A story was told some years ago that after a forest fire at a National Park, some park rangers made their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. As they walked, a ranger came upon what initially was a sickening sight – a bird that was literally petrified in ashes, perched on the ground at the base of a tree.
Kind of put off by the sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. As he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother bird, 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 had 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.
Being loved this much should make a difference in our lives. Hearing the Passion of Jesus Christ proclaimed today isn’t about hearing a story that’s long and familiar – it’s about remembering what’s really important – remembering what perfect Love is; remembering that Love is more than just saying I love you but the actions behind those words- It’s about remembering how Jesus loves each and every one of us, and being different, being changed because of it.