Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish

Browsing Community Insights

Fr. Michael's Thoughts on Biblical Imagery: The Voice


(Fr Michael Boakye Yeboah: Vice Rector of St Gregory Seminary, Kumasi-Ghana)


            Voice can simply be defined as sound produced by vertebrates by means of lungs, larynx, or syrinx; especially sound so produced by human beings. This key element in humans is one of the things that controls our world in different facets of human endeavour. Politicians use it to rally nations towards nation building while others use it to lie and mislead the masses. Jesus’ voice is “the voice” because no one comes close to him in comparism. The Nazarean preacher spoke for only three years and yet his voice still guides and control the lives of over one billion people. The voice of the Nazarean preacher has its antithesis from his critics some of whom call themselves atheists but some of these critics marvel at the power of Jesus’ voice. Jesus’ forerunner John the Baptist’s voice was hated by King Herod and yet scripture says the king loved to hear him – what an irony.

            As a historian I will not do an armchair work and pretend that our Lord Jesus’ voice is the only one we have in the annals of history. From all divides of life, historians are aware of some powerful voices that have changed the cause of nations, kingdoms and the lives of people. Some of these historical figures’ voices brought hope and unity to nations and people. Permit me cite few examples: I remember F. W. de Klerk’s “voice” on 2 February 1990 when he said “The time for negotiation has arrived”, another voice was from Mikhail Gorbachev to UN General Assembly on 7 December 1988 titled “Freedom of choice is a universal principle to which there should be no exception.” We remember the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC on 28 August 1963. I cannot forget the voice of Nelson Mandela when he was released from prison and gave a speech that rallied his people towards unity and reconciliation. Walls of division should not deny us of unity and so Ronald Reagan said “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” This was a speech he gave at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, on 12 June 1987. Can I forget one of my clerical mentors? Anthony Cardinal Okogie is known in Nigeria as “the voice of voiceless.”

            Some voices nuance economic value especially in the multi-million advertising agencies. Some people are making big money from advertisement while others exercise the power of the voice within the romantic circles. Young girls ought to be careful of the men who promise to build castles in the air for them or give things that only exist in dreams. Is better for them not to listen to some voices because it may be very difficult to say no because they have what some people call “sweet voice”. Once I encountered a pastoral situation. There was this young man who was deceiving some young ladies. He broke a lot of hearts in the town so I decided to investigate, because I could not understand why the ladies knew that he does not stay in a relationship for long and yet they were falling for him. One lady who happened to be a Catholic said: “Father, if you hear his voice, you cannot but fall in love for him and when he sings, he charms you like a magician.” No matter how romantic, enticing, and seductive a human voice can be, we ought to tune our minds and hearts to the voice of Jesus because our Lord’s voice can never deceive or mislead us.

            “The Voice” is central to all religions that promote transcendental spirituality. As Christians we are familiar with this statement “the sheep hear my voice and follow me” (John 10:27-28). In today’s Gospel, the place of “the voice” is highlighted. In the Gospel the Baptist makes his appearance: he refers to himself as, and he is indeed, a “voice in the wilderness”. John introduced himself as “a voice” who have come to prepare the way for “the voice” – Jesus Christ. More than ever, we need the Baptist’s voice in our world today. Some people believe in the voices of politicians and loved ones more than in the voice of Jesus.

            Can you find a quiet time and ask yourself: “What voice controls my life?”; “Are you addicted to a particular voice?” The First reading comes with a lot of promises especially of a joyful eschatological event. But one stands to enjoy all these blissful promises if he listens to God’s voice. Please let us not allow ourselves to be misled by the cacophony of voices in our world for at best they can only give transient things but if we listen to the “voice crying out in the wilderness” and give our whole being to Jesus, something eternal awaits us. Let us go to Mary and learn from her; though she did not understand the Angel’s message fully, she surrounded her whole being to God and said “let it be done to me as you have said.”


There are no comments yet - be the first one to comment:



RSS Feed


Access all blogs

Subscribe to all of our blogs