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

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 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 sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

I pray Thee, compassionate Lord, do not allow me to be condemned because of the unworthy and ungrateful manner in which I contemplate the great mysteries that Thou hast revealed to Thy saints and through them to me, a sinner and Thy unworthy servant. For see, Lord, Thy servant stands before Thee, idle in everything, speechless, as one who is dead; and I do not dare to say anything more or to presumptuously contemplate further. But as always I fall down before Thee, crying from the depths of my soul. . . .

St. Peter of Damascus