Today, Thursday, January 7, we commemorate Prophet John the Baptist.
Saint John was the son of the Priest Zachariah and Righteous Elizabeth. He was the offspring of a sterile woman and the fruit of his parents’ fervent prayer. He received the grace of the Holy Spirit as a six-month-old embryo in Elizabeth’s womb and frisked when the Virgin Mary met his mother, Elizabeth. By the age of thirty, John lived an ascetic life in the Judean Desert, devoting his whole soul and body to prayer and study for spiritual and moral fulfillment.
With his preaching he called people to repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. He also crushed and harshly controlled evil and Pharisaism, the hypocrisy of men and the sinful life of the nobles, thus preparing the way for Christ. He did not quail nor hesitated to confront the Establishment of his time, including King Herod himself and his pathological and arrogant behaviour. At the same time he was unmasking the Pharisees, who were oppressing the people and loading them heavy loads.
When Christ began His work of public action, the people, following the suggestion of St. John the Baptist, followed him as the eminently Prophet and Teacher. Saint John the Baptist taught and prepared those baptized in Jordan River to receive the Savior and Redeemer of the world, the Lamb of God, who would redeem people from their sins. For this reason he was also named Forerunner because actually opened the way for the coming of the Lord.
The Honourable Forerunner is the highest and most important Prophet ever born of a woman.
Source: Church of Cyprus