12 Computing the Easter Egg - Fr. Konrad Noronha SJ

posted Apr 16, 2019, 8:40 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 16, 2019, 8:40 AM ]
In software parlance, an 'Easter Egg' is a hidden message or image buried in a computer application.

Irrespective of denomination or tradition, Easter is celebrated by Christians all over the world. Many Easter-time traditions have roots that can be traced to non-Christian, and even pagan, or non-religious celebrations. The non-religious traditions and celebrations add as much symbolic meaning to Easter, as Christian scripture and theology does. One such non-Christian tradition is that of the Easter egg. The egg, a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in pre-Christian celebrations of spring, gradually began to be defined by the early Christians as a symbol of the Resurrection of Jesus. It became a symbol of the tomb from which Christ arose. The newest definition of 'Easter egg' comes from computer programming and software. This definition has absolutely no religious reference or symbolism. Yet, this field's understanding of the Easter egg has some application to the story of Jesus' Resurrection.

An 'Easter egg' in computer programming and software is a hidden message or image, or a screen buried in an application. In most cases, 'Easter eggs' in computer language are used to display the credits for the development team of an application. It is also used to display a humorous message. To see or reach an Easter egg in a computer application, the person who operates the computer needs to input special procedures or sequences of keystrokes to display it.

The application cannot be seen, but it is working none the less; it is hidden, yet functions daily. This is the daily Easter experience for persons of faith. Deep experiences of faith that cannot be seen, but which are expressed externally, daily. This manifestation is because of the effect that Jesus has on the lives of those persons. It is the application of the death-resurrection message that results in its practice in real life. In any digital device, if the application stops functioning, it means there is a problem with the device, and that it needs to be repaired. The same is true for those of faith, if the need for Jesus is lost; it means that the person needs repair, or renewal in Christ.

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