CWN - Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai has warned that the presence of 2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon is straining the fabric of that country.

“Even with all our solidarity with the refugees, the Lebanese hope that the process to guarantee them a safe return to their country,” the Patriarch said.

Peraching as a Mass attended by Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, the Maronite Patriarch praised the “good intentions” of the government in welcoming refugees, but observed that the costs of providing for the refugees have fallen on the people of Lebanon, causing economic difficulties and prodding many of the country’s own residents to emigrate.

The Maronite prelate—Lebanon’s primary Christian leader—spoke out at a time when the Lebanese military has begun security operations in refugee camps, hoping to neutralize militant Syrian factions that have begun to organize and arm themselves within the camps.

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Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 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

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. (Proverbs 3:9,10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

What, then, are the things which are being prepared for those who wait for Him? The Creator and Father of the ages, the All-holy One, Himself knows their greatness and beauty. Let us then strive to be found among the number of those that wait, that we may receive a share of the promised gifts.

St. Clement of Rome