Catechism of the Catholic Church

190 Part One IV. T he S pirit of C hrist in the F ullness of T ime John, precursor, prophet, and baptist 717 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” 89 John was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb” 90 by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people. 91 718 John is “Elijah [who] must come.” 92 The fire of the Spirit dwells in him and makes him the forerunner of the coming Lord. In John, the precursor, the Holy Spirit completes the work of “[making] ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 93 719 John the Baptist is “more than a prophet.” 94 In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. 95 He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the “voice” of the Consoler who is coming. 96 As the Spirit of truth will also do, John “came to bear witness to the light.” 97 In John’s sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels. 98 “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. . . . Behold, the Lamb of God.” 99 720 Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of “the divine likeness,” prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John’s baptism was for repen- tance; baptism in water and the Spirit will be a new birth. 100 89 Jn 1:6. 90 Lk 1:15, 41. 91 Cf. Lk 1:68. 92 Mt 17:10-13; cf. Lk 1:78. 93 Lk 1:17. 94 Lk 7:26. 95 Cf. Mt 11:13-14. 96 Jn 1:23; cf. Isa 40:1-3. 97 Jn 1:7; cf. Jn 15:26; 5:35. 98 Cf. 1 Pet 1:10-12. 99 Jn 1:33-36. 100 Cf. Jn 3:5. 523 696 2684 536 535