(God says to Ezekiel): “‘And you, son of man, hear him that speaks to you; be not provoking, as the provoking house: open your mouth, and eat what I give you.’ And I looked, and behold, a hand stretched out to me, and in it a volume of a scroll. And he unrolled it before me: and in it the front and the back were written upon: and there was written in it ‘Lamentation, and mournful song, and woe.’ And he said to me, ‘Son of man, eat this volume, and go and speak to the children of Israel.’ So he opened my mouth, and caused me to eat the volume. And he said to me, ‘Son of man, your mouth shall eat, and your belly shall be filled with this volume that is given to you.’ So I ate it; and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey.” (Ez 2: 8 – 3: 3)

Today, as NC-people celebrate the Prophet Ezekiel, I’m thinking about the difficult vocation of truth-tellers like Ezekiel. He was called to pass on God’s oft-unpopular truth to people, which meant “Lamentation, and mournful song, and woe” for the prophet himself. Nonetheless, this vocation is not only nourishing for Ezekiel; it is “as sweet as honey” in his mouth.

The simple lesson I carry away from Ezekiel’s experience today is one about our own vocations/crosses, which nourish and “(ful)fill” us, while also entailing certain sorrows. But through acceptance, the bitterness of these sorrows is turned into sweetness, so we may not even notice them. Thus accepting our cross brings us God’s peace. Conversely, when we neglect God’s call and do our own thing, we might stuff ourselves with mouths-full of all sorts of “honey,” and yet feel bitter and unfulfilled inside. Thank You, God, for dignifying us with the call to share in Your cross-carrying Way. How sweet it is to be loved by You.