Unassuming and Evangelical

pope rabbi imam

Be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves… the Spirit of your father will speak through you. (Matthew 10:16, 20)

In Martinsville, Virginia, we have a flowering little inter-faith dialogue underway. A week from Sunday we will meet in the afternoon to discuss the question: Do Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship the same God?

On the one hand, the short answer is certainly Yes. There’s only one God, after all. On that point, we Jews, Muslims, and Christians all agree.

Do we Christians worship the same God as the Jews? Well, we worship Jesus as Son of God. The God of Whom Jesus is the Son: that’s Yahweh, Adonai, the God of the ancient Israelites. Jesus is Jewish. We Christians worship the Jewish Messiah.

Do we worship the same God as the Muslims? Muslims worship Allah. So do we. The Scriptures and Missal of Arab-speaking Catholics use the word “Allah” for God. Catholics pray to Allah countless times every day in Asia. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council explicitly taught that we worship the same God as the Muslims.

All that said, on the other hand: Two sides of the same coin both say that we do not worship the same God.

Jews and Muslims think that we Christians are wrong—that we are crazy—when we say things like: Mary is the Mother of God. God died on the cross. The one, eternal, unknowable God certainly is three distinct divine Persons, One of Whom united Himself Personally to the human race. By a union so intimate that we have only one available metaphor for it: marriage.

Meanwhile, our side of that coin: The Spirit of our Father speaks in us when we declare that God’s Kingdom has come in His only-begotten Christ. That God revealed His eternal, unchanging Law one place, and one place only: the cross. That the gentle rabbi of Nazareth sits at the right hand of the Father and will come again as the world’s merciful Judge. No one comes to the Father—except through the Son.

Shrewd as serpents; innocent as doves. May God keep us both humble and zealous, both open-minded and unswervingly faithful, both unassuming and evangelical.

2 thoughts on “Unassuming and Evangelical

  1. I look forward to attending the meeting on July 21…it should be very interesting.
    Judy R.

  2. Somehow, sometime, all the children of Abraham will be united through the intercession of our Blessed Mother in the worship of the one true triune God. Holy Ark of the New Covenant, pray for us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s