Early Christian Cicadas!

Roger Pearse has been looking into various early Christian writers called Asterius. Asterius of Amasea is the famous bishop. Asterius the Sophist was some kind of Arian, but apparently there was another Asterius who was more orthodox in his writings.

He wrote a sermon talking about cicadas!

Here in Ohio and in most parts of Japan, cicadas come out in the summer, when things really start getting hot. But the trigger for cicadas coming out of their holes is ground temperature, so more southerly areas have cicadas in April or May.

And wherever orthodox-guy Asterius was from, the cicadas came out at Eastertime. Israel and Asia Minor’s early grape harvest was also in late May or early June:

“O Lord, Our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Christ, Who is the divine Vine, the Vine before all ages, has sprouted in the tomb and born fruit in the newly baptised, like clusters of grapes in this church… the vine has been harvested, and, like a wine-press, the church is full of grapes. Operators of the wine-press, pickers at the harvest, cicadas perched on the trees: by their songs we are again shown today the paradise of the Church, shining with grace…

Who are the cicadas? The newly baptised who, soaked with dew as they arise from the font, sit on the Cross like a tree, warmed by the Sun of Justice, bathed in the light of the Spirit, echoing the words of the Spirit: “O Lord, Our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth!”

They are beautiful with their white wings, the eloquent cicadas, surrounding the font. Yes, their wings are white because they are endowed with speech. The cicadas feed on dew; the newly baptised are strengthened by the Word; what the dew is to the former, the celestial Word is to the latter.


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