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  • 29

    Mar2013

    Treasures From Our Tradition

    Over the centuries, the Church has demonstrated a wonderful ability to adopt a culture’s favorite symbols and customs and assign them new meaning. Easter eggs have a very ancient pedigree: nature’s perfect package, emblem of new life, dyed and decorated and given as gifts in ancient Egypt, Rome, China, and Persia. Just as the long hard winter is over, the egg bursts with promise of life and nourishment. Long ago, Christians came to see the egg not as a symbol of spring’s rebirth, but of ours, and as a sign of Christ’s tomb. A Polish legend says that Mary, in compassion for the soldiers at the cross, gave them eggs, but that her tears stained their shells with brilliant color. Legends have their origin in tales told around a hearth, but they often contain a profound truth. The idea of Mary, the first Christian, engaged in a merciful act of forgiveness and tenderness even in the shadow of the cross, describes the age‑old wish that Christ [is] “Easter in us.”

    —James Field, Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co.