Taking stock of the historic vote in the UN
to grant observer status to the Palestinian state
Patriarch Gregorios III says,
“The Palestinian case is my Arab Christian and Muslim cause”

Rabweh - Patriarch Gregorios III greatly appreciated the UN resolution granting observer status to the Palestinian state. He said: “Thank God, who waits but never forgets.” He also thanked the countries that voted for the resolution, whilst censuring countries voting against it, some of which seek to be in the defending vanguard of nations’ freedom and dignity.

“As Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem,” added Laham, “Palestine is part of my patriarchal territory. I was bishop and patriarchal vicar there in Jerusalem for twenty-six years, so I am overjoyed on this historic day, because Palestine is my Arab Christian and Muslim cause. I’d like to congratulate beloved Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for his courage, determination, consistency and reasoning- power. I’d like to congratulate the Palestinian nation and I hope that they will reunite around this recognition and work together for a better future. I repeat that resolving this Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the key to peace, democracy and independence in the whole region, even to the Syrian crisis. The problem of emigration, especially Christian emigration, is directly related to resolving this conflict. I reiterate my position: there can be no peace in the Middle East without peace in Jerusalem; no peace in the world without the peace of Jerusalem, and without resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I should like to take this opportunity to invite Palestinians to dialogue. We hope this stage will be the preliminary to further stages. We should like to thank the international community for their decision and attitude, and we should like this purely legal measure to be imbued with the Spirit. Reconciliation is the spiritual guarantee for the letter of the law not to kill. (cf. 2 Corinthians 3: 6) What has happened today is not just a gift, but rather a right; plain justice and a step in the right direction. This is the real road map. We repeat our gratitude for the courage of the Palestinian President, who clearly demonstrated the existence of the state of Israel. In return, Israelis have to understand this bold, dignified message from President Abbas.

“We are persuaded that halting settlements in Palestinian territories would be an effective contribution towards negotiations, which should begin forthwith. The duty of the international community, especially the group of four, is to accompany this process to establish Palestinian rights.”

Source: Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate, Rabweh


Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing, confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica