Tuesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time
We romanticize childhood quite a bit today. As a result, it can be hard to really see what Jesus is getting at when he says that we must humble ourselves and be like children. Childhood then was not a time of innocence and carefree play. It was a time of obedience and being accounted for little. In becoming like children, we choose to forego the self-determination and honor that comes with being an adult–especially an accomplished adult. A child is unaccomplished, and does not even determine something as basic as what will be eaten.
Ezekiel shows us this obedience in the first reading. Like a child, he obeys the Lord’s command to “open your mouth and eat what I shall give you.” What God gives is His word. It likely did not look appealing at first–Ezekiel describes it as “full of wailing and lamentation and woe”–but upon eating it in obedience, he finds that it “was as sweet as honey” in his mouth. Ezekiel obeys, and God’s word is able to live inside him. Like children, we do not have the honor of choosing what we will eat. But if we obey, and consume what God sets before us, we will find that God’s word has a chance to live within us.