Monday, August 29, 2016 Passion of St. John the Baptist

Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. (Mark 6:20) 

Revelation, Chapter 11, Verse 10-11
10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and be glad and exchange gifts because these two prophets tormented the inhabitants of the earth. 11 But after the three and a half days, a breath of life from God entered them. When they stood on their feet, great fear fell on those who saw them.

The two great witnesses as mentioned here are the spirits of righteousness and truth. The world delights in destruction and will pay almost any price to avoid the truth. Yet, if a man aligns himself with the one who had risen on the third day, the breath of life from God will enter him. A man resurrected in the risen Lord is a fearful thing for he cannot be brought and he is clothed in the power of God: All the world fears a man that will stand on his feet.

Passion of Saint John the Baptist[1]

There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was, and gave his life for him. His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth. Nevertheless, he died for Christ. Does Christ not say: "I am the truth"? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ. Through his birth, preaching and baptizing, he bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ, and by his own suffering he showed that Christ also would suffer. Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted the end of this present life by shedding his blood after the long imprisonment. He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men. He was locked away in the darkness of prison, though he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ. To endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John; rather it was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward. Since death was ever near at hand, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ's name. Hence the apostle Paul rightly says: "You have been granted the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake." He tells us why it is Christ's gift that his chosen ones should suffer for him: "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us."— Saint Bede the Venerable

International Day against Nuclear Tests[2]

The International Day against Nuclear Tests seeks to raise awareness about the negative effects of nuclear weapons and the need to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world. The day also serves to educate people everywhere about the need to ban nuclear weapon tests in order to ensure world safety. Since the first nuclear test in 1945, over 2,000 nuclear tests have been carried out and led to accidents, such as the Chernobyl, Ukraine accident of 1986, ending in tragedy, long-term radiation poisoning and atmospheric damage.  International Day against Nuclear Tests was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2009. It is observed every year on the 29th of August, a day that commemorates the 1991 closure of the Soviet Semipalatinsk site, the world's largest nuclear testing facility, in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan.

International Day against Nuclear Tests Facts & Quotes

·         The US, The Soviet Union and France have carried out the most nuclear tests over the past 6 decades, with 1,032, 715 and 210 respectively.

·         The cost of the Manhattan Project, where the first nuclear bomb was ever built, is estimated to have cost $20 Billion.

·         The total number of nuclear missiles built from the year 1951 to the present is 67,500.
·         There are an estimated total of 16,400 nuclear weapons on Earth today.

·         So long as nuclear weapons continue to exist, so will the temptation to threaten others with overwhelming military force. – Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist philosopher, educator, author and anti-nuclear activist.




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