Eat What I Will/I Shall give you
Is there a food you do not like? If that food is served to you, what do you do with it? Watching children, I’ve learned that there are several ways to deal with this. Leave it to the end and then claim that you are full and can no longer eat. Separate it into small pieces and hide these pieces with other foods on your plate and hope no one notices. Be sneaky and try to slide the meal to the dog under the table. “Accidentally” spill it on the ground and then hope that it is no longer left in the bowl. Finally, and this doesn’t happen very often, bury it with other foods in your mouth so you can hopefully swallow it without chewing and contaminating your mouth. I’m lucky. I like most foods. There are two without which I can live. I don’t like lima beans. Fortunately, you can hide them in other foods. The other food I don’t like is calamari. Unfortunately, you can’t hide this food. And when it mixes with other foods, it makes everything horrible.
Ezekiel was told to eat the scroll containing the Word of God. Surprisingly, he said it was sweet. The Word of God is usually sweet, unless it contradicts what you are doing or your opinion. Then it becomes like calamari. You just don’t want it and you’ll do what you can to avoid it. Over time we discover that there is no place to hide from the Word of God. It is always present, always inviting us back, always telling us what we have done wrong and that we need to make a change.
In today’s gospel, Jesus invites the children to come to Him. We are told to be like children: open to learning, modest and nonjudgmental. But even with children, times are needed for correction and healing. Maybe we can consider those moments of correction as needing medicine. Medicine rarely tastes good, but as with Ezekiel today, we can add a spoonful of sugar to sweeten it. In other words, we all need correction and healing in our lives. We can be angry and bitter with people, showing our frustration with them. Or we accept them where they are, and with love and kindness, we help them learn the truth and love of God. I’d opt for the latter.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen