People around the world, since long
before the coming of Christ, have observed traditional spring
rites for a season of new growth and fertility begins. Symbols
and myths go back far into the distant past of humanity. The Romans
had the proverb — Omne vivum ex ovo / All life comes from an egg.
Christ emerged from his tomb almost
2,000 years ago. From the first days Christians have expressed
their joy in Christ's new life by every type of symbol or ritual.
They took to the ancient and natural symbol of the egg, by adding
their own new and supernatural meaning.
So Christians "baptized"
the egg as a symbol of Christ's passion, death and resurrection.
Christians saw the egg's shell as a symbol of the protective darkness
of the life-giving tomb; a hatching chick represented the risen
Christ emerging from the tomb on Easter morning. The egg's shape,
with neither beginning nor end, was a symbol of eternity. It clearly
is also the "womb" of the tomb, where the Crucified
was given new life.
So, new life emerges from an egg — Christ emerges alive from the tomb,
formerly just a place of death. Life begets a new generation of
life coming out of an egg. Christ generates new life for all creation putting
death to death!
The best egg is an empty egg
hatched out purpose fulfilled...a new life begun. The best
tomb is an empty tomb. The Lord whom you seek is no longer
here, for He is risen just as He said! said the angel.
Here is a Polish legend —
On the first Good Friday a man was
taking a basket of eggs to market to sell. On the way he put the
basket down and ran to help Christ carry the cross. When he returned,
the eggs were supposedly decorated in beautiful colors and designs.
Christians have thus colored eggs
with bright colors and ornamental designs. Kings and popes have
given eggs out because an egg speaks so clearly about newness,
a promise fulfilled, a new life begun, death left for dead in
the tomb, hope ricocheting around the universe, love conquering
fear, peace arching over the world like a rainbow.
Pope Paul V (1605-21) used this prayer
of blessing for eggs —
Bless, O Lord, we beseech you, these
Your creatures of eggs, that they may become a wholesome sustenance
to Your faithful servants, eating in thankfulness to You, on account
of the Resurrection of Our Lord."
A HAPPY, HEALTHY & HOLY EASTER TO YOU AND YOURS!
THE LORD IS RISEN!
HE IS TRULY RISEN!