1 Shawwal 1437 AH / 6 July 2016 AD

Damascus

Eid ul-Fitr concludes the fasting month of Ramadan, during which we have been witnessing a tragic situation. Nevertheless we send our Muslim fellow-citizens and companions in history and destiny sincere congratulations on Eid al-Fitr, together with prayers for safety and security, reconciliation, love and peace in our Arab countries, especially in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon.

Today, more than ever before, all we Christians and Muslims need a new spirituality to bring us from exclusion to inclusion, rejection to acceptance, stereotyping to understanding and from distortion to respect; from condemnation to compassion, hostility to friendship, competition to integration, and from hatred to love and the broad bosom of God, because God is love.

This spirituality will help us rebuild our homes that are currently threatened with physical and spiritual destruction, and enable us together to rebuild what has been broken down spiritually in our society, and reconstruct its material and human social fabric.

I invited everyone to this in my most recent letter entitled, "Message of an Arab Christian Patriarch to his Muslim brethren." I hope this letter has reached its designated readership.

I close my greetings with a passage from the above-mentioned letter:

“The task entrusted to us in the Middle East is to challenge the West and the whole Muslim world by our Eastern Christian-Muslim unity, based on a new type of civilization: the civilization of love.”

Happy Feast!

With love and prayer
+ Gregorios III

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem
For the Melkite Greek Catholic Church


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)

Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

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

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

He who suffers wrong and does not demand any reparation from the man who wronged him, trusts in Christ to make good the loss; and he is rewarded a hundredfold in this world and inherits eternal life (cf. Mk 10:30).

Saint Kosmas Aitolos +1779