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     On January 30, 2005, Iraq held successful elections in the middle of violence.  Shortly thereafter, the pope sent a white dove out of his window.  The bird of peace was not ready.  There was no olive branch hanging from its beak.  It made a small circle and flew back in.  The patriarch Abraham must have shed tears as he watched from his window above.  Members of the three monotheistic religions all claim common descent from him.  They are truly brothers and sisters not only in spirit but also by blood.  The children are engaged in recurrent, violent and prolonged sibling rivalry. This current episode is expected to last twenty-seven years.


     Differences in beliefs sprouted and grew wider during the centuries not only among the three major religions but also within each one.  In each group and sect, stories with similarities but with different twists emerged.


     The Jews inherited both oral and written traditions from old.  The conception, birth and death of Jesus Christ were prophesied and recorded in the bible.  However, they managed to miss the coming and going of the Messiah they were and are still waiting for.  The Christian faith is based on the coming of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross.  However, even with written accounts we, members of today’s faithful, are wondering why there are not enough nights and hours of the days between Good Friday and Easter Sunday to measure up with the “three days and three nights” that Jesus Christ was supposed to have stayed “in the heart of the earth as the prophet Jonah stayed in the belly of a big fish.”  The three days and three nights combination was supposed to be the sign that the promise of His act of Redemption has been fulfilled.  We evidently  misinterpreted the writings of the apostles and thus miscounted.  No wonder Muhammad even with the benefit of years of revelation had major bits and pieces of the story missing.  On the year 31 AD when the critical moment in history occurred, there was the annual Sabbath, a high day on a Thursday and the regular weekly Sabbath from sunset the following Friday to Saturday sunset.  Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross Wednesday afternoon before the annual Sabbath starting at sunset the same day to sunset the following day, Thursday.  Jesus Christ resurrected Saturday before sunset explaining why He was gone by the time Mary Magdalene showed up on Sunday morning while it was still dark.


     It was the trio of scholars from the east who recognized the series of spectacular celestial displays on September, year 3 BC as the sign that the long awaited Messiah was born.  It was not till the 600’s that Islam started.  Muhammad believed in Mary and the virgin birth.  He believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of Mary and that He was a prophet.  He and Jesus were together with other biblical personalities on the night he ascended the Temple Mount.  He did not accept that Jesus is the begotten Son of God as it was disrespectful to even think that God would beget a son.  He therefore missed the significance of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross.  He believed that Jesus lived for God the Father only has to think that Jesus would live for Jesus Christ’s coming back to life be possible.


     All three groups believe in one God, the Last Judgment and that God is all merciful.  Aside from the three wise men, only the Christians know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died for us on the cross.


     We are all sinners lost to or won by Satan.  We are condemned to death in hell or the absence of God.  We could not have bought our souls, expiated our sins nor appease God.  God is perfect and has everything.  Only a Being at God’s level can satisfactorily do the job.  God the Father sent God the Son, Jesus Christ, Who came voluntarily and with love to redeem us from the possession of the devil and make the extreme sacrifice of shedding His precious Blood on the cross and die to remove the sin barrier between us and God.


     Infidels no longer need to be converted or killed.  We have ALL BEEN SAVED!!!  On the Last Day God will look for our names in the book of life and ask if we have loved our neighbors as ourselves as He commanded and did we look at ourselves, do penance and forgive others?  We better have the right answers.


     The pope with his undying sense of humor laughed.  However, he was rushed to the hospital later because of respiratory distress.  Days later, he announced that he was committed to continue his mission.  He recovered, was released and re-admitted.  This time, a tracheostomy tube had to be inserted.  He is back in the Vatican, literally silent but determined to be around for the Easter celebrations.


     In the meantime, Israel and Palestine are are keeping their agreement to at least lessen the amount of hostilities.  The first freely elected Iraqi Parliament in half a century had its first meeting on 16 March 2005 after being announced by the sound of bomb blasts. 


     Someday, we shall find the meaning of true reconciliation and enjoy it for a thousand years before our eventual admission to God’s kingdom.




Islam (PEACE)

Magdalena D. Guerrero, M.D.