CWNews.com - A Coptic Orthodox bishop faces criticism for traveling to Jerusalem, despite a ban by Coptic Pope Shenouda III on all travel to Israel.

A spokesman for Bishop Theodosius of Giza, Egypt, said that the Coptic prelate was in Jerusalem for medical attention—a purpose that would justify the trip. Pope Shenouda’s ban on travel is intended to halt all pilgrimages by Copts until the Israel and Palestine reach a peace agreement.

The ban on pilgrimages creates an odd situation, since the site in Jerusalem most frequently visited by Christian pilgrims, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, is admininstered partially by the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Coptic prelates who work there—maintaining a constant presence in the Holy Sepulchre itself—remain permanently in Jerusalem rather than traveling to and from Egypt.

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Teachings of Christ

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7,8 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"In the matter of piety, poverty serves us better than wealth, and work better than idleness, especially since wealth becomes an obstacle even for those who do not devote themselves to it. Yet, when we must put aside our wrath, quench our envy, soften our anger, offer our prayers, and show a disposition which is reasonable, mild, kindly, and loving, how could poverty stand in our way? For we accomplish these things not by spending money but by making the correct choice. Almsgiving above all else requires money, but even this shines with a brighter luster when the alms are given from our poverty. The widow who paid in the two mites was poorer than any human, but she outdid them all."

St. John Chrysostom