I will not ask
The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying: Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
If you were not familiar with the context, you might think Ahaz was a really good guy. He will not ask the Lord for a sign, he says, because he will not tempt the Lord. But this is not the real reason. He does not like what God will say, so he will not ask.
How often is it the case that we can do the same thing? We say we are open to God, but in truth, we simply do not want to listen to God. So, we do not make time for prayer. We do not have eyes open to the presence of God in our lives. We do all we can even not to allow ourselves to be challenged by others.
The contrast to Ahaz is the Blessed Virgin Mary. As we celebrate the Annunciation today, we see a completely different attitude. We do not read that Mary asked either, but when the plan of God was presented to her, she, incomplete freedom, says yes. Whereas Ahaz does not want to do God’s will or to trust in God, Mary is completely committed to the will of God in her life.
It can seem like a dangerous thing to ask God what we should do, how we should act, what attitude we should have. But the truth is that if our faith is that God will never let us down, we should ask. If in faith we believe that in no way would God ever lead us to do something evil or wrong, we should not be afraid.
But if our vision is small, and we only focus on a short period of time, we can see why some might be afraid. But if we can open our hearts, minds and wills to God, we have nothing to fear. As we continue this Lenten journey, let us keep this in mind.
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