Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) - According to the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches of Jerusalem, "a systematic attempt to undermine the integrity of the Holy City" and "to weaken the Christian
presence in the Holy City" is in progress. This project clearly manifests itself in the "recent violations of the Status Quo" of the Holy Sites, and also a bill signed by about forty members of the Israeli Parliament, "limiting the rights of the Churches on our properties". The Heads of the Churches are resolute and united in their opposition to "any action" by "any authority or group" that undermines those "laws, agreements, and regulations that have ordered our life for centuries".

The document, published yesterday by the official channels of the Churches, is signed by thirteen heads of Churches and Christian communities present in Jerusalem. The list of signatories is opened by Teophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, and also includes Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and Father Francesco Patton OFM, Custos of the Holy Land.

What triggered the Christian Churches’ concerns regarding the Status quo that regulates coexistence between religious communities in the Old City of Jerusalem was the ruling with which the Israeli Court, at the beginning of August, after a long controversy, rejected the legal initiatives with which the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem had attempted to recognize the acquisition of some of its properties by the Jewish organization Ateret Cohanim, which took place in 2004, as "illegal" and "unauthorized". There have been further actions that are a clear breach of the Status Quo. The judgement in the “Jaffa Gate” case against the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which heads of Churches regard as unjust, as well as a proposed bill in the Knesset
which is politically motivated.

Read more at fides.org.


Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 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

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When you are praying, watch over yourself so that not only your outward man prays, but your inward one also. Though you be sinful beyond measure, still pray. Do not heed the devil's provocation, craftiness, and despair, but overcome and conquer his wiles. Remember the abyss of the Saviour's mercy and love to mankind. The devil will represent the Lord's fact to you as terrible and unmerciful, rejecting your prayer and repentance; but remember the Saviour's own words, full of every hope and boldness for us: `Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out'; and `Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden' - with sins and iniquities, and wiles and calumnies of the devil - and I will give you rest.'

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ