“He gave me the scroll to eat, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey,”
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:8—3:4)
Thus says the Lord: “You, son of man, hear what I say to you; be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth, and eat what I give you.” And when I looked, behold, a hand was stretched out to me, and behold, a written scroll was in it; and he spread it before me; and it had writing on the front and on the back, and there were written on it words of lamentation and mourning and woe. And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. And he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it; and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey. And he said to me, “Son of man, go, get you to the house of Israel, and speak with my words to them.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps119:14.24.72. 103.111.131 (R. 103a)
R/. How sweet is your promise to my tongue, O Lord!
I rejoice in the way of your precepts,
as though all riches were mine. R.
See, your decrees are my delight;
your statutes are my counsellors. R.
The law from your mouth means more to me
than large quantities of silver and gold. R.
How sweet is your promise to my tongue,
more than honey in the mouth. R.
Your decrees are my heritage forever,
the joy of my heart. R.
I have opened my mouth and I sigh,
for I yearn for your commands. R.
ALLELUIA Matthew 11:29ab
Alleluia. Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord; and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart. Alleluia.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 18:1-5. 10.12- 14)
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me. See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety—nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Ezekiel’s experience of eating the scroll tells us how we should relate with God’s word. The word of God that we hear should go through us just as food goes through the digestive system. God requires that we hunger for it like food, masticate it through meditation, digest it and assimilate it so that it becomes part of our being. God’s word strengthens our resolve to live in obedience to God, and it empowers us to proclaim it to others from the depth of our being through a faith-filled life. Today’s Gospel tells us that only the word of God can show us the way to true greatness, which is the way of childlike simplicity and humility, just as St Clare lived.