The first reading today was not exactly, on first bounce, an uplifting birthday greeting
The Lord God said to me:
As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you: be not rebellious like this house of rebellion, but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you.
And what God gave Ezekiel to eat was a scroll covered back and front with woe, wailing and lamentation.
In a real sense it is the perfect reading. Let's go all the way back 52 years to the fact that I was born with cerebral palsy to a 16 year old girl in Danville, and put into the foster care system. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of my only brother being killed in a freak car accident. But for every such woe (and there have been more than a few) I can see how God has taken every one of them and used it, transformed it, made each of them channel of grace.
The prophet in today's reading had real faith, trust in God, and so:
"I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth."
Today I can truly thank God for every single day of every one of my 52 years.