Deisis (Novogorod)

Patriarch Gregorios III: Words of reflection after the events in Ma'alula

4-7 September 2013

The events in Ma’alula represent an encroachment on the holiest and oldest Christian sites, on Christian heritage and the cradle of Christianity.

Each shell aimed at Ma’alula and Syria falls on:
• Sacred sites
• Saint Paul
• Saint Thecla
• The martyrs
• Saint Marun
• Four thousand Christians
• The first Christian church dating back two thousand years
• Christian heritage
• Saint Symeon
• Early Christian memory
• The place where Saint Paul sojourned three years
• Saint Sergius (Rasafa)
• Daniel the Stylite
• Moses the Abyssinian
• Saint James the Mutilated
• Ananias

The attack on Ma’alula is an attack on the holiest Christian sites and heritage, the cradle of Christianity.

So let’s go, not to the bitter end, but to the better end!

We can forgive everyone who caused the events - even the victims, abducted and wounded - in Ma’alula - but we say to everyone: Enough is enough! Enough is enough! Enough is enough!

Teachings of Christ

“Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33 ESV)

Lamb and Redeemer

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)

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

While the Bridegroom tarried, they slumbered and slept: Give ear, ye prudent, to our Lord's parable, for it is all light. All of them slept, both the foolish and the wise -- Which signifies that the good and the wicked die until the resurrection. The same sleep comes upon the ten of them, which is as much as to say, That death is the same for all creation without distinction. One was the sleep of the wise and of the foolish, For one is death, both of the righteous and of sinners. The good die, as the wise virgins slept; And the bad die, as the foolish also slept. Behold, all creation looketh for the coming of the Bridegroom, Christ, Who cometh at the end with His angels. But since He hath tarried, all generations slumber and sleep with the sleep of death, while looking for when He cometh.

A Homily on the Ten Virgins by Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh