He climbed up the steep cliff.
He snatched an egg from an eagle’s nest.
Daring adventure indeed because eagles are very jealous of their eaglets.
He brought it down to the camp and after a moment of glory,
he just dropped the egg under a brooding hen.
And when the time came, it hatched.
An eaglet …
and yet it cackled like a chicken,
flew clumsily like a chicken,
dug awkwardly in the soil to find seeds to eat like a chicken
One day she looked up and saw
a beautiful bird, floating in the air, barely shifting its wings,
letting the wind carry it higher and higher.
“Gosh! What an awesome bird!” exclaimed the eaglet who always thought she was a chicken!
“That’s an eagle! The king of birds,” same quickly the answer.
“But stop thinking about it
because you will never be like it!”
So this eagle which was an eagle but which always considered itself to be a chicken
did as she was told: she never thought of it anymore.
And she died as a chicken.
An Indian legend.
More than a legend…
It is a parable of our lives.
God created us to fly,
to do great things,
and we continue to drudge along, held down by our corroded chains.
God created us for a grandiose banquet,
And we are content with junk food.
God wanted to create a masterpiece
And we managed to generate a mediocrity
He filled us with a superabundance of gifts
And we get entangled in our thread ball.
God wants us to be eagles
And a good number of us got stuck in being chickens.
What a pity!
Yes, we were made to be eagles.
Jesus Christ makes us ascend high.
A Christian does not live stuck to the ground
but lives in freedom looking up.
That is why the world hates the Christians.
Because it can’t bear seeing someone happy,
so much at peace,
reasoning so differently from it.
“What? Open to life? He is mad!
What?! She is expecting the sixth child? She is crazy!
What?! You do not fight for your rights? Are you going out of your mind?
You let others rob you? This is ridiculous!
You give your life for evangelisation? Don’t you have anything else to do?
You’re becoming a Carmelite… a cloistered nun? Are you fed up of the world?
You give your money to the poor? This is ridiculous!”
People want the Christian to reason like them.
In that way they feel more comfortable.
Better if everyone is a hen
than to have people who dare
to rise high like an eagle.
Just with his way of doing things,
the real Christian challenges us all because he shows us how stupid we are
in running after dull things.
The chickens envy the eagles because they can’t fly like them.
People envy the Christians because they don’t want to admit their cowardice.
So the Christian should not be surprised that
no one applauds or congratulates him.
The Christian can expect only one thing: insults
being made fun of,
Amazingly enough, he finds his joy in this loathing.
He finds his resurrection just there.
And in doing what he does, he is saving us all.
“I awakened you under the apple tree,
there where your mother conceived you,
there where she who gave birth to you conceived you.
Set me like a seal on your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is strong as Death,
jealousy relentless as Sheol.
The flash of it is a flash of fire,
a flame of Yahweh himself.
Love no flood can quench,
no torrents drown.
Were a man to offer all the wealth of his house
to buy love,
contempt is all he would purchase.”
(Song of Songs 8.5-7)
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.