Jerusalem, Presentation of our Lady, Wings

The Lord longed to gather the city to Himself like a hen gathers her young under her wings. Christ the great king, the universal king, the omnipotent king—He rules the world like a mother hen, with a feathery embrace, rank with the smell of warm love.

bl-virg-detailThe Lord wept over the city, because the chicks just wanted to zig and zag their own way, cheep-cheep-cheeping after whatever caught their fleeting fancy. The mother hen knows and laments: little chicks cannot long survive alone in this strange, cold world without the canopy of warm wings.

In this very same city, Saints Joachim and Ann had taken their young daughter to the Temple, so that she could learn the ways of God. She opened her heart and mind altogether to the truth, never swerving from the path of learning.

Truth is, the wings of God always cover us. The hen has an infinite wingspan: the sway of divine wisdom reaches everywhere, forming and guiding everything according to the magnificent provident plan.

Isn’t that the great truth that our Lady learned and took to her immaculate heart? Namely, that this whole cosmos is a great, warm nest?

Sure, I can’t always feel the warm wings, because I am a goofy little chick, just getting used to using my senses. But the one thing I always know, the one thing I do not doubt: the Hen will take care of me.

The Lord wept because the chicks zigged and zagged, and soon destruction would befall the city made of stone. They killed the Messiah, and then the Romans leveled the whole town to the ground.

But the birds had taken flight by then. Mary our Queen reigns over the indestructible Jerusalem above. The day had long since come for her to fly, when the angel beckoned her to test her own wings: ‘See, you will bear the Messiah as your only son.’

Mary couldn’t see over the edge; she had no idea what was coming. But she leapt out, because she knew how big the mother hen’s wings are. Infinitely big.

One thought on “Jerusalem, Presentation of our Lady, Wings

  1. Father Mark,

    The one I always liked was the mother bird who saved her chicks in a forest fire: “GOD’S WINGS

    An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God’s wings.

    After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings.

    The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

    “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” (Psalm 91:4)

    Please pass this on to others you care about and don’t drive faster than your Guardian Angel can fly.”

    Naturally, in this wonderful world of debunking, this one is supposedly false [ ]; and I didn’t even try Snopes [which, as we all know, will offer the Beelzebubbian retort].

    As with most parents, we hope that we’ve done SOMETHING right. Sts. Joachim & Anna must have done a lot right.

    In Him we trust.



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