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Happy Father's Day

by Maria C. Khoury, Ed.D.

Dear Friends of Saint George Taybeh,

I am so happy to wish all of the fathers that I know or all of those beloved in Christ who serve as "fathers" to all of us, a most joyous and Happy Father's Day.

I was very blessed on my last day in Boston to hear who Fr. Christopher Metropolis, the new president of Hellenic College/Holy Cross calls "a living legend", His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos Ware speaking on "Divine Compassion and the Icon" sponsored by St. Catherine's Vision. But I was so nervous about traveling back home to the Holy Land that I was besides myself. Especially since there seems to be extreme violence across the globe. Please, Lord have mercy!

I am no longer shocked but I was disturbed with the horrific news of innocent people dying at a Bible Study in South Carolina. I don't like to hear such things happening in a free country like the United States. This last year has just exposed more evil everywhere.

Also, I found it very strange that many of the conference participants had no idea that a church was just burned in Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. The first thought that came to my mind was that if a Palestinian was accused of attacking any Jewish site or person, everyone simply would know immediately. I guess it does not sit well with the mass media when Israeli settlers attack a peaceful Christian church at the very site where our Lord and Savior fed 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish near the Sea of Galilee in Tiberies referred to as the Church in Tabgha (originally called Epta Pygon). This is actually one of the most famous Catholic churches and very popular on the pilgrimage trail. Do churches really have to be burned down? The graffiti on the wall in Hebrew said something to the affect that all the false gods will be eliminated. So much for the only democracy in the Middle East. Let us just continue to pray, pray, pray.

But, what I am most sad about, is the 16 Israeli Jewish young settler boys who were accused of burning down the church were set free. I actually see an attack on any church as on attack on humanity but forgive that my sincere good wishes on Father's Day come with my own confusion and failure to understand my world. May your Father's Day be blessed, holy and filled with many fruits of the Holy Spirit.

In Christ's love, maria

Psalm 46

God Is with Us

God is our shelter and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken
and mountains fall into the ocean depths;
even if the seas roar and rage,
and the hills are shaken by the violence.