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.

Almighty Mother Hen

On Sunday we will have to discuss the fatherhood of God, because of the gospel passage that we will read.

But today we hear our Lord Jesus compare Himself to a mother hen. He longs to gather His people into His nest and warm us under His wings.

When God became man, He became a man, born of a woman. He had, after all, made the two sexes distinct in the beginning. Sewing confusion between man and woman never made up part of His mission.

But, by the same token, Christ has revealed that what is most beautiful in both man and woman reflects the infinite beauty of God.

The Lord Jesus presented God as the loving father who forgave his prodigal son. Such a kind father reflects the Almighty Father.

But the Almighty Father has even more to Him. He also shines forth in a woman’s love. Jesus declared that all generations would remember Mary Magdalen for tenderly anointing His body before His bitter Passion.

God made both man and woman to show us a glimpse of His glory. How could we close our eyes to the goodness of either sex?

Just because we don’t understand certain things about each other, doesn’t mean they aren’t good. We don’t understand everything about God, either.