To help the listener
The reader could use these words to provide context to today's readings Isaiah 35.1-10; Matthew 11.2-11
In the Gospel reading, Isaiah’s prophetic words (from today’s Old Testament reading) are used to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah.
It was only after calamity that the people were ready to hear Isaiah’s good news. John the Baptist encourages people to hear the words afresh, for the Messiah is about to