Thursday, November 12, 2009


There was a tree with several branches overhanging a pond. A flying crane landed on a branch with a thud. An ant was resting on the branch. In the jerk of the bird’s landing, the ant lost its grip and fell into the pond. Looking down, the crane saw the ant in the water, struggling for its life. The bird was kind and felt sorry for causing the ant’s fall. To save its life, the bird plucked a leaf from the tree and dropped it into the pond. It fell close to the ant. With much effort, the ant climbed on to the leaf and was driven ashore by the wind. It looked at the bird with gratitude. Suddenly he saw a hunter aiming his gun at the bird. The ant rushed to the hunter with all his might. Just as he pulled the trigger, the ant gave a sharp bite on his leg. He lost his aim. The bird, warned by the sound of the gunshot, flew away to a safer place.

The bird’s act of love was a compensation for causing the fall of the ant. The action of the ant exemplifies ‘reciprocal love’ or love for those who love and help us. Another form of love is ‘aesthetic love’ shown towards lovely objects like fragrant flowers, beautiful butterflies and smiling kids. ‘Selfish love’ is a false show of affection in anticipation of some material benefit.

Christian love or sacrificial love is different from and superior to all other forms of love. It is more extensive and extends even to our enemies and to those who cannot return our love. It has no limits or conditions.

Jesus taught us, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who ill-treat you'{Luke 6: 27, 28}; "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the sons of your Father in Heaven"{Matthew 5: 44, 45}.

Jesus taught, “My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them” {John 15:12, 13}.

Christ on the Cross prayed for the cruel people who crucified Him. His outstretched hands on the Cross could embrace the entire human race. Lying on the Cross, He prayed, “Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.” {Luke 23: 34}.

St. John reminds us, “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action”

{1 John 3:18}.


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

This is Story No. 169 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

No comments: