The Golden Egg

A STORY as told by Fr. Anthony de Mello:

A reading from the scriptures:

This is what the Lord says: There was once a goose that laid a golden egg each day. And the farmer’s wife, who owned the goose, delighted in the riches that those eggs brought her. She was an avaricious woman, however, and could not wait patiently from day to day for her daily egg. She decided to kill the goose and get the eggs all at once.

Thus far the word of God!

An atheist heard that text from the scriptures and scoffed: You call that the word of God! A goose that lays golden eggs! It just goes to show the absurdity of your scriptures.

When a religious scholar read that text, he reacted thus: The Lord clearly tells us that there was a goose that laid golden eggs. If the Lord says this, then it must be true, no matter how absurd it appears to our poor human minds.

Now you will ask, as well you may, how an egg, while not ceasing to be an egg, can, at the same time, be golden. Different schools of religious thought attempt to explain it differently. But what is called for here is an act of faith in this mystery that baffles human understanding.

There was even a preacher who, inspired by that text, traveled through towns and villages zealously urging people to accept the fact that God had created golden eggs at some point in history.

It is better to teach people the evils of avarice than to promote belief in golden eggs.

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