Saint John the Baptist
Because John's main role in his life was played out on the day of the Theophany, the Church has from earliest times dedicated the day following Theophany to his memory. … Feasts of St. John are celebrated several times throughout the year, but this day, January 7, has the most Svecara (Serbs who honor St. John the Baptist).
Among the Gospel personalities who surround the Savior, John the Baptist occupies a totally unique place by the manner of his entry into the world, and by the manner of his life in this world; by his role in baptizing people for repentance; by his baptizing the Messiah; and finally, by his tragic departure from this life. He was of such moral purity that, in truth, he could be called an angel - as Holy Scripture calls him - rather than a mortal man. St. John especially differs from all other prophets in that he has that privilege of being able, with his hand, to show the world Him about Whom he prophesied.
St. Basil the Great said: "Man is not something visible." Just as one house resembles another, so the outward appearance of one man resembles that of another. To the house is given honor according to the one who dwells in the house; so it is with man, according to the spirit that dwells in him. To the bodily sight, it is obvious that the house is not the master, but just a house in which the master dwells; but only to the spiritual sight it is obvious that the body is not the man, but just the house in which the man dwells.
On submission to the will of God
"Thy will be done, in earth as in heaven." (Mt. 6:10)
Blessed be John the Baptist, for he fulfilled the Gospel before the arrival of the Gospel! Going into the wilderness, he gave himself up completely to the will of God, both body and soul. The will of God was carried out in his body on earth as well as in the heaven of his soul. Neither hunger nor wild beasts did harm to his body throughout the many years that he spent in the wilderness. His soul was harmed neither by despair in loneliness nor by pride in heavenly visions. He sought neither bread nor knowledge from man. God granted him everything that was necessary for him, because he gave himself up completely to the will of God.
He directed his footsteps neither into the wilderness nor away from the wilderness. An invisible rudder from on high steered his life. For when it was necessary for him to depart from the wilderness and go out to meet the Lord, it is was necessary for him to depart from the wilderness and go out to meet the Lord, it is said: "The word of God came unto John." (Jn. 3:2) Like an innocent youth, John spoke simply about his communication with the powers of heaven: "And I knew Him not: but He sent me to baptize with water; the same said unto me, Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Spirit. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God." (Jn. 1:33-34)
How tenderly and simply he speaks about heavenly things! How terrifying like a lion he is when he speaks out against the injustice of men, against Herod and Herodias! The lamb and the lion dwell in him together. Heaven is as close to him as a mother is to her child. The will of God is as accessible and clear to him as it is to the angels in heaven.
O Lord, most wise, direct the lives of us sinners in the wilderness of this life according to Thy will, as Thou didst direct the life of St. John the Baptist.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
Synaxis of St. John the Baptist and Forerunner of ChristThe Prologue of Ohrid, Vol. I