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Τετάρτη, 29 Αυγούστου 2018

Beheading of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John Today's Sermon in a Nutshell:


When I was in fifth grade, our teacher required us to memorize and recite in front of the class, Rudyard Kipling's classic poem, "If." Although it was difficult, I'm glad I was given this challenge because that poem speaks so eloquently about growing up and into adulthood. And even though it has fallen out of fashion for today's teachers to have their students commit poetry and prose to memory, I made sure my son learned this to recite this poem as I did.

I often associate this particular poem with today's Feast of the Forerunner's Beheading. This is due in part to the opening stanza of the poem: "If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs…" And although John actually "lost his head," he did so because all those around him had lost sight of their faith, the Law, and the obligation to serve God. He alone was standing up for what was right. He alone was calling the nation of Israel to repentance. He alone stood as a pillar amidst a constantly bending and swaying people.

We owe it to God to be more like John: steadfast, unwavering, and committed. Ready at all times to stand up and attest to the faith. Not cowering or being afraid to speak the truth with love – or to chastise sin while loving the sinner. And if we don't follow, adhere to, or promote the truth; if we don't stand fast in our Faith; if we don't burn and shine with the light of Christ in this darkened, forsaken world – who will???

Fr. John

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