CWN - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has written a message to the Orthodox faithful on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his accession to the See of Constantinople.

The 76-year-old prelate, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, recalled the recent Orthodox synod in Crete and said that all of the Orthodox churches—even those that did not send representatives—were bound to accept its decisions.

Praying for the Middle East’s persecuted Christians as well as for refugees, the Ecumenical Patriarch also recalled his visit with Pope Francis at the Greek island of Lesbos earlier this year.

The Ecumenical Patriarch also lamented the widening gap between rich and poor and decried environmental damage, calling for a “radical change of mentality, the transition from a possessive and consumerist state to a Eucharistic and ascetic use of creation.”

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." (Matthew 5:11 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge praise You in song: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Theophany is a Greek word meaning "manifestation or appearence of God".

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

What, then, are the things which are being prepared for those who wait for Him? The Creator and Father of the ages, the All-holy One, Himself knows their greatness and beauty. Let us then strive to be found among the number of those that wait, that we may receive a share of the promised gifts.

St. Clement of Rome