Now, we can hear the last prophet, Saint John the Baptist, who asks us to make ready the way of the Lord and make straight his paths. In order to understand these words well, we can think about what a prophet is. In the mind of many, a prophet is someone who makes some prophecies, which means someone who says something about the future. This is not necessarily wrong, but it is a very limited notion of a prophet. Let us try to go further with the help of Benedict XVI. In his book, Jesus of Nazareth, the Pope writes that the conclusion of Deuteronomy returns to the promise and gives it a surprising twist that takes it far beyond the institution of prophecy. The Pope refers to the Prophecy of Deuteronomy (Deut.18:15) that says: The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you… him you shall heed. The Pope adds: in so doing, it gives the figure of the prophet its true meaning. And there has not risen a prophet since in Israel like Moses whom the Lord knew face to face. (Deut. 34:10)
Saint John the Baptist: make ready the way of the Lord
A new prophet like Moses has still to come and the Lord knows him face to face. Moses led the chosen people into the Promised Land, but it was not yet the definitive salvation. Moses had seen something of the glory of God, a foretaste of the beatific vision. This is what is essential to a prophet. He has seen God and spoken with Him. Benedict XVI explains that he shows us the face of God, and in so doing he shows us the path that we have to take. The prophet can do this because God has first shown him His face and His path. He has received a particular mission from God in order to lead others in the path of truth. Among all the paths of history, the path to God is the true direction that we must seek and find, the Pope says again. The whole history of the Old Covenant, of which Moses was the mediator, is the story of the chosen people seeking for the true direction. Many times, they moved aside and divert from this direction. God always called them back by sending his prophets.
Now the whole of mankind has a rendezvous with the great Prophet who calls not only the people of Israel, but also all the Nations. We have a new Mediator for a New Covenant in whom we see in His Humanity the face of God. He is the Prophet par excellence because He sees God face to face. From the very beginning of His conception in the womb of Mary, He always had the beatific vision. The Humanity of Jesus is the true direction toward God. He is the Way.
We have to prepare the way for His coming. We have to seek Him and to look at Him. He that sees me sees the Father also. (Jn.14:9) In a couple of days we will go in Spirit to the manger of Bethlehem. There, we will see a little Baby and we will adore Him, because this Baby is God. But we need faith to see God through the humanity of Jesus. We have to make straight His way by increasing our faith. Faith is the only way possible to apprehend the mystery of the Incarnation and consequently the mystery of the Redemption. Benedict XVI tells us what Redemption means: a stepping beyond the limits of human nature, which had been there as a possibility and an expectation in man, God’s image and likeness, since the moment of creation.
A human being has been associated with these mysteries to the point that they would have been impossible without her consent. So, we turn to her in order to penetrate into these mysteries of our faith. May Our Blessed Mother help us to make straight the way of the Lord so that we can accept Him into our lives and let Him restore the beauty of God’s image that we have blemished by our sins. Let us follow Mary without any hesitation to be sure that we are going the right direction to God. It is the true way toward happiness, toward the place where we will see God face to face and become prophets for all eternity.