Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist

“John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”” (Mark 6:18.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s Gospel, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“John saw a man that was a tyrant overthrowing the divine commands on marriage. With boldness, he proclaimed in the midst of the forum, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother Philip’s wife.” So we learn from him to admonish our fellow servant as an equal. Do not shrink from the duty of chastising a brother, even though one may be required to die for it. Now do not make this cold reply: “What does it matter to me? I have nothing in common with him.” With the devil alone we have nothing in common, but with all humanity we have many things in common. All partake of the same nature with us. They inhabit the same earth. They are nourished with the same food. They have the same Lord. They have received the same laws. They are invited to the same blessings with ourselves. Let us not say then that we have nothing in common with them.” (Concering the Statues, 1.)

O God,
Who willed that Saint John the Baptist
should go ahead of Your Son
both in his birth and in his death,
grant that,
as he died a Martyr for truth and justice,
we, too, may fight hard
for the confession of what You teach.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen