Al-Rahi: The intentions of the presidential vacuum to transform Lebanon into a religious, sectarian, sectarian state have been revealed. Take your hands off the judiciary.
(See translation in Arabic section)
Sydney - Middle East Times Int’l: Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi presided over a memorial of the dead in Bkerke on Monday. In his sermon he said: “They have Moses and the prophets, so let them listen to them” (Luke 16:29). The church remembers this Sunday and prays throughout the week for the repose of the souls of the faithful dead. Through prayer and works of mercy, we remember our dead, with whom we are united by the communion of saints.
The Lord Jesus reminds us in today's Gospel that in our journey on earth, each and every one of us is called to prepare his eternal salvation by living social love and sharing the needy and the poor with what he has, whether much or little.
In this path, the divine word constitutes our guiding light. When that rich man who was tormented in the fire of hell asked Abraham to send poor Lazarus, shining in the glory of heaven, to his five brothers to change their way of life, Abraham answered him: “They have Moses and the prophets, so let them listen to them” (Luke 16:29).
God knows our weakness and the speed with which we fall into sins, to the point of forgetting and ignoring Him, and behaving selfishly, greedily, and avariciously, so He gave us His words to illuminate our paths, through the tongue of Moses and the prophets, and in the fullness of time, with the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, and with His Gospel, and with the teachings of the Church, in addition to His words to every man and woman in the voice of his conscience, which is The voice of God deep within man constantly warns him: “Do this, and do not do that.”
Patriarch Al-Rahi said: “We are pleased to celebrate together this divine liturgy that we offer for the repose of the souls of our dead and other dead believers.” We include works of mercy and love. I express my heartfelt condolences to all those who have lost a loved one this past year. I would like to mention in particular the family of the late Shukrallah Grace Saba Al-Hajj, who is present with us. We bid farewell to him and to the people of our dear Baqatuta two weeks ago. Among his sons and daughters, I salute our dear Raymond, mayor of Baqatuta, our dear Hind, president of the district of the brotherhoods of the Patriarchal Vicariate of Sarba, and her son, our son, Father Charbel, the Lebanese Maronite monk.
I also greet the delegation present among us who are retired customs police officers. As I welcome all of you, I extend a special greeting to Ambassador Romanos Raad, and we congratulate him on his promotion to the rank of Major General in the United Nations Interpol Central Bank, with the mission of General Representative of the organisation’s office in Lebanon.”
In remembering the dead, the shepherd added: “We remember that we were born to die. This truth, despite its bitterness, is revealed in the light of the mystery of the Word, the Son of God, who “was incarnated for us and for our salvation,” and the mystery of man in his life and death is revealed in its light (see The Church in Today’s World, 10 and 22). Birth and death are organically and inextricably linked. Birth from the mother’s womb is the beginning of a historical and eternal existence. Death is the end of historical existence and the beginning of eternal existence. Jesus Christ teaches this truth in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.
In the first historical existence, the rich man lived in the worship of himself, his money, his greed, his selfishness, and his neglect of the poor Lazarus who was lying in front of the door of his house. His second eternal existence was destruction in hellfire. As for poor Lazarus, he spent his first existence in patience, tolerance, and submission, without revolting against the rich man and abusing him. His second existence was his eternal salvation in the glory of heaven.
The problem of the rich person does not lie in his wealth, and wealth is one of God’s graces and blessings, nor in his ownership, as it is a natural right of man approved by divine and human laws (Pope Leo XIII: Modern Affairs, 6-8), but in the worship of his ownership and wealth. Wealth was the greatest god to him, as he sought his happiness in his wealth, eating, drinking, and showing off, not in God. We read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Wealth in our day is the greatest God; People pay him spontaneous homage. They measure happiness by the measure of wealth, and by the measure of wealth they also measure dignity, because they believe that a person who has wealth is capable of everything. Wealth is therefore one of today’s idols (paragraph 1723).
Poor Lazarus did not obtain salvation because he was poor. God, who is all-good, does not want us to be poor in the sense of want and deprivation. Rather, He wants us to be poor in spirit, not attached to the money of this world to the point of worshiping it, and detached, as if “we possess nothing while we possess everything” (2 Corinthians 6:10). Lazarus was saved because he accepted the state of poverty, was patient with his ordeal, carried his cross without objection, and relied on God’s care.
The Gospel of the Rich Man and Lazarus calls for a stand of conscience before God on the part of those whom God has blessed with good things and wealth, either through their legitimate personal effort, or through family inheritance. They are called to help the poor on a regular basis. The Church teaches: “The goods of the earth are prepared by God for all people,” and therefore “private property is bound by a social mortgage.”
From this standpoint, Saint John Chrysostom said: “Resisting from including the poor in our private goods means stealing their rights and taking away their lives. The good things we possess are not ours, but rather theirs.”
As for the corrupt people who have accumulated money by stealing public money, fraud, illicit wealth, and tax evasion, let them know that they cannot challenge God with His decrees and commandments, with His Holy Books and the Gospel. Let them consider that historical existence has a number of years, while eternal existence has no end. Let them prepare him for a better life.”
Al-Rai continued, “We have considered, since the beginning of Israel’s war on Gaza, in the brutal form that we saw and are seeing, a war of annihilation of the Palestinian people and the liquidation of their cause. And the lowest frequency. We called on the Israeli and Lebanese sides to adhere to Resolution 1701, to protect the southern border towns from bombing, killing, displacement and destruction.
We have never stopped demanding a final ceasefire and going to negotiations and political and diplomatic solutions with the aim of stabilising the two-state solution. Perhaps not everyone remembers or does not know that the decision to establish a special state for the Palestinians alongside the State of Israel amounts to Resolution 181 issued by the United Nations General Assembly on November 29, 1947. This resolution divided Palestine into two states: a Hebrew state and an Arab state, and demarcated the borders of each. These two countries. The decision considered the city of Jerusalem, with its tens of kilometres of area, a “separate body” (corpus separarum), subject to an international regime sponsored by the United Nations. The State of Israel was quick to approve it as a member of the United Nations.
But in contrast, the state of the Palestinians has not been formed to this day. However, international efforts are calling for its establishment in what is known as the “two-state solution.” Everyone knows that it is a basic condition for ending the ongoing war on the land of Palestine. Here Lebanon is expected to play the role of mediator politically and diplomatically in accordance with its message. He cannot carry out this duty as long as he is deprived of a head of state, and has lost neutrality by involving him in regional wars and conflicts that he does not want. By depriving Lebanon of a president, the intentions were revealed through the results of the vacuum: such as transforming Lebanon in practice from a state that separated religion from the state into a sectarian religious state, as we witness in appointments in general and judicial appointments in particular, where those in power bypass them and interfere politically, abolish the separation of powers in violation of the constitution, and disrupt the process of Judiciary. So we say to them: Raise your hands from the judiciary, so that justice, which is the foundation of kingship, is delivered.
In the crisis of the presidential vacuum, we quote from Al-Nahar’s editorial (August 11, 2022) by the late former Minister Sajaan Qazi, entitled “The President of Lebanese Privacy.” We read: “If the National Charter entrusted the presidency to a Maronite, it is not only to recognise the role of the Maronites in establishing the modern state of Lebanon, but also in order for this president - who is supposed to be an exceptional personality - to strengthen the civilisational and democratic characteristics that constitute the Lebanese specificity. Otherwise, there is no value for a Maronite president in a republic that has lost its civilisation or has been subjected to the peculiarities of nearby authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. No Maronite president will succeed in leading Lebanon and preserving its balances and peculiarities unless he is an elitist, baptised with the “Miron” of culture and thought, and a Maronite president who is on the record of honour. In the register of souls,” he adds: “The role of the new President of the Republic is to seek to revive the commonalities among the Lebanese, if that is still possible. The first of these denominators is a document “an act of faith, love and loyalty” to Lebanon as the final homeland for all its people. Until now, every Lebanese component has mortgaged its love for Lebanon on Lebanon being according to its size, not on it being according to Lebanon’s size. Each component makes a mistake when it considers that its role is enhanced when it obtains a broader constitutional share, or when it creates its own sectarian army. The truth is that our national roles are actually strengthened when Lebanon’s role expands. What is the value of roles and shares in a torn and weak country unless the goal is to build Lebanese “complexes” that will succeed the single homeland? This is what we reject and warn against. Let us pray, brothers and sisters, that Lebanon may be safe and regain its identity and role in its environment and the world, to the glory of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit forever, Amen.