Statement: No reason for conflict
By Bishop Patricio Alo, Diocese of Mati
Davao City (29 September) -- There are possibilities for reconciliating Islam and Christianity. Christians and Muslims should read the Bible and the Koran.
In Chapter 5 of St. Matthew's gospel, Jesus speaks about loving even our enemies. In the Koran too, it speaks about Mary: "O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee - chosen thee above the women of all nations" (Surah (chapter) 3:42).
In Surah 3:45: "Behold! the angels said: O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus: the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah." In Surah 3:55: "Behold Allah said: O Jesus! ?. I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith." In Surah 43:63: "When Jesus came with Clear Signs, he said, "Now have I come to you with Wisdom, and in order to clear to you some of the (points) on which ye dispute: therefore fear Allah and obey me."
If we follow Jesus, would there be conflict? He only came to prove his love for us by his humility and forgiveness, and by his curing of the blind, the lepers and raising the dead to life (see Surah 3:49 and Mt. 11:5). There is possibility for an encounter of minds between Muslims and Christians, after all religion is a source of tolerant understanding between peoples because God is a "God of peace, not of dissension" (1 Cor. 14:33).
Certainly the review of history has a deep role to play in our life since history, if honest, accurate, and based on facts, can teach us the basics of discipline and respect or care for one another's rights and needs. As they say, "what goes around comes back." Jesus Himself had taught us: "The amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back" (Lk. 6:38). So really, it has to be an honest quest for true facts. As a Latin proverb asserts: Contra factum non valet argumentum (No valid arguments are there against facts).
Jesus came to our world, in all humility, asserting the truth, helping humanity in many ways, showing marvelous power, yet always under the humble cover of a simple and loving attitude. God came to our world, born in a stable at Bethlehem. Yet in all the facts of history, we see the hand of God. All the oppressors, the totalitarian regimes wanted full power and authority for themselves alone. But where are all those awesome powers that wanted to put down the Church, both from enemies inside and outside? The Church's role is only to bring the love, truth and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ to our world. As Jesus was stating once: "Search the Scriptures in which you think you have eternal life-They also testify on my behalf" (Jn. 5:39).
It's the same way we are to conclude our discussions on history. Where is God's hand pointing and working out our destiny? As the powerful kings and regimes came and went. And all those deceitful delusions portrayed before man for the greed of money, it's for us to continue our search for the truth via history.
Amid all the dreams of human power and glory-let's recall a popular song after that World War II with the countless millions dead-"Where have all the flowers gone, the young girls gone, the soldiers gone, the graveyards gone, long time ago? When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?"
Remember history. Check history. It's the Lord's banner of truth and love that continues to fly. The Lord's promise is ever true: "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never prevail against my Church. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Mt. 16:18). (PIA) [top]