Piercing the Clouds Through the Mystery of Prayer
“Those who are men in God’s eyes would live and die for the promotion of equity, fairness and impartiality” ~ Sunday Adelaja
Our 1st Reading today (Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18) speaks of the power, necessity and yes, the mystery of prayer. Highlighted in this passage is God’s love and compassion for the lowly and marginalized. It can be the error of the poor and unprivileged to mistakenly think that they do not bask in the favor of God to the same degree as do the wealthy and affluent. Sirach, one of the great dispensers of wisdom, assures us that this isn’t so.
”Though not unduly partial toward the weak, he hears the cry of the oppressed” our sage author explains, going on to say that “the prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest til it reaches its goal, not will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right.”
Ambrose Bierce once described the impartial individual as “one who is unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from espousing either side of a controversy.” Bierce’s signature sardonic pessimism aside, we know that the impartiality of God is rooted in the perfect and Sacred Heart of Jesus, utterly unable to act out of guile or self-interest. We know too that bribes and other miscellaneous form of tampering and grift, although seemingly commonplace in our world today, are unwelcome before the altar of God.
The prayers of the humble touch the Lord, piercing his most sacred heart until the Most High responds by executing judgment to bring justice to the righteous. It is only then that God will respond to our prayer in one of three ways, “yes,” “not yet,” or “I have a better idea.”
Our prayer lives are indelibly connected with the rest of our lives. The ardent prayers of the faithful are pleasing to the Lord and are heard before his Heavenly Throne. Sirach likens prayer to that of an arrow reaching its mark, where it remains until God takes note of it. The Lord calls his people to perfect humility, not overly self-deprecating, certainly not arrogant, teaching us that true honesty reflects genuine humility. These virtues should resonate throughout our prayer lives as well. There is no need to bargain with God; he knows what you desire cling before you even engage him. Prayer is God’s way of inviting us to cooperate in his sacred and divine plan.
“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.” ~ Matthew 7:7
....and the clouds of the sky shall be pierced by the abundant and immeasurable generosity of our Lord.