CWN - Prelates from the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian Apostolic churches gathered at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to mark the inauguration of the restored Edicule, the 18th-century shrine that surrounds Christ’s tomb.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople was also in attendance, as was Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The three churches oversee different parts of the historic church and jointly paid for the Edicule’s restoration. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, hailed the event as an ecumenical breakthrough for the area’s Christian communities.

“The Holy Sepulchre, in which all the Christians make the memory of death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the custodian of our faith, but also of our respective histories, our identities,” he said. “It is the mirror of what we are. And while we see in this building our wounds that our historical divisions have created, we want today to celebrate and to show also our desire to cure these wounds.”

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Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 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

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

No one has to be embarrassed over his sinful state. ‘There is no man who, while living, does not sin,’ and the more sinful the man, the stronger will be God’s help in leading him out of his sinful mire. But the help of God comes only when the sinner repents with heartfelt contrition and has the will to reform. Not seeing in himself enough strength of soul to break away from sinful deeds, he asks for God’s help. This is where the mercy of God, Who does not wish the death of the sinner but wants him to be converted and live, is often evident.… If the voice of conscience awakens in us a feeling of remorse or repentance, then we must pray fervently to the Guardian Angel of our human existence that he may keep us from corrupt downfalls and help us ‘serve God with fear and trembling.’

Elder Macarius of Optina