Saint John is the greatest saint ever, born to man and woman. He bridges two human existences: Judaic and Christian.
People picture him the way the Holy Scripture describes him-he had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; (Mt. 3, 4) and his meat was locusts and wild honey. (Mt. 3, 4)
Barefoot and unclothed, how did he achieve such greatness? And how great and powerful he was. Long after his earthly death he remained a torment for many, a terror for tyrants to whom he showed himself. At that time, Herod the tetrarch- a powerful man that had fourfold title of power, heard the news about Jesus, and said to his servants said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. (Matt 14:2) (KJV)
Do you know why St. John was a torment and terror for this fourfold powerful tyrant? Because, brothers and sisters, he, barefoot and unclothed, in a garment of camel’s hair, had the courage to tell Herod, the emperor and ruler, what he must and must not do. St. John got in the way of this potentate, to whom everyone came crawling, and of whom everyone was terrified, to forbid him to commit such a serious sin-to take his brother’s wife. “For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. (Matt 14:4) (KJV)
Herodias, defiled and unfaithful woman, got St. John’s head, but she did not win him over nor did she make him quiet. He was more of a threat to them dead than he would ever be alive. They were so afraid of him; they expected to see him behind every bush.
St. John is the greatest of those born to a woman. Today, at this weakling time, he is bigger leviathan than all the titans. If ever, then now is the time to remember him and to smarten up by him. Nowadays, we can hear and read everywhere, in all newspapers, how the weak that existed in thousands, inhuman and good for nothing, that sold their Serbian soul, shape the occurrences, and compel the tyrants that turned into dust, and now they tell us, the simple and poor people, stories of how they pleaded for this or that, how they objected to this or that, how they, for goodness sake, fought and suffered. And we know them; we remember them when they were different, so we get sick of that posterior bravery.
And we see now, if not till now, how many of us are not heroes and are in fact weak; we also see that it is better to be true to yourself even if not courageous enough to tell everything you mean, to at least not participate in anything that your conscience doesn’t allow you.
Some words have frayed, faded, and dulled. There are many of us with the motto: “Good day to you all, on all four sides of the world”, or as someone mentioned jokingly, members of the “UKVD” – “Udruzenje kuda vetar duva”. We have one truth for ourselves, another one for Marko before Marko, and the third or the hundredth, if you wish, for Marko before Janko.
God, the only Truth, and Saint John ask of us only the truth, “Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. (Job 32:21) (KJV) And Job, who was just and whose words these were, explained further why he could not flatter and lie: “For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away. (Job 32:22) (KJV)
Every hypocrisy, – those who- bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly (Ps. 62, 4) – is despicable to God. The Saint psalmist also reminds us that “The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things.” (Psalms 12:3) (KJV) It is required from us Christians, who had taken Christ’s name upon us, to follow the Christ’s example. Saint Apostle Paul takes God as a witness that neither he nor the other apostles, have ever spoken out of flattery or greed, or seeking glory from people. (2. Thess. 2, 5-6) Not only must we not flatter, but we must not have anything to do with those who flatter. “He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.” (Prov 20:19) (KJV) “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.” (Prov 26:28) (KJV) and “A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.” (Prov 29:5) (KJV) says the Book of Truth, the Holy Scripture. And again: not only must we not sin, but we must be wise enough to differentiate truth from lie. The wise Solomon, who did not lack any human experience, advises us clearly how to differentiate the truth from the disguised flattery: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Prov 27:6)(KJV) It really does not hurt to keep this in mind.
By celebrating Saint John, dear brothers and sisters, let us remember what he symbolizes: the Truth, and only Truth, so the Truth may save us. Amen