August 30, 2015 -
"ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST”
Remember Herod the Great to whom the wise men came when Jesus was born? Upon Herod’s death, his kingdom was divided among his three sons. One of them was the Herod involved with the beheading of St. John the Baptist. Herod divorced his own wife and became enamored with the wife of his brother Phillip. He then disregarded God’s laws by marrying the woman. Her name was Herodias.
Because of Herod’s power it all seemed simple to do. But there came a “voice from the wilderness.” John, garbed in his coarse cloak of camel’s hair and leather belt, confronted Herod and said: “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
We have all heard the rest of St. John’s story, how he became a martyr and was beheaded. The Prophet is vividly depicted in the icon with the platter on which his head was placed. St. John is also referred to as the “forerunner.” His worked at preparing the way for the Lord by getting the people ready for the coming of the Saviour and calling them to repent. He also baptized Christ in the waters of the Jordan. This ushered in the start of our Lord’s public ministry.
Since the beginning of time, countless numbers have faithfully served Almighty God. There were saints, prophets, martyrs and missionaries. There are dedicated followers of Christ in our age also. But towering above them all, standing in solitary grandeur, is the figure of a man named St. John the Baptist. On this holyday , let us reflect on his utter dedication and sacrifice.