August 29, 2016
Mark 6:22-29 - For when Hero'di-as' daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it." And he vowed to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom." And she went out, and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?" And she said, "The head of John the baptizer." And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter." And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. (RSV)
Born to Eternal Life – In what way, then, was this just man harmed by this demise, this violent death, these chains, this imprisonment? Who are those he did not set back on their feet – provided they had a penitent disposition – because of what he suffered, because of what he still proclaims today – the same message he preached while he was living. Therefore, do not say: “Why was John allowed to die?” For what occurred was not a death but a crown, not an end but the beginning of a greater life. Learn to think and live like a Christian. You not only will remain unharmed by these events, but will reap the greatest benefits. (St. John Chrysostom)
Scripture Readings for the Feast:
- Vespers: Isaiah 40:1-3, 9, 41:17,18; 45:8; 48:20, 21; 54:1, Malachi 3:1-3, 5-7,12,18; 4:4-6, Wisdom 4:7,16,17,19,20, 5:1-7
- Matins: Matthew 14:1-13
- Divine Liturgy: Acts of the Apostles 13:25-33, Mark 6:14-30
- August 15th - Dormition of the Mother of God - "Mary: Christ's First and Greatest Disciple"
- August 29th - Beheading of St. John the Baptist - "Pointing to the Lamb"
- September 8th - Nativity of the Mother of God - "Mary: Hope of All Creation"
The Icon is of the Beheading of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John, which we celebrate on August 29th.