CWN - The Syrian Orthodox Church may convene a special synod session to address tensions that erupted after Patriarch Ignatius Ephem II raised a copy of the Qu’ran, in a gesture of reverence, during an inter-religious meeting.

Six metropolitan archbishops of the Syrian Orthodox Church condemned the gesture as a “betrayal of the faith,” and claimed that the Patriarch had forfeited his title as defender of the Orthodox faith. Their public criticism in turn prompted thirty other archbishops to come to the Patriarch’s defense and decry the critics for their “rebellion against the Church.” Although the six dissident archbishops have subsequently sent a letter of apology, the majority of prelates judged it inadequate.

Huddling this weekend at the headquarters of the patriarchate in Lebanon, prelates discussed a special synod meeting to “make the right decisions and take the suitable measures.”

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Teachings of Christ

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honor your patience.

St. John of the Ladder