SUNDAY, AUGUST 29, 2010
The Beheading of Prophet and Baptist John
John however never lost sight of what his calling was. He had no “illusions of grandeur”, for he fully understood that he was to be the “Forerunner of Christ – the one who would prepare the world for the coming of the Saviour. He was the “voice of one crying in the wilderness.” Yes, John made it perfectly clear to all those who listened to his words: “There comes One after me who is mightier than I. I am not worthy to undo the strap of His sandal.” (Mark 1:7) After baptizing Jesus – something that he thought himself unworthy to do -John was content to fade into the background and allow our Lord to begin His redemptive work. As Christ embarked upon His Divine Mission, John continued to preach the message of repentance to all who would listen. Never afraid to speak the truth, John was arrested and cast into prison for criticizing King Herod for his adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife Herodias. This eventually would lead to his execution by means of beheading. St. John the Baptist is held in high esteem by our Holy Orthodox Church. The words of Christ Himself attest to the stature of this remarkable saint: “Among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist.”(Matthew 11:11) The Orthodox Weekly Bulletin … Vestal, Cliffwood, New Jersey … Litho in U.S.A.