When she was seven, my daughter drew a picture of Jesus. He was hanging on the cross- while holding out an Easter egg. I think her picture is a wonderful symbol of what we celebrate during the Easter season: that through the death of Jesus on the cross and his rising again to new life, Jesus offers us new life as well- a life symbolized by the egg.
In conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus in today’s gospel speaks of how we receive this new life: by being born again through water and the Spirit, in the sacrament of baptism.
One Easter Sunday, I said “Happy Anniversary” to a parishioner who had been baptized the year before. On reflection, however, it might have been more appropriate to have wished her “happy birthday”, because it was on Easter that she was born again. Today, and all fifty days of the Easter season, are days on which we can all celebrate our birthdays, and give thanks and praise to God for his gift of new birth.