This week is Palm
and/or Passion Sunday, and choices will vary as to the form of worship and the
point at which the sermon falls. Palm Sunday, with its palms waving and
salutations sung to the Savior, is an event that children will enter into
readily even if adults are a bit shy. If the choice is for a Passion Sunday
emphasis, a dramatic reading is memorable for those who speak the parts and
those who listen--and the passion narrative lends itself particularly well to
Among the most
stimulating books I've read recently is Samuel Wells's Be Not Afraid, from which I picked up the phrase repeated several
times in my current lectionary columns for the Century: "What's God up to?" This is the question that counts.
Michael Bransfield, Catholic bishop of West Virginia, seems to be taking his cues from the coal industry when interpreting Pope Francis’s recent encyclical Laudato si’, which calls for an end to the use of fossil fuels. Bransfield says the pope’s call for ending fossil fuel use is qualified: it should happen “only after” greater progress is made in using alternative fuels, and only where economically feasible. In fact, Pope Francis makes no such qualifications. Bransfield is also promoting the idea of “clean coal.” A spokesperson admitted that the Wheeling-Charleston diocese has “energy related investments” (National Catholic Reporter, July 1).