Saturday, July 23, 2016

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos): The Poor are Engulfing Lebanon

Arabic original here.

The Poor are Engulfing Lebanon

According to the official statistics, the number of refugees on Lebanese territory is more than 40% of the population and most of them are poor. What should we do? What should the state do? What should the people do?

For our part, we Christians will accept them, willingly or unwillingly.

The Gospel tells us, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." (Matthew 25:40).

I know that we Christians have come to be few in our country of Lebanon, but let us not forget that a little good leaven leavens the whole dough. Do not forget what the Gospel reminds us, "You are the salt of the earth... you are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:13-14).

Middle Eastern Christians in this land that we hold dear constitute a heavenly kingdom that has lasted longer than any earthly kingdom, more than two thousand years, and it shall not go extinct. Over the long years, it has witnessed blessed, peaceful coexistence with other religions, especially with our Muslim brothers. But those who have been forced to leave the homeland are also a good leaven, wherever they abide, east and west.

Our Gospel is our standard. It is our point of reference in the end. It tells us explicitly: "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).

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I know, beloved, that some will not share my opinion. By in it I rely on the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life.

The Apostle Paul also encourages me when he says, "Love never fails...  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:8, 13).

Have patience. Have faith. Love. You will receive nothing but good.

Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and Their Dependencies

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