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)

Joachiam and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (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.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Holy Forefathers

Through faith, O Christ, you justified the Forefathers, * betrothing through them in advance the Church of the gentiles. * The Saints exult in glory, * for from their seed came forth a glorious fruit: * she who gave birth to You without seed. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, have mercy on us. (Troparion, Tone 2)

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

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but defended by the undepicted Being you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Second Sunday Before Christmas)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (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.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

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

BROTHER: What is purity of soul?

OLD MAN: Remoteness from anger and from the error of the remembrance of evil things, and being weaned from the bitter nature, and reconciliation with our enemies, and peace which is beyond troubling, and simplicity of love which is above this world; with these things is the inner man cleansed, and he puts on Christ and is redeemed.


E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers"