Great and Holy Wednesday
April 16, 2014
Matthew 26:6-16 - Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor." But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her."
Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. (ESV)
Are You free? - The woman acknowledges Jesus as Lord and anoints Him to prepare Him for burial. Judas seeks to betray the Master. Which one was set free? Which one condemned himself? What about us? Do our daily lives embrace Christ and choose the forgiveness He offers? Or do we betray Christ and crucify Him?
Today we also continue the readings from the Prophecy of Ezekiel (the Call of the Prophet), Exodus (the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord prefigured in the journey of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt into the Promised Land) and Job (his tenacious faith in God).
This evening many parishes celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Anointing, offered on Great and Holy Wednesday for the healing of soul and body and for the forgiveness of sins.
- Wednesday - Ezekiel 2:3-3:3, Exodus 2:11-22, Job 2:1-10, Matthew 26:6-16
The icon is a detail of the Extreme Humility of Christ.
Patriarch Gregory III welcomes Syrian government’s victory in historic Christian town
- Created: 15 April 2014
CWN - The head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has welcomed the Syrian government’s victory over rebel forces in the historic Christian town of Ma'loula.
Rebel forces seized the town in December and kidnapped 13 Orthodox nuns, who were released in March.
Patriarch Gregory III Laham described the Syrian army’s victory there as “a symbol of liberation of ‘every human being and every inch of Syria,’” the Associated Press reported.
Paschal Letter 2014 Of His Beatitude Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem
- Created: 13 April 2014
20 April 2014
I You too have a resurrection
We are celebrating the Feast of the glorious Resurrection of Our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ for the fourth consecutive time while the disastrous events of the so-called “Arab Spring” are destroying thousands of citizens of several Arab countries, from Libya to Egypt, Palestine and Iraq and especially in Syria.
It is precisely in these countries that Christians have been designated “children of the Resurrection.” They are all called to share in Jesus’ Resurrection.
My Paschal Letter this year is divided into two parts: first a general section and spiritual meditation on the Saviour’s Resurrection, in which all those who believe in Jesus Christ have a share, or rather all believers in God and the age to come await a resurrection or renaissance (baath) and renewal (nushur), meaning that Jews, Christians and Muslims all share this expectation.
That is why I address the wish expressed in the title of this letter to all our fellow-Christians and fellow-citizens in our beloved Middle East, affectionately and hopefully telling every man and woman: you have a resurrection too.
The second part of my letter is devoted to the tragic situation of our beloved country, Syria, which is continuing its way of the cross, but which will one day soon we hope reach resurrection joy.