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29 august: TROPARUL ŞI POMENIREA TĂIERII CAPULUI SF. IOAN BOTEZĂTORUL (Gr, Ro, En)

Απολυτίκιο Αποτ. Κεφ. Τιμ. Προδρόμου – 29 ΑΥΓΟΥΣΤΟΥ

TROPARUL ŞI POMENIREA TĂIERII CAPULUI SF. IOAN BOTEZĂTORUL

 29 august

AUDIO

Pomenirea taierii cinstitului cap al cinstitului slavitului Prooroc înainte-mergator si Botezator Ioan.

Taierea Capului Sfântului Ioan BotezatorulSfântul Ioan, Inaintemergatorul si Botezatorul Domnului a primit de la însusi Domnul Hristos marturia ca el era cel mai mare dintre toti oamenii nascuti din femeie si cel dintâi intre Profeti. Pe cind inca se afla in pântecele mamei sale, el a tresarit de bucurie in preajma lui Mesia pe care il purta in ea Prea Sfinta Maica a Domnului. La maturitate, el, „de care lumea nu era vrednica” (cf Evrei 11:38), se retrase in pustiu, acoperit cu o haina din par de camila si incins cu o curea de piele, aceasta semnificând stapânirea tuturor pornirilor trupesti. Regasind, ca un nou Adam, starea de armonie a firii noastre create pentru a se dedica numai lui Dumnezeu, el se hranea cu cosasi si cu miere salbatica, si isi tinea in contemplare mintea netulburata de grijile acestei lumi. In anul 15 al domniei lui Tiberiu Cezar (anul 29), Ioan, când a auzit Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu in pustie, se duse in regiunea Iordanului, pentru a predica pocainta catre multimile care veneau la el, atrase de viata sa ingereasca. El ii boteza in apele Iordanului in semn de curatire de pacatele lor, si pentru a-i pregati sa il primeasca pe Mântuitorul el ii indruma sa faca mai curând roade vrednice de pocainta, decit sa se laude ca sint fiii lui Avraam. Reluând cuvintele profetului Isaia, el le spunea : „Glasul celui care striga in pustiu. Pregatiti calea Domnului, drepte faceti in loc neumblat cararile Dumnezeului nostru. Toata valea sa se umple si tot muntele si dealul sa se plece; si sa fie cele strambe, drepte, si cele colturoase, cai netede. Si se va arata slava Domnului si tot trupul o va vedea caci gura Domnului a grait”. (Is. 40:3-5). 
Pentru ca poporul se intreba daca nu era el Mântuitorul asteptat de atitea generatii, Ioan le spuse: „Eu va botez cu apa, dar vine altul mai mare decât mine, El va va boteza cu foc si cu Duh Sfânt”. Curatenia sa si dragostea sa pentru feciorie erau intr-atât de mari incât fu considerat vrednic nu doar de a-l vedea pe Mântuitor, al carui Inaintemergator fusese pus, ci chiar sa Il boteze in Iordan si sa fie martorul descoperirii Sfintei Treimi.

Sfântul Ioan medita fara incetare la Cuvintul lui Dumnezeu si le considera pe toate ale acestei lumi ca nesemnificative in fata respectarii Legii dumnezeiesti, a carei desavirsita intruchipare era viata sa. De aceea nu se temea sa adreseze reprosuri aspre lui Irod Antipa, tetrarhul Galileii, om lipsit de rusine si dezmatat care, contrar Legii, se casatorise cu Irodiada, sotia fratelui sau Filip pe când acesta din urma era inca in viata si avusese cu ea o fata, Salomeea. Facindu-se mijlocitorul constiintei inveterate a pescarului, Profetul ii vorbea in numele lui Dumnezeu : „Nu iti este ingaduit sa ai ca sotie pe femeia fratelui tau”. De aceea Irodiana nutrea in ea o ranchiuna puternica impotriva lui Ioan si voia sa il omoare ; era insa impiedicata de Irod care il proteja, ca barbat drept si sfânt, dar mai ales pentru ca se temea de poporul pe care il cinstea ca pe un trimis al lui Dumnezeu. In cele din urma Irodiada cea perfida isi atinse scopul si facu astfel incit Profetul sa fie dus la inchisoare in fortareata din Macheronte. Cind fu aniversarea zilei de nastere a regelui, in apropierea Pastilor, acesta invita pe notabilii regatului sau la un mare ospat, in timpul caruia toti se dedara imbuibarii si betiei. Salomeea dansa cu voluptate in fata mesenilor acestui banchet al slavei desarte, si ea placu privirii desfrânate a tatalui sau care ii jura sa ii dea ca recompensa orice i-ar cere, chiar de-ar fi jumatate din regatul sau. La sfatul mamei sale, tânara ceru sa ii fie adus imediat pe un platou capul lui Ioan Botezatorul. Regele se simti incurcat, dar din cauza juramântului sau, si pentru a nu-si pierde onoarea in fata invitatilor, se decise sa il omoare pe Cel Drept. Sentita fu pe loc executata, un soldat ii taie capul  Sfintului Ioan in inchisoare si il aduse imediat, inca sângerând, pe un platou,  in sala de ospat care adresa in tacere reprosul sau fata de slabiciunea criminala a regelui. Salomeea prezenta mamei sale trofeul, cu aerul de a spune : „Manânca, o, mama, trupul celui care a trait ca unul fara trup, si bea sângele lui. Aceasta limba care nu inceta sa ne faca reprosuri va tacea de-acum pentru totdeauna”.

Ucenicii Sfântului venira sa ii ia trupul si mersera sa il ingroape in Sevastia apoi se dusera sa il instiinteze pe Iisus. Abia mult mai târziu Moastele Sfântului Inaintemergator fura regasite in mod miraculor, pentru a raspândi harul asupra credinciosilor care li se inchina.

Ioan BotezatorulAcest act sângeros pare sa fi fost ingaduit de Dumnezeu pentru ca dupa ce a fost Inaintemergatorul lui Hristos pe pamânt, Sfântul Ioan Botezatorul sa fie de asemenea in imparatia mortilor si sa mearga sa instiinteze pe mortii cei drepti de speranta in Mântuire, venirea apropiata a lui Mesia care trebuia sa sparga prin Cruce portile si inchizatorile Iadului.

Prin viata precum si prin moartea sa, Inaintemergatorul ramâne de asemenea pentru toti Crestinii un Profet si un stapânitor al vietii spirituale. Prin comportamentul sau ireprosabil, el ii invata sa lupte pâna la moarte impotriva pacatului, nu numai pentru respectul dreptatii si ascultarea Legii lui Dumnezeu dar si pentru a inainta in virtute si curatia inimii. Orice constiinta cizelata prin meditarea asupra Legii lui Dumnezeu se aseamana deci cu Inaintemergatorul si croieste „caile Domnului” in sufletul care se caieste, pentru a-i da cunoasterea Mântuirii (cf. Luca 1:76).

«Οὐκ ἐξεστὶ σοι ἔχειν, τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου». Δὲν σοῦ ἐπιτρέπεται ἀπὸ τὸ νόμο τοῦ Θεοῦ νὰ ἔχεις τὴν γυναῖκα τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ σου, ὁ ὁποῖος ζεῖ ἀκόμα. Λόγια τοῦ Τιμίου Προδρόμου, ποὺ ἀποτελοῦσαν μαχαιριὲς στὶς διεφθαρμένες συνειδήσεις τοῦ βασιλιὰ Ἡρώδη Ἀντίπα καὶ τῆς παράνομης συζύγου του Ἡρωδιάδος, ποὺ ἦταν, γυναίκα τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ του Φιλίππου.

Ὁ Ἡρώδης, μὴ ἀνεχόμενος τοὺς ἐλέγχους τοῦ Προδρόμου, τὸν φυλάκισε. Σὲ κάποια γιορτὴ ὅμως τῶν γενεθλίων του, ὁ Ἡρώδης ὑποσχέθηκε μὲ ὅρκο νὰ δώσει στὴν κόρη τῆς Ἡρωδιάδος ὅτι ζητήσει, διότι τοῦ ἄρεσε πολὺ ὁ χορός της. Τότε ἡ αἱμοβόρος Ἡρωδιὰς εἶπε στὴν κόρη της νὰ ζητήσει στὸ πιάτο τὸ κεφάλι τοῦ Ἰωάννη. Πράγμα ποὺ τελικὰ ἔγινε.

Ἔτσι, ὁ ἔνδοξος Πρόδρομος τοῦ Σωτῆρος θὰ παραμένει στοὺς αἰῶνες ὑπόδειγμα σὲ ὅλους ὅσους θέλουν νὰ ὑπηρετοῦν τὴν ἀλήθεια καὶ νὰ ἀγωνίζονται κατὰ τῆς διαφθορᾶς, ἀνεξάρτητα ἀπὸ κινδύνους καὶ θυσίες.
Καὶ νὰ τί λένε οἱ 24 πρεσβύτεροι τῆς Ἀποκάλυψης στὸν Θεὸ γιὰ τοὺς διεφθαρμένους: «ἦλθεν… ὁ καιρὸς τῶν ἐθνῶν κριθῆναι… καὶ διαφθεῖραι τοὺς διαφθείροντας τὴν γῆν’. Ἦλθε, δηλαδή, ὁ καιρὸς τῆς ἀνάστασης τῶν νεκρῶν γιὰ νὰ κριθεῖ ὁ κόσμος καὶ νὰ καταστρέψεις (Θεέ μου) ἐκείνους, ποὺ μὲ τὴ διεφθαρμένη ζωὴ τους διαφθείρουν καὶ καταστρέφουν τὴν γῆ.

Ἀπολυτίκιο. Ἦχος β’.

Μνήμη δικαίου μετ’ ἐγκωμίων· σοὶ δὲ ἀρκέσει ἡ μαρτυρία τοῦ Κυρίου Πρόδρομε· ἀνεδείχθης γὰρ ὄντως καὶ Προφητῶν σεβασμιώτερος, ὅτι καὶ ἐν ῥείθροις βαπτίσαι κατηξιώθης τὸν κηρυττόμενον. Ὅθεν τῆς ἀληθείας ὑπεραθλήσας, χαίρων εὐηγγελίσω καὶ τοὶς ἐν Ἅδῃ, Θεὸν φανερωθέντα ἐν σαρκί, τὸν αἴροντα τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου, καὶ παρέχοντα ἡμῖν τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.

 

Ἕτερον Ἀπολυτίκιον. Ἦχος δ’. Ταχὺ προκατάλαβε.
Ὡς πάντων ὑπέρτερος, τῶν Προφητῶν ἀληθῶς, αὐτόπτης καὶ Πρόδρομος, τῆς παρουσίας Χριστοῦ, Προφήτα γεγένησαι, ὅθεν καὶ παρ’ Ἡρώδου, ἐκτμηθεῖς σου τὴν Κάραν, ἔδραμες τοὶς ἐν Ἅδῃ, προκηρύξαι τὸ λύτρον διὸ σὲ Ἰωάννη Βαπτιστά, ποθῶ γεραίρομεν.

Κοντάκιον  Ἦχος πλ. α’. 
Ἡ τοῦ Προδρόμου ἔνδοξος ἀπoτομὴ, οἰκονομία γέγονέ τις θεϊκή, ἵνα καὶ τοῖς ἐν Ἅδῃ, τοῦ Σωτῆρος κηρύξῃ τὴν ἔλευσιν. Θρηνείτω οὖν Ἡρωδιάς, ἄνομον φόνον αἰτήσασα· οὐ νόμον γὰρ τὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ, οὐ ζῶντα αἰώνα ἠγάπησεν, ἀλλ’ ἐπίπλαστον πρόσκαιρον.

Μεγαλυνάριον.
Κἂν ἐτμήθης Κάραν ὦ Βαπτιστά, φθέγγεται ἠ γλῶσσα, τὸν Ἡρώδην ἐλέγχουσα· Λόγου τὴν φωνήν σε, σιγῆσαι γὰρ οὐκ ἔδει, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς ἐν Ἅδῃ, Χριστὸν κηρύξασθαι.

The Beheading of the Prophet, Forerunner of the Lord, John the Baptist: The Evangelists Matthew (Mt.14:1-12) and Mark (Mark 6:14-29) provide accounts about the martyric end of John the Baptist in the year 32 after the Birth of Christ. 

Following the Baptism of the Lord, St John the Baptist was locked up in prison by Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch (ruler of one fourth of the Holy Land) and governor of Galilee. (After the death of king Herod the Great, the Romans divided the territory of Palestine into four parts, and put a governor in charge of each part. Herod Antipas received Galilee from the emperor Augustus). 

The prophet of God John openly denounced Herod for having left his lawful wife, the daughter of the Arabian king Aretas, and then instead cohabiting with Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip (Luke 3:19-20). On his birthday, Herod made a feast for dignitaries, the elders and a thousand chief citizens. Salome, the daughter of Herod, danced before the guests and charmed Herod. In gratitude to the girl, he swore to give her whatever she would ask, up to half his kingdom. 

The vile girl on the advice of her wicked mother Herodias asked that she be given the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Herod became apprehensive, for he feared the wrath of God for the murder of a prophet, whom earlier he had heeded. He also feared the people, who loved the holy Forerunner. But because of the guests and his careless oath, he gave orders to cut off the head of St John and to give it to Salome. 

According to Tradition, the mouth of the dead preacher of repentance once more opened and proclaimed: „Herod, you should not have the wife of your brother Philip.” Salome took the platter with the head of St John and gave it to her mother. The frenzied Herodias repeatedly stabbed the tongue of the prophet with a needle and buried his holy head in a unclean place. But the pious Joanna, wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, buried the head of John the Baptist in an earthen vessel on the Mount of Olives, where Herod had a parcel of land. (The Uncovering of the Venerable Head is celebrated (February 24). The holy body of John the Baptist was taken that night by his disciples and buried at Sebastia, there where the wicked deed had been done. 

After the murder of St John the Baptist, Herod continued to govern for a certain time. Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea, later sent Jesus Christ to him, Whom he mocked (Luke 23:7-12). 

The judgment of God came upon Herod, Herodias and Salome, even during their earthly life. Salome, crossing the River Sikoris in winter, fell through the ice. The ice gave way in such a way that her body was in the water, but her head was trapped above the ice. It was similar to how she once had danced with her feet upon the ground, but now she flailed helplessly in the icy water. Thus she was trapped until that time when the sharp ice cut through her neck. 

Her corpse was not found, but they brought the head to Herod and Herodias, as once they had brought them the head of St John the Baptist. The Arab king Aretas, in revenge for the disrespect shown his daughter, made war against Herod. The defeated Herod suffered the wrath of the Roman emperor Caius Caligua (37-41) and was exiled with Herodias first to Gaul, and then to Spain. 

The Beheading of St John the Baptist, a Feast day established by the Church, is also a strict fast day because of the grief of Christians at the violent death of the saint. In some Orthodox cultures pious people will not eat food from a flat plate, use a knife, or eat food that is round in shape on this day. 

Today the Church makes remembrance of Orthodox soldiers killed on the field of battle, as established in 1769 at the time of Russia’s war with the Turks and the Poles.

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