A Hen Protects her Chicks from a Fire

A forest fire burnt down a farmhouse in western Canada. As the embers cooled, the devastated farmer was walking over the ruins and noticed a burned lump on the ground. He prodded it with his stick and saw that it was a hen, burned to death. The farmer turned the hen over and, to his surprise out ran three chirping baby chicks. The hen had died in the flames even as it saved the lives of her helpless brood. Jesus compared himself to a hen eager for the safety of her brood (Matt 23:37), "How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings!" But the life-giving power of Jesus far excels that of the hen.

I found the above story in a homily by Munachi Ezeogu for the Fifth Sunday of Lent Sunday Year A in a webpage that is no longer available.