Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Friday, November 13, 2020
Year of Maronite Outreach Sunday of the Announcement to Zechariah
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I felt that this visit to Lebanon was sadly different to every other visit before. The impact of the socio-economic crisis, the repercussions of the explosion at the port of Beirut, the stalemate situation of the political life and the health crisis caused by COVID-19 have had catastrophic effects on Lebanon and its people. It is estimated that unemployment has reached 60% and people are quickly falling below the poverty line. The price of food and goods has drastically increased and a number of medications and essentials have started to run out. This has resulted in mass migration from Lebanon by all: young, old, families and single people, hoping to find a better life anywhere else due to a lack of hope that the situation will change soon.
In preparation for Christmas, our Eparchy in Australia, in collaboration with our diocesan organisations and in partnership with Caritas Lebanon, will launch a sponsorship program over the coming days, whereby a family in Australia can commit to donating $100USD per month to support one family in Lebanon. Caritas has a list of more than 15,000 families in need and $100USD, or $25 per week, may not be much for a family in Australia, but it can help a family in Lebanon buy its bare necessities. More details will be provided soon.
This Sunday in our Maronite Church is the Sunday of the Announcement to Zechariah and this week begins a new season of our liturgical year, the Season of the Glorious Birth. In this Gospel, we see that nothing is impossible for God. He sent a child to Zechariah and Elizabeth in their old age and fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that someone will come before Christ to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:3). This prophecy was fulfilled in John the Baptist. Over the coming 7 weeks, we are called to prepare the way for the Lord in our Church and in our lives.
I wish you a good day with your families and a blessed Season of the Glorious Birth of our Lord, praying that you make way and room for the Lord in your homes and hearts
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