Friday, January 9, 2009


A saintly monk was leading a life of meditation near a village. The villagers used to give him food and respect his words of wisdom. One day the villagers rushed into his hermitage in a rage. They pushed a girl to his front and accused him of raping the girl as she had confessed before them that the monk was responsible for her pregnancy. He was innocent, but did not try to defend himself. He calmly asked them, "Is it so?" He readily agreed to support the girl in his hermitage. The villagers stopped feeding the sage and they started to ridicule him. To support him and the girl, the monk went to the forest and cut firewood. By selling the firewood, he could earn food for them. The girl delivered a baby and he supported them whole-heartedly. Twelve years passed. Then, one day, the villagers came tearfully to the monk and begged his pardon for suspecting his sanctity. They had identified the culprit who had made the girl pregnant. He was now ready to accept the girl and child. The girl who was afraid of the miscreant had then told the name of the monk instead. The monk, without any excitement, repeated his earlier question "Is it so?" Then he entrusted the girl and the child to the villagers and silently resumed his meditation.

Silence is more powerful than argument. Jesus did not defend himself before the Priests, Pilate and Herod when the Jews accused him falsely. He silently suffered the Passion to redeem us from the clutches of sin.

Isaiah foretold the Passion of Christ in the words: "He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly; he never said a word. Like a lamb about to be slaughtered, like a sheep about to be sheared, he never said a word" {Isaiah 53:7}.

"When He was insulted, he did not answer back with an insult; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but placed His hopes in God, the righteous Judge" {1 Peter 2:23}.

Jesus taught us, "Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers. Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven" {Matthew 4: 11, 12}.

By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

This is Story No. 21 in this site. Please click ‘Older Post’ at the bottom of this page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Post' at the bottom of this page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

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