The Pope has retold the story of Cain and Abel (Genesis 4) to illustrate the human propensity to shirk responsibility for other people. The question "Am I my brother's keeper?" must be asked about climate refugees as they try to find a place to lay their heads.
Lost in this procession is one of the events of Holy Week that is most relevant to our modern age: the trial of Jesus and the role of the zealous prosecutor, Caiaphas, who pushed for his death.
During this sacred Passover/Easter celebratory time, let's remind ourselves that we are called to respect one another in peace and unity. Let's embrace these values of respect, peace and unity beginning within ourselves, radiating out to all.
Many Christians tend to glorify Jesus' death, as if somehow Jesus suffered in ways no one else does. Jesus' death does not distinguish him from the rest of humanity so much as it unites us with him. If we begin to argue that Jesus' death was somehow unique, we embarrass ourselves.
One of my lasting memories from college is celebrating Passover with Chelsea Clinton. We shared the Passover meal with several friends, and during it I asked her if she had ever celebrated Passover.
I don't think I've ever bought her an "Easter dress" in her life, mostly because I don't buy stuff unless we need it and I like to think of us as minimalists. Also because I'm cheap. But as my daughter organized her closet full of dresses, I realized we were far from minimalists.
Easter brunch is a longstanding tradition in many families, and for those who enjoy a truly decadent spread, there's nothing like letting someone else do the cooking.
That's what the bumpersticker declared on the back of the 1970's VW van covered with colorful paint. I'm not sure which was holding the hippie van together, the duck tape or the bumper stickers. Maybe they both were.
What does it say about love, caring and responsibility if you abandon your new pet to a shelter within a year? Living creatures are not disposable.
Sure, you've heard of turning upcycled glass jars into lanterns, but have you ever considered adding Peeps? Use a pack of colorful Peeps to add instant Easter flavor to decorative lights. Or turn one into a bunny vase.
When the novelty of a cute bunny on Easter morning wears of and the reality of long-term care sets in, these pets are surrendered to shelters, given away on Craigslist or released into nature where a tamed house rabbit is incapable of fending for itself like its wild-born brethren.
Instead of Luke's crucifixion, in the end it is Vader that dies. But before his death, like the robber crucified next to Christ, Vader seeks redemption from his son and encourages him to overcome the emperor and the dark side.
Enjoy your time with family and friends this April and do some extra good by adopting some more healthy and eco-friendly practices. These small adjustments may be easier than you think, and every small step counts!
With this prep-in-advance spread, you'll have plenty of time to hunt for Easter eggs.
Can we make this a time of rebirth and celebrate a reawakening of the feminine in all of us -- where the masculine allies itself with the feminine instead of being in competition and destruction with it?