Easter Sunday Day Mass at Mississippi Abbey
The teacher in a catechism class for young children taught them that the miracles of Jesus are signs of his divinity. Jesus changes water into wine, cures the sick, feeds a multitude of five thousand people with a few loaves and two fish, walks on the water, gives sight to the man born blind, and raises Lazarus to life. But it was only after St. John the Apostle saw the empty tomb with the discarded burial clothes that he finally believed.
A young girl in the class named Julia was dying from leukemia. So, she was more than normally attentive to stories that Miss Miller told about the resurrection. On Easter Sunday, she gave them an assignment for the following week. Each child received a large plastic egg and was asked to put something inside it that represented rising to new life, and to show it next Sunday. The kids were enthusiastic.
Next week the children shared the signs of new life they put inside their colorful plastic eggs. One child put a flower inside her green egg. In a red egg there was the discarded skin of caterpillar, and a yellow egg had a plastic butterfly inside. But when Miss Miller opened Julia’s blue egg, it was empty. She did not want to embarrass her, so she quietly set it aside and reached for another one.
But Julia said, “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to show what’s in my egg?” She replied, “Julia, honey, your plastic egg is empty.” “Yes,” she replied, “because the tomb of Jesus was empty!” She was amazed at Julia’s understanding of this great sign of Christ’s resurrection. Then Julia made a profound connection. She said, “And my tomb will also be empty!”
Three months later, Julia died. When her classmates came to pay their respects at the funeral home each one of them put a plastic egg on top of her walnut casket. All of them were empty.