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.
Magdalena D. Guerrero, M.D.