Rome 23-24 April 2010

Report by Patriarch Gregorios III

of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church

The work of preparation for the Synod for the Middle East has made progress in this third reunion of the members of the Presynodal Council, who are the seven Patriarchs of the Middle East, the President of the Episcopal Conference in Iran and the President of the Episcopal Conference in Turkey. The work was led by Archbishop Nikola Eterović, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Rome.

The members studied in a plenary session and in three groups the vast amount of material made up of answers from eparchies, institutions and religious to the questions of the Lineamenta, sent to all Churches in January 2010.

The next step will be for the Office of the Synod of Bishops to produce a document about this recent meeting of the Presynodal Council to be sent in a few days' time to Council members, who are asked to reply with comments as soon as possible to the Synodal Office. Then it will be the work of the Synodal Office to produce the final version of the document for the Synod for the Middle East, which will be proposed to Pope Benedict XVI, for his approval. This final document is called the Instrumentum Laboris and will be translated into Arabic and other languages and presented by His Holiness to the members of the Presynodal Council during the papal visit to Cyprus from 4 to 6 June.

The General Secretariat of the Synod will send further information about their eventual participation to all members of the coming Synod for the Middle East to be held in Rome between 10 and 24 of October. The General Secretariat of the Synod will send invitations to observe to Orthodox Churches, to Muslims and to Jews.

The Synod was prepared by the Presynodal Council in September 2009 and in November of the same year. This was the third and final meeting of the Presynodal Council.

All members of our Church are asked to pray for the success of this unique and very important event in the life of the Catholic Churches of the Middle East.

Ed.  V. C.


Teachings of Christ

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Theophany

At Your baptism 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 truth 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)

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, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The perfection of the Christian life -- and I mean that life which is the only one the name of Christ is used to designate -- is that in which we participate not only by our mind and soul but in all the actions of our lives, so that our holiness may be complete, in accordance with the blessing pronounced by Paul, in our 'whole body and soul and spirit' (I Thess. 5:23), constantly guarded from all admixture with evil.

St. Gregory of Nyssa, From Glory to Glory