Alleluia: Fed by the Word

Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
August 9, 2022

Today’s Readings

Alleluia, alleluia.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart.

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, our readings offer us key lessons about truth, simplicity and sacred obedience.

Let’s start with Ezekiel. In one of his technicolor visions, God tells him to eat a scroll inscribed with the scary words, “Lamentation and wailing and woe!” A little nightmarish, isn’t it. One might be tempted to tell God, “Thanks anyway, but I’ve already eaten!”

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Latin 16744, fol. 81r.

But Ezekiel listens and obeys, only to be surprised by the sweetness of the Word once consumed.

The Lord said to me: Creature of Earth, eat what is before you;
eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel.
So I opened my mouth and was given the scroll to eat.
Creator of Earth, the Lord 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.
The Lord said: Go now to the house of Israel,
and speak my words to them.

Ezekiel 3:1-4

Our Responsorial Psalm expatiates on that sweetness. The psalmist too sees that the Word, once embraced, brings unexpected delight.

In our Gospel, Jesus centers his teaching on the innocence and simplicity of a child. A child’s openness, trust, and readiness to love show us how we should respond to God’s Word.

As we “grow up”, and our lives become complicated with the world’s expectations, the Word can be hard to swallow. It demands honesty in a culture that often manipulates with lies. It asks for selflessness in a world full of “me first”. It asks us to listen, in sacred obedience, for the whisper of grace in a cacophony of violence.

The truth of God’s Word is demanding. It doesn’t bend to worldly expectations. And, certainly, this can bring a certain “lamentation and wailing and woe” to the practitioner of God’s just and merciful message.

Jesus tells us to take up that challenge, to trust the Word, to consume the it and be consumed by it, just as little children are consumed by mystery, hope, and delight.

Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3-4

Poetry: Where Is God? – Mark Nepo

It’s as if what is unbreakable—
the very pulse of life—waits for
everything else to be torn away,
and then in the bareness that
only silence and suffering and
great love can expose, it dares
to speak through us and to us.
It seems to say, if you want to last,
hold on to nothing. If you want
to know love, let in everything.
If you want to feel the presence
of everything, stop counting the
things that break along the way.

Music: Word of God – Bernadette Farrell

Word of God, renew your people,
make us now your living sign.
Recreate us for your purpose
in this place and in this time.

Word of hope and word of healing…
Word of peace and word of justice …
With your cross of love upon us …
God alone the power we trust in …
By our name you call us onward
Cross of Jesus freely chosen
Cross of Jesus, all-embracing …
By your Cross, restored, forgiven…
Through the Cross of Christ our Savior …
To the waters lead your people …
Risen Savior with us always …
Holy Spirit, raise your people >>>

2 thoughts on “Alleluia: Fed by the Word

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