Easter Eggs’ Lesson on Life and Death

by Kathleen Glavich, SND on March 27, 2013

in Blogs

Three Easter memories: Every Easter my mom melted beeswax in a coffee can lid and using a pin stuck in the end of a matchstick painted graceful patterns on eggs. The eggs emerged from a bath in Chick-Chick dye vividly colored. These eggs were robbed of their chance to bring forth chicks. Instead they became things of beauty. One Easter my sister and I each received a live chick. Weeks later they disappeared. My aunt and uncle came for a Sunday dinner. (Uncle Joey had a mean streak. Every year he told us he had Santa Claus locked up in the basement.) At that fateful dinner he dropped a bomb: we were eating our chicks! My mother was quick to deny it. Only years later when I was a Sister and home for a visit did the truth come out. Yes, my gentle mom, who grew up on a farm, had murdered our pets. The chicks sacrificed their lives to become our food. I once saw a chick hatch in the biology lab of Regina High School. Pecking its way out of the shell was a lot of work. After the chick emerged, it kept falling asleep, its little head nodding.

These three memories of transitions carry messages for me. The Easter eggs remind me of the time when I was teaching twelfth graders a course on marriage. I waxed eloquent on the love of a couple that brought forth a new human being who was a living symbol of their loving union, combining both of their characteristics. A girl raised her hand and asked, “If marriage is so great, why are you a nun?” I replied that I chose to sacrifice that wonderful experience for something that I valued more: devoting my life completely to Jesus and his work. Unlike an egg or a chick, we all are free to decide how we will be “used” in life.

Of course, the chick coming out of its shell is a symbol of Easter because it parallels Jesus coming out of the tomb with new life. It reminds us that we too are destined for life on a new and glorious level. But the process of reaching it—developing through the ups and downs of this life on earth and then breaking through to the other side—calls for hard work.

As we live through Holy Week, we ponder again the “hard work” of suffering Jesus did before rising with eternal life and in the process winning it for us. May we all be as persistent as the hatching chicks in being true to our vocation, whatever it may be, in hopes of one day emerging into the glory of heaven.

When has a transition in your life brought you to a fuller life? What did it cost?

 

 

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