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Making our faith a bridge rather than a barrier to a healthy and life-giving relationship

This is a beautiful anecdote of three religious people faithfully practicing their personal faith yet also of the same mind in taking care of each other’s needs. All of them are grateful to God for the wonders each one has done and received from each of them. Yes, in our projects we show care and compassion to our needy neighbours, thus we have Caritas Project Compassion, Red Cross, or what have we. But the question is: ‘Do we care enough?’ We have to remember always that God cares for us more than we can think of. 

Let’s listen to the message of this anecdote and hopefully after reading this we start caring and respecting each other no matter what faith we adhere in. We need to care for each other just as we need someone to care for us.

Three Sabbaths

(William White)

In a small village, three friends- a Muslim, a Jew and a Christian farmed on adjoining land. The Muslim observed Friday as the Sabbath, the Jew observed Saturday as the Sabbath and the Christian observed Sunday as the Sabbath.

One autumn Friday, around noon, the Jew and the  Christian finished ploughing their fields. As he sat eating his lunch, the Christian noticed that the field of the Muslim friend was not yet ploughed. ‘If he does not plough it today, it may rain tomorrow and he will not be able to complete his planting. I could plough a bit of his field and thus make his work easier.’ And he did.

In an adjoining field, his Jewish companion came upon an identical plan. Without consulting each other, the two men completed their neighbour’s ploughing. 

The next day, when the Muslim discovered that his field had been ploughed, he rejoiced saying, ‘Surely, God has sent his angels to plough my  field while I observed his day of rest.’

Months later, when harvest season arrived, the fields of the three friends flourished. One Sunday, the Jew and the Muslim were harvesting their crop while their Christian brother celebrated the Sabbath. As he completed harvesting his corn, the Jew noticed that the field of his Christian friend was ready to harvest. ‘If he does not harvest today, he could lose a part of his crop,’ he thought. ‘I will pick his corn until it becomes dark.’ And he did.

Completely unknown to him, his Muslim brother came to the same conclusion. Between them, they harvested their friends entire field. 

On Monday, when the Christian came out to the field, he discovered that his entire crop had been harvested. ‘It is a miracle,’ he thought. ‘While  I rested, God’s angels harvested.’

During threshing season, the Muslim and the Christian were working on a Saturday, while their Jewish friend stayed at home,’ keeping the Sabbath holy. As he finished threshing his grain, the Muslim looked to the next field and thought, ‘If my Jewish neighbour does not gather his grain today, the rain might wash it away and he will lose his crop. I will thresh part of his crop this afternoon.’ And he did.

Unknown to him, his Christian friend decided upon the same course of action. Separately, the two men threshed, bound and covered the entire crop.

When his Sabbath was over, the Jewish farmer discovered that his grain was threshed. Lifting his eyes to heaven he prayed, ‘Blessed are you, Lord of the Universe, for sending your angels while I was keeping your Sabbath.’

See how wonderful this would be if we take our own faith and even religion as the bridge to a healthy relationship with one another, rather than a thick wall of discord and intolerance.

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One comment on “Making our faith a bridge rather than a barrier to a healthy and life-giving relationship

  1. Dear Fr Jun-Jun,

    It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to view your blog.

    I am also touched that how as Christians, that as much as I’d love everyone to follow Christ, we must show God’s love to everyone! I pray that we may love non-Christians in the same way we love our fellow Christians.

    Amen!

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