By: Daniel Conway, Senior Vice President for Mission, Identity, and Planning
Delivered on August 19, 2014
"Our profession of faith begins with God, for God is the First and the Last, the beginning and the end of everything. The Credo begins with God the Father, for the Father is the first divine person of the Most Holy Trinity; our Creed begins with the creation of heaven and earth, for creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God's works." (CCC #198)
We believe in one God. We believe that we are all God’s children regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, economic or social status, religious preference, or political philosophy. We are all members of the one family of God.
We believe that God’s family includes all those who profess to hold the faith of Abraham—Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Together we adore the one, merciful God, the Creator and the ultimate destiny of all humankind, who calls us to be united with him on the last day. (cf. CCC #861)
Unity in diversity is what God calls us to accomplish in his name. God himself is one, wholly undivided, and complete unto himself. But God is not isolated or alone. God’s very nature is to be in relationship with others in the divine communion that is the Blessed Trinity and in the constant outpouring of his love and grace. We do not understand the mystery of God, but we accept the call to: Love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength.
So, with our Jewish brothers and sisters, we pray:
Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad, Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.
So, with all Christians, we pray in the words of Jesus:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,The power, and the glory,
Now and for ever.
So, with our Muslim sisters and brothers, we proclaim:
"I testify that (there is) no god except Allah (God); One is He, no partner has He, and I testify that Muhammad is His servant and messenger."
So, in the spirit of our Franciscan sponsorship values:
- We respect the dignity of every person—especially those who are poor, infirm, vulnerable and on the margins of society.
- We work for justice and peace—in the Middle East, in the Ukraine, in Korea and Africa, on our southern border and in every corner of the world where there is hatred, hostility and in humanity.
- We forgive those who have harmed us—in our homes and families, in our residence halls, and throughout the world.
- We commit to being responsible stewards of all the gifts we have received from the one God, the Creator and Gracious Lord who is the true source of everything we have and everything we are as members of his family.
Mary (مريم Marīam in Arabic), a Jewish woman, the mother of Jesus, is considered one of the most righteous women in the Islamic tradition. She is mentioned more in the Quran than in the entire New Testament and is also the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran. No other woman is given more attention than Mary and the Quran states that Mary was chosen above all women.
So, we pray for the intercession of Mary, daughter of Zion, Mother of Jesus and the most righteous woman in the Islamic tradition. Holy Mary, help us to be one with all our brothers and sisters. Help us to be women and men of peace and reconciliation. Help us to reverence the dignity of each individual and to be responsible stewards of all God’s creation.
So, we pray to the God of Abraham who is worshiped by Jews, Christians, and Muslims:
Loving God, make us one in you. Forgive us our sins. Show us the way to true and lasting peace—in our personal lives, our communities, and our world. Give us courage, strength, and hope so that we will be faithful leaders, and trusted servants, committed to making a difference in our world in your name.