CWN - The head of the Syriac Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, said that the Iraqi members of his flock who fled the advance of ISIS two years ago “have no hope of returning home, either to Mosul or to the nearby Plain of Nineveh.”

“The Western powers, like the United States and the European Union, have their own geopolitical agenda,” Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan said in an interview with Crux.

Referring to efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the patriarch added that “what was done to Syria was clearly unjust, a kind of Machiavellian politics exercised against Syria and the Syrian people.”

Patriarch Yonan also criticized European bishops who have rebuffed his attempts to send Syriac priests to minister to refugees, as well as those who have forbidden him to celebrate the liturgy in Catholic churches.

“When I was in Sweden a couple of weeks ago, I had to use Syriac Orthodox churches for the Divine Masses I celebrated, although I am a Catholic patriarch,” he said. “I don’t know what kind of theology and canon law they study in the seminary, refusing for a patriarch to celebrate the Mass in the parish church. I was in Berlin two weeks ago and the thing is, I celebrated in a Syriac Orthodox church.”

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Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Theophany

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 sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

There was a man who ate a lot and was still hungry, and another who ate little and was satisfied. The one who ate a lot and was still hungry received a greater reward than he who ate little and was satisfied.

Apophthegmata Patrum