'Our ultimate goal – union with the Father’
‘John the Baptist’s message was: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand." In fact, this is exactly the same message that Jesus will proclaim at the beginning of his public life (Mark 1:15). The word for repent here means much more than just being sorry for past misdeeds. The Greek verb metanoeite means having a radical change in one's thinking. It means seeing the world in a completely different way and taking on board a whole new set of values.
‘Linked with this call is the proclamation, "The kingdom of heaven is close at hand." John in announcing the nearness of the Kingdom is pointing to Jesus, who is the divine incarnation of the Kingdom. In his human person he images perfectly his unseen Father and calls us to follow him in the same Way. As he will say later, he IS in fact THE Way. To live in him, through him and with him is to reach the ultimate goal of our existence - perfect union with the Father. All of this is included in this simpler proclamation of John, to be repeated later by Jesus himself.’
Excerpt from a commentary by Fr Frank Doyle SJ