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Pietà

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Some say men lack some innate quality that makes them loners—that women excel at friendship, while men eschew community.

Nicodemus comes by day equipped with tools. He steels himself to pry loose nails from palms and feet.

The Arimathean accompanies him. The new tomb he consigned for his own he offers to the family of his friend.

They stand with the Marys, unashamed of tears. Real men who cry. Not even from among the 12.

Blood spurts onto their hands and stains swaddling cloth. Strips of flesh on his back make them grimace.

They still reel from the acts of the treasurer—the betrayer. The ransom for this king, a little silver.

The 12 have run. But these on the periphery for three years remain. Nicodemus tastes salt; Joseph wipes his eyes. They pry the Magdalene away so they can wrap the arch she cradles. Now they must pull away the …

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Care for the Earth

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The first Earth Day was observed on March 21, 1970. John McConnell, the son of a Christian evangelist, proposed a day to honor Earth and peace. He chose the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere for the first observance. Earth Day has only broadened in scope since then. A glance back at Genesis helps believers consider ways to live out God’s vision for human dominion:
* Swimming creatures. How well are we caring for the waters in which sea creatures swim? Are our fish-harvesting practices just?
* Flying creatures. How do we conserve the skies in which birds fly? Do we consider the fuels we use and toxins they emit? Are our poultry practices humane?
* Four-legged creatures. How well are we caring for fields, lakes, and marshes in which creatures find sustenance? Are our practices with animals humane?
* Seed-bearing plants and trees. How well do we
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