What do the three great religions have in common? Abraham. He is in all their stories, especially with his belief in monotheism. Jews and Christians believe that God established the covenant through Abraham. When Muslims pray five times a day, they bless Abraham as a great prophet and friend of God. Paul writes today, “the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants.”
I write just having celebrated the 20th anniversary of 9/11. In the years following that terrible day, leaders from these different faiths started “Abrahamic dialogues” and “Abraham salons,” with the goal of building greater trust and understanding amidst the mistrust, the hate crimes, the conflicts that have plagued our country and world these last 20 years. While visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi in 2019, Pope Francis appealed, “there is no alternative: We either build the future together, or there will be no future.”
Continuing this theme, Pope Francis traveled this past March to Ur (in Iraq)—the birthplace of these three major religions—in an effort to promote interreligious dialogue and fraternity in the region. He said, “It is up to us to remind the world that human life has value for what it is and not for what it has. The lives of the unborn, the elderly, migrants, men and women, whatever the color of their skin or nationality, are always sacred and count as much as the lives of everyone else.”
In Eucharistic Prayer I, we hear, “Be pleased to look upon these offerings with a serene and kindly countenance, and to accept them, as once you were pleased to accept… the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith…”
May the spirit of Abraham touch people of faith everywhere so they may build a better future together for our children and grandchildren.
Let Us Pray:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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