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

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 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

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Humility is the only thing we need; one can still fall having virtues other than humility -- but with humility one does not fall.

Elder Herman of Mt. Athos