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

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

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

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Saints and Martyrs

Adorned with the blood of Your Martyrs throughout the world, * as with purple and fine linen, * Your Church cries out to You through them: * "Send down Your compassions upon Your people. * Grant peace to Your commonwealth and great mercy to our souls." (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.

As the first-fruits of nature to the Planter of Creation, * the whole world offers to You, O Lord, the God-bearing martyrs. * Through their prayers and the intercession of the Mother of God * preserve Your commonwealth, the Church, in profound peace, O Most Merciful One. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

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

"And when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. And for three days he could not see." (Acts 9:9)

By no means would he [Saul] have been able to see well again unless he had first been fully blinded. Also, when he had rejected his own wisdom, which was confusing him, he could commit himself totally to faith. Since he had not believed that the Lord had conquered death by rising on the third day, he was now taught by his own experience of the replacement of three days of darkness by the return of the light.

Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles from the Venerable Bede