In the wake of the massive explosion that rocked Beirut on August 4, 2020, there have several initiatives from within Lebanon and from various parts of the world designed to extend a helping hand and heal the wounds resulting from the explosion that left dozens killed or wounded thousands of people with others becoming homeless.
In reaction to the difficult situation which Lebanon goes through, the General Secretariat of Christian Youth “The Youth of Lord Jesus Homeland” has issued an initiative titled, “From Jerusalem, Peace to Lebanon”. The initiative is designed to sell rosaries of “With Grace We Are Triumphant”. These rosaries are made of olive wood by Palestinians who were adversely affected by the Corona pandemic. The Crosses of the rosaries are engraved with the words “Beirut” and “Jerusalem” with a cedar tree and a Palestine olive tree. The proceeds will be directed to helping the suffering Lebanese people.
Most Rev. Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has expressed his support for this humanitarian campaign where the proceeds would be delivered to the bishop of Lebanon.
WHY DO CHRISTIANS IN THE HOLY LAND EXTEND A HELPING HAND TO LEBANON?
The Christians in the Holy Land have been going through difficulties and hardships resulting from the political instability in the region which culminated in the Coviod-19 pandemic. In spite of the hard times these people are going through, they still believe that the divine teachings mentioned in the Holy Bible should always be firmly reflected in their daily lives. They believe that if one has only one loaf of bread one should give at least half of it to the hungry.
The Holy Bible contains numerous verses about the need to help others who are in need. Here are some of them:
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Hebrews 13:16 NIV
16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Proverbs 22:9 NIV
9 The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
John 15:12 NIV
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
James 2:14-17 NIV
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Romans 15:1 NIV
1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Philippians 2:4 NIV
4 Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Matthew 5:42 NIV
42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Luke 6:38 NIV
38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Deuteronomy 5:11 NIV
11 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
Matthew 5:16 NIV
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
1 John 3:17 NIV
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
Galatians 6:2 NIV
2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
PRAYER FOR LEBANON
After the massive explosion that ripped through Beirut, Pope Francis had earlier called for prayers and a united effort to help Lebanon overcome “this serious crisis”.
The Pope said at the end of his general audience on August 5, “Let us pray for the victims and their family members, and let us pray for Lebanon so that with the effort of everyone in society – political and religious – it may face this tragic and painful moment and, with the help of the international community, overcome the serious crisis it is experiencing.”
We also pray for Beirut saying,
God of refuge,
hear our prayer
as we hold the people of Beirut
in our hearts at this time.
Fill us with compassion
and move us to reach out in love.
In your mercy,
bring comfort to those who mourn,
healing to those who are injured,
shelter to those who are homeless
sustenance to those who hunger.
Give strength to those who are working
to rebuild shattered lives,
and protect those who are vulnerable
especially in a time of Coronavirus.
Lead us in your ways
so that together we may bring
the light of new hope
wherever there is destruction and despair.
We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.