By Fr. Adolf Washington –
A farmer picked up an orphaned baby eagle, named it ‘chickaboo’, and left her with the chickens he was raring. Chickaboo imitated the chickens in pecking at grain, scratching the ground for grubs and worms, all along, thinking she was a chicken.
An eagle once flew over the farm gliding graciously in the air. Chickaboo looked up wondering “What kind of animal is that? How graceful, powerful, and free it looks”.
Chickaboo asked “What is that?” A chicken replied “Oh that’s an eagle. Forget it. We will never be able to fly like that”.
Chickaboo never looked up again and continued living a chicken’s life.
Many people die many deaths a day when reminded of past failures, disappointments and discouragements, fear and unwarranted anxieties, doubt, un-forgiveness, self-pity and self-hate or even over loss of their loved ones and so submerge themselves into an endless feeling of hopelessness.
God created us to reflect His Glory. The first greeting of Angel Gabriel to Mother Mary was “Hail, Full of Grace” (Luke 1:28). Saint Paul remained graceful, hopeful and joyful even in the worst circumstances of his life. Mother Teresa (saint-to-be declared) of recent times and all the saints gone before us, reflected God’s Glory all through their life and relationships. So the Glory of God is Love and Hope made alive in humanity.
Saint Irenaeus (130-202 AD) summarized this in crisp Latin “Gloria Dei est vivens homo” meaning ‘The Glory of God is man fully alive”. Prophet Isaiah reminds us “Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them”(Isaiah 43:7). Jesus said “I came that they may have life and have it abundance” (John 10:10) indicating clearly how ‘Full’ of a life God wants us to live.
Death is a natural process, but to live life gracefully is a choice. Even the most advanced medical research can never promise Eternal life, but God promises ‘fullness of life’ which is a foretaste of this life beyond the grave.
If Chickaboo the ‘chickened-eagle’ looked up often, she would have risen from every feeling that clipped her wings and then glided gracefully through the skies.
Look beyond earthly trappings, take courage; Look heavenward for strength. The Lord calls us to fly into a life of Freedom and Grace.