CWN - The chairmen of three committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by the chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services, expressed solidarity with the Middle East’s Christians and other religious minorities.

Archbishop William Lori (Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty), Bishop Oscar Cantú (Committee on International Justice and Peace), Bishop Joe Vásquez (Committee on Migration), and Bishop Gregory Mansour (Catholic Relief Services) stated:

A recent USCCB delegation visit to Iraq confirmed once again that what has happened—and continues to happen—to Christians, Yezidis, Shia Muslims, and other minorities in Syria and Iraq, at the hands of the so-called “Islamic State,” is genocide … A particular focus on minorities is essential to forming communities that respect the rights of all, including members of the majority.

The prelates called upon the US to “accept our nation’s fair share of the most vulnerable families of all religions and ethnicities for resettlement as refugees, including special consideration of the victims of genocide and other atrocities.”

The prelates also called for US development assistance to the region, including US assistance in strengthening the police and the judiciary in Iraq.

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

Theophany is a Greek word meaning "manifestation or appearence of God".

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The demons are sleepless and immaterial, death is at hand, and I am weak. Lord, help me; do not let Your creature perish, for You care for me in my misery.

St. Peter of Damascus