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COMMENTARY: Lent isn’t just a second chance at New Year’s resolutions

(RNS) So here we go again. It's that time of year _ Lent, when many Christians give something up. Often it's food, although my mom told me when I was a kid that giving up vegetables doesn't count.     A few years ago, as we approached Lent, a few of my friends (who during the rest of the year rejected religion), announced they, too, were giving something up. W...
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COMMENTARY: Nun teaches secret to overcoming fear of death

(RNS) I have always had a tremendous fear of death. It arose, perhaps, from having had older parents. I worried my parents might die, leaving me bereft. Even now, I sometimes awake at night gripped by the terrible anxiety that I will soon die. At this time of year when Christians...
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Can you question the Resurrection and still be a Christian?

(RNS) ``On the third day, he rose again.''     That line, from the Nicene Creed, is the foundational statement of Christian belief. It declares that three days after Jesus died on the cross, he was resurrected, a glimmer of the eternal life promised to believers. It's the heart of...
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When Pope Francis washes women’s feet, arguments follow. Who’s right?

(RNS) On Thursday evening (April 17), in a familiar reprise of an ancient rite, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis., will wash the feet of 12 men, all seminarians _ a re-creation of Jesus' action at the Last Supper when he washed the feet of his disciples and, according to Cathol...
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`Blood moon’ sets off apocalyptic debate among some Christians

(RNS) Could a series of ``blood moon'' events be connected to Jesus' return? Some Christians think so.     In the wee hours of Tuesday (April 15) morning, the moon slid into Earth's shadow, casting a reddish hue on the moon. There are about two lunar eclipses per year, according to...
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Security enhanced at Jewish centers nationwide

Eds: A version of this story originally appeared in USA Today. It is available for use by RNS subscribers. Please use the USA Today byline. (RNS) Allan Finkelstein's phone began ringing soon after a gunman killed three people at two Jewish sites in the suburbs of Kansas City on Su...
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COMMENTARY: What Gethsemane teaches us about suffering

(The following is an exclusive excerpt from the new book, ``Jesus: A Pilgrimage,'' by the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine and the author of many books. This excerpt is taken from the chapter ``Gethsemane.'')     In the Garden of Gethsemane, J...
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Sikhs honor police officer shot during attack on Wisconsin temple

ROCKVILLE, Md. (RNS) Brian Murphy attended Catholic Mass regularly, both before and after he took 12 bullets while trying to defend a Sikh temple in Wisconsin from a gunman in 2012.     But he says the principles he's learned from the Sikh temple have helped his recovery.     Now,...
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COMMENTARY: Even Jesus had a tax man

(RNS) Feeling anxious about your tax liability as April 15 nears? The Bible has many references to taxes that will sound strangely relevant at this time of year  _ beginning with the story of David and Goliath.     Many remember a teenage boy offended by insults thrown by a giant f...
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Questions persist after testing of `Jesus Wife’ papyrus

(RNS) A year and a half after unveiling a slip of papyrus that she dubbed ``The Gospel of Jesus's Wife,'' Harvard Bible scholar Karen King on Thursday (April 10) released the results of long-delayed testing on the controversial fragment that appear to show it is not a modern forgery...
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At Passover, Jews love matzo… until they don’t

(RNS) For many Jews, matzo tastes no better than the cardboard box it comes in.     On the first day of Passover, the crackerlike concoction of flour and water summons warm memories of holidays past. But then, matzo fatigue can set in. Matzo doesn't offer much in the flavor departm...
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