Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - The US Administration’s decision to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem "is a slap in the face of Palestinians, Christians, Muslims and all the Arabs". President Donald Trump's move "has demolished the peace efforts between Israel, Palestine and Arab countries, has fueled the fire of a new intifada and transformed Jerusalem, the city of peace, into a city of war". These are the clear words expressed by Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï on the consequences of the controversial step taken by the US leadership regarding the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the entire Holy City. The Primate of the Maronite Church expressed his words in his homily during the Eucharistic liturgy celebrated last Sunday at the patriarchal headquarters of Bkerkè.

Tomorrow, Thursday, December 14 - report Lebanese sources to Agenzia Fides - the Patriarch has called a Muslim-Christian summit in Bkerkè to be attended by the leaders and representatives of the Churches and Christian communities together with senior exponents of the various Muslim communities present in Lebanon, in order to express a joint position on the question of Jerusalem and the new tensions unleashed around the Holy City by the provisions of the Trump’s Administration, which according to the Patriarch Rai contradict the criteria of international legality.

Last Sunday, in Lebanon, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Yohanna X Yazigi, also strongly criticized the American decision to establish its embassy in Jerusalem, calling it "a violation of international law" and a serious injustice to the Palestinians, destined to fuel conflicts and sabotage all peace attempts in the region.

In Lebanon, a country that still hosts 400 thousand Palestinian refugees, protest demonstrations in front of the US embassy in Beirut in the district of Awkar have taken place since last Sunday to protest against the decisions of the US administration. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 13/12/2017)


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 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

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Long ago, the wily one cast his weapon and wounded Adam and killed him; Indeed, he completely destroyed the weak man. But now, even if he struck the bodies of the noble men, he did not destroy their spirits. He persuaded the first-created man to fall by words, but not even by deeds, the noble ones. Bewitching the former, he made promises; he made offers to the latter: For Adam, the making of a god; for the martyrs, honor. He offers what he does not have; he suggests bestowing things not in his authority. Therefore, saints, having shattered his scheme, You gained crowns. 

Kontakia of Romanos, On the Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia I.