Son of man, eat what is before you; eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat. Son of man, he then said to me, feed your belly and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you. I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. (Ezekiel 3:1-3)
Like many people, I enjoy the taste of honey and often start the day with a bowl of cooked oatmeal sweetened with honey and milk. It is real comfort food.
In today’s reading, Ezekiel describes his prophetic call. In a vision, a hand holding a scroll with writing on it is extended toward him, and he is told to open his mouth and eat. It is sweet to the taste, but the message he will announce is anything but that. “Lamentation, wailing, woe!” (2:10).
This passage communicates deep truths. First, it is only after consuming God’s word himself and allowing it to enter into the depths of his own being, that Ezekiel can dare to announce it to others. The word will change him, just as it will confront the rebelliousness and sin of the people. Secondly, the sweetness of God’s word is something the prophet must cling to in challenging times. Throughout his ministry, Ezekiel will draw strength from the memory of its taste and the accompanying experience of divine intimacy.
As a young priest assigned to a parish in Chatte, France, Father Eymard visited the Calvary at the rock of Saint-Romans nearby. He had a mystical experience there in 1836 and often returned later in life. In 1864, he referred to Saint-Romans as “my mystical rock where I could contemplate heaven in all its beauty and purity.” It sustained him through trials and difficulties.
When have you tasted the sweetness of God’s word?
Let us pray:
My soul longs for your salvation, O Lord; I put my hope in your word. (Psalm 119:81)
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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