1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way,
3 the voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.’”
4 In the wilderness John the baptizer began preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 People from the whole Judean countryside and all of Jerusalem were going out to him, and he was baptizing them in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. 6 John wore a garment made of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, “One more powerful than I am is coming after me; I am not worthy to bend down and untie the strap of his sandals. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
9 Now in those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. 10 And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight.” 12 The Spirit immediately drove him into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness 40 days, enduring temptations from Satan. He was with wild animals, and angels were ministering to his needs.
Stand Still and See the Salvation of the Lord. The Israelites asked him: "When?" Moses said to them: "Today the Holy Spirit rests upon you." For the expression "standing" everywhere suggests the presence of the Holy Spirit, as in the passages: "I saw the Lord standing beside the altar". "And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times: 'Samuel, Samuel'". And it also says: "Call Joshua and stand in the tent of meeting that I may give him a charge". To what were the Israelites at that moment like? To a dove fleeing from a hawk, and about to enter a cleft in the rock where there is a hissing serpent. If she enters, there is the serpent! If she stays out, there is the hawk! In such a plight were the Israelites at that moment, the sea forming a bar and the enemy pursuing. Immediately they set their mind upon prayer. Of them it is stated in the traditional sacred writings: "O my dove that art in the clefts of the rock," etc. And when it further says: "For sweet is thy voice and thy countenance is comely", it means, for thy voice is sweet in prayer and thy countenance is comely in the study of the Torah. Another interpretation: For thy voice is sweet in prayer and thy countenance is comely in good deeds.