Saint John the Baptist appears on the scene today as Advent enters its second week. The mysterious consumer of locusts and wild honey, John echoes the words of the prophet Isaiah as he calls for repentance in the face of the nearness of the kingdom of heaven. The rhythms of the Christian life are often confounding. Each year we meet the Baptist and hear his calls for repentance. Each year we see him pointing to the one who is coming after him, the Lord Jesus. Yet each year the words and actions of John the Baptist echo anew in our hearts, because we have fallen into old sinful traps again and again. Advent gives us the opportunity once again to turn away from our sinful ways and embrace the gospel way of life. John the Baptist invites us to prepare the way for the Lord, in whom we place our hope.