Sunday, September 13, 2015

Cutting Off The Head Of John The Baptist

Give me here on a dish the head of John the Baptist, she said. The request was abominable, but she persuaded him, and he gave the order to curb John's holy tongue. But even up to now it speaks out, for each day, or rather in every church, you hear John crying aloud through the Gospels and saying: It is not lawful for thee to have the wife of thy brother Philip. He cut of the head but he did not cut off the voice; he curbed the tongue but he did not curb the accusation.

Hence, God has surrounded the tongue with a double wall - with the barrier of the teeth and the fence of the lips - in order that it may not easily and heedlessly utter words it should not speak. Keep it curbed within your mouth. Suppose it does not stand for this treatment. Punish it with the teeth just as if you were giving its body over to the public executioner to be bitten. For it is better that it be bitten now when it sins than that hereafter, when it is parched and seeking a drop of water, it be deprived of that consolation.

From the writings of St. John Chrysostom

The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist - Synaxarium


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