Introducing John the Baptist, one of the central figures to Advent, the Church urges us to prepare and announce the Lord’s coming. The prophecies are not about the future, but the ways in which we read the signs of our own times and see how God visits His people. We do live in a parched and desert-like culture; the images of the first two readings contrast our world with agricultural images of abundance through patient waiting for God to act. God acts by sending us prophets to help us see God’s healing love everywhere in our world. Our response is to engage through repentance in God’s healing of our sins.