Preaching of John the Baptist, Baciccio (1690)
The Second Sunday of Advent usually features the ministry of St. John the Baptist. He was the prophet who fulfilled the Office of Elijah, of whom it was said, See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction (Mal 4:4–6).
St. John was a prophet who prepared the people of his time for the coming of Jesus by summoning them to repentance and opening them to the Kingdom of God in all its fullness.