursor or forerunner, sent to prepare his way. 196 "Prophet of the Most High", John surpasses all the prophets, of whom he is the last. 197 He inaugurates the Gospel, already from his mother's womb welcomes the coming of Christ, and rejoices in being "the friend of the bridegroom", whom he points out as "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world". 198 Going before Jesus "in the spirit and power of Elijah", John bears witness to Christ in his preaching, by his Baptism of conversion, and through his martyrdom. 199

524 When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Saviour's first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. 200 By celebrating the precursor's birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: "He must increase, but I must decrease." 201

Notes:

195 Heb 9:15.

196 Cf. Acts 13:24; Mt 3:3.

197 Lk 1:76; cf. 7:26; Mt 11:13.

198 Jn 1:29; cf. Acts 1:22; Lk 1:41; 16:16; Jn 3:29.

199 Lk 1:17; cf. Mk 6:17-29.

200 Cf Rev 22:17.

201 Jn 3:30.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Getting Marriage Right 18 hours ago
O Earthly Lord, vouchsafe to us high speed Internet. 21 hours ago
No 'Francis effect' in Strasbourg 24 hours ago
What Pope Francis told European Parliament, and what Pope John Paul II said November 25
Public perception demands a way of mercy November 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25