by Fr. George W. Rutler

“That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-  Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;- —Qur’an, sura 4 (An-Nisaayat 157-158.

 

Saint Paul knew from personal experience how difficult it would be for people of various cultures to understand why Jesus had to be crucified.

For the more religiously disposed, whose most inspired matrix of belief was Judaism, the very suggestion of a crucified Messiah would be a scandal, while the more theoretical thinkers, none of whom were greater than the Greek philosophers, simply mocked the proposition.

The reality of Roman crucifixion - they don't come out alive!

Centuries later when the Koran was written, subtleties were abandoned altogether, and Sura 4 plainly says of Jesus: “They slew him not nor crucified him.” The hard trials that our world is facing right now can, in large part, be traced to this denial of the Cross and Resurrection, for it replaces Christ’s atonement for human sin with a primitive understanding of salvation.

Exactly 229 years ago this month, when the Barbary pirates were menacing ships of the newborn United States off the coasts of Tunis and Algiers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met in London with a Muslim diplomat representing the Dey of Algiers to inquire why his religion made his people so hostile to a new country that posed them no threat.

They reported to Congress through a letter to John Jay, then Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the ambassador’s explanation that:

Islam was founded on the Laws of their prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to paradise.

Not Crucified? Really? Thanks for that update Islam :-)

Islam believes that Jesus was raised bodily to heaven and will return to earth at the end of time. It holds that if Jesus had been crucified, he would have died, and that would have been his end.

The consequences of not understanding God’s love, crowned and enthroned albeit with thorns on a cross, are vivid now in the horrors being inflicted on Christians in many places. For if God is pure will without reason, whose mercy is gratuitous and has nothing to do with any sort of moral covenant with the human race, then irrational force in his name is licit, and conscience has no role in faith.

This is not the eccentric interpretation of extremists; it is the logical conclusion of the assertions in the Koran itself.

The true Word of God confounds any crude dismissal of the crucifixion as though it were a denial, and not a proof of divine power. Jesus spoke of himself as the true Temple that, if destroyed, would be raised in three days. “Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken” (John 2:22).

ISLAM: Koran Sura 4, “Jesus Was Not Killed or Crucified” by Fr. George W. Rutler

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Today we had a full and fruitful day in Assisi. We began with Mass at St. Clare’s Church above her tomb. They a walking tour of Assisi which is really a walking tour of the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare and the Francisans. 

Then to the crescendo – visiting the tomb of St. Francis and the magnificent church built to hang over the mountain. At noon everyone was free to wander through this medieval walled city filled with flowers and quaint buildings. 

The afternoon was free for lunch, shopping, prayer, exploration and friendship. The weather could not be better with clear blue skies and a mild 70 degrees. Everyone is fine and loving every minute. 

Today I put in a lot of pictures because the city demands pictures at every turn. Enjoy!

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What a great group of Catholic pilgrims and adventurers! Prayers on the bus, Rosaries, conversion stories and our new Footprints of God DVD “Abraham, Father of Faith & Works. Enjoy our pilgrimage with us.

I know it seems like all we do is eat, but you have to remember where we are – ITALY. This is the best food in the world.

Fr. Courtney’s energetic and fun homily in Assisi.

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Jesus Was A Jew – So What is That To You?

May 24, 2015

 Jesus was a Jew. This fact may escape the casual reader of the New Testament, but it is crucial to understanding Jesus and the book written about him—the Bible. Unhappily, in 21st century America we are far removed from the land of Israel and the ancient culture and religion of Jesus and his Jewish ancestors.  [...]

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Today We Saw the Holy Shroud, the Body of St. John Bosco and Met the Daughter of St. Gianna Molla who gave us a one-hour talk

May 23, 2015

I cannot express in words what we did, saw and experienced today. It was truly and spiritual powerhouse. Seeing the Holy Shroud was breath-taking. It is a Love Letter from God written in his own blood. The church and compound started by St. John Bosco and his body on display with Mass at an ancient [...]

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Steve’s Short Story “The Last Nightmare” Might Scare the Hell Out of You!

May 23, 2015

The Last Nightmare A Short and Terrifying Story by Steve Ray Everything went blank for a moment, but that moment seemed like eternity. He felt a motion, not with wind and breeze, but a motion none the less. He was traveling, moving, floating, transcending-he wasn’t really sure. The sudden blackness gave him time to regain [...]

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First Day in Italy; Mass at the Duomo in Milan; Settled into Turin to See Shroud Tomorrow

May 22, 2015

Arrival in Milan; tour of the city and Mass at the 5th largest church in the world – and amazing Gothic construction. Fr. Scott Courtney’s homily in the fantastic Duomo.

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Mary, Queen of Heaven

May 22, 2015

A while ago a man called in to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary including references from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother up to a throne to be Queen of the Kingdom. He said that was the ONLY case of a [...]

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Cartoon on Protestantism and the Bible

May 21, 2015

When I look back on my experience I find this cartoon has a ring of truth. There were many verses of the Bible that I either didn’t realize existed (though that may seem strange) or that we just ignored. We virtually cut them out of the Bible in the sense that we ignored or reasoned [...]

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A Limerick for a Questioning Grandson – Did Jesus Really Exist?

May 21, 2015

My grandson Josh asked, “Did Jesus really live? Maybe he didn’t and it was just a good story someone made up.” So I sat down and wrote him this limerick and gave him a stack of books from my library. The topic has not come up again since. Was there really a man named Jesus? [...]

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Interesting Explanation of Baptism from Protestant Dictionary – “baptism…in itself is unimportant”

May 20, 2015

I was looking up Greek definitions of the word baptism and found this interesting “definition.” This dictionary is usually very good but I found this summary of biblical passages on baptism very intriguing and disingenuous. Take a look at this definition and think about it for yourself. Analyze it and the verses used. Notice how they [...]

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From Israel to Italy Today; Troublesome Muslims there too; Urinating on Mary; Wake up America!

May 20, 2015

On Sunday, May 10, after church mass, a group of young Muslim immigrants interrupted a Catholic procession in honor of the Virgin Mary.  They hurled verbal insults, shouts, and threats as the group passed in front of the Islamic Cultural Center in Conselice, a small town in lower Romagna. Approximately 100 Catholic Christians, including several small children, were preparing [...]

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Last Day of Pilgrimage: Comments, Fun and Farewells

May 19, 2015

Hope you enjoy all the fun and farewells at the end of the trip. Always sad to say Good-bye!

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Last Day of Pilgrimage: Camels, Dead Sea Floating, Stepping into Jesus’ Jerusalem, Trinity Homily and much more

May 19, 2015

Just watch. How can I explain this marvelous day. Even a blessing from the Cardinal of Seoul Korea at the Jordan River. From Mass in Jerusalem to the Temple Model at the Israel Museum, from Jericho to the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized. Oh, yeah, floating in the Dead Sea and riding camels too. [...]

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Are You Born Again?

May 19, 2015

 Since we are all renewing our Baptismal Vows at the Jordan River today, thought this post from a year ago might be appropriate :-) It seems that God is kind of predictable in a way :-) since He always starts new things in the same way – with “water and the Spirit“. Consider the following: 1) The [...]

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Steve’s Fun Podcast Show on “Catholic Vitamins” with Deacon Tom Fox

May 18, 2015

Greetings and Graces. Just a note to let you know we posted the (awesome) interview with Steve Ray on our Catholic Vitamins Podcast today. Our time centered on the new ABRAHAM DVD but we covered so much more.   The show can be downloaded via iTunes for play on an iPod or similar MP3 device. Or, [...]

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