Friday after Ash Wednesday
Isaiah 58:1-9 + Matthew 9:14-15
February 16, 2018
Would that today you might fast so as to make your voice heard on high!
Does God need a hearing aid? If not, what accounts for some voices not being heard on high? Since it’s not due to some weakness in God’s hearing, it must be due to some weakness in our voice.
“Making your voice heard on high” has a two-fold meaning. Objectively, our words have to “befit” God: whatever we ask for must be truly good. Were we to ask God for something evil, the petition would fall on deaf ears (metaphorically speaking). Even more than simply not being evil, though , what we ask from or offer to Him also has to be something that God Himself wants. This requires that the will of the person praying must be in accord with His providential Will.
Subjectively, we ourselves must truly want and mean what we offer to God. That might seem foolish to suggest: how could we not do so? Yet if we examine our spiritual lives closely, we’re likely to see that in the name of being a “good Christian”, we sometimes go along with what others ask of us, or what we think is expected of us. We offer to God prayers that are not truly rooted in our own human will. This is not “befitting God” either, because in this a Christian presents a false self to God: in prayer—in offering up “my voice” to the Lord—the Christian is meant to give his true self to God, even as sinful as he may be.