Thursday, August 29, 2013

St John the Baptist: Speaking Truth to Power

"The most important thing in our lives is to correctly honor the truth." — Met. Hierotheos Vlachos 

To those who would compartmentalize life, relegating "faith" to the unseen world only, and denying that the Life in Christ should have any influence over our life in the world, we respond with the example of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, who spoke truth to power.

Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos writes:

What is admired about Saint John the Forerunner was that he was a herald of the truth. He spoke of Christ who is the Truth, and led people to the Truth. His words were not shallow, conciliatory and false. He rebuked people who approached him as well as Herod, indicating to them the correct way, the restoration of justice, and to align their lives with the Law of God. Of course, this had consequences for him, namely imprisonment and finally beheading unto death. But the most important thing in our lives is to correctly honor the truth. 
We must be people of the truth and not falsehood, of simplicity and not duplicity and hypocrisy. The Honorable Forerunner, after the All Holy Mother of God, has great boldness before Christ, which is why we must call upon his intercessions and imitate his example.

Through the example of St John the Baptist, a Christian is emboldened to confront and repudiate sin and falsehood, in himself first, then also in politicians, leaders, and corporations who support depravity.

Today, August 29, we commemorate the beheading of St John. In the Savior's words, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake."

Today, we are reminded that we live in dire times, when the love of many has grown cold, when peoples' conscience are deadened, when our leaders stand against morality and truth, seeking to force upon the world immorality and lies.

Today, we contemplate the example of St John the Baptist, who preached repentance to all, preparing the way for Christ. He preached even to the mighty and powerful, who could have received Christ had they repented.

St John the Forerunner calls to us today:

Speak truth to power, that the powerful may know they are weak, that the Truth is eternally triumphant, and that the Way, the Truth and the Life is Jesus Christ alone.

May we boldly witness to the Truth, with our lives, and if need be, through our death.