An Angelic Prison Break
Malvern Minute

 

April 26, 2017 – Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life. Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (5:17-26)

The high priest rose up and all his companions,
that is, the party of the Sadducees,
and, filled with jealousy,
laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison,
led them out, and said,
“Go and take your place in the temple area,
and tell the people everything about this life.”

When they heard this,
they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.
When the high priest and his companions arrived,
they convened the Sanhedrin,
the full senate of the children of Israel,
and sent to the jail to have them brought in.
But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison,
so they came back and reported,
“We found the jail securely locked
and the guards stationed outside the doors,
but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”

When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report,
they were at a loss about them,
as to what this would come to.
Then someone came in and reported to them,
“The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area
and are teaching the people.”
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them,
but without force,
because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

Reflect: The angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison. This angelic prison break shows that the word of God cannot be imprisoned.  Perhaps the world may try to chain God’s disciples, but somehow the truth prevails and the word of God is proclaimed beyond imagining. Such is the power of the Holy Spirit – fully alive and active in our midst. God calls us to trust; to believe that even when confronting seemingly insurmountable circumstances he will break through and use us to make his ways and his Kingdom known in the world.  We all feel bound and restricted by one thing or another. Some brothers and sisters around the world are literally imprisoned and killed for proclaiming Christ. Many of us struggle with our particular wounds, brokenness, addictions and sundry other challenges that restrict our free witness for Christ. Perhaps we are intimidated or inhibited by the pressures of society that often looks down on any public witness of faith. Regardless, Jesus reminds us that if we seek his truth and his ways we will always be filled with his life.  May we have courage to believe that no prison bars, no man-made laws, no social pressures or even threats of death can withhold the truth that Jesus is Lord. Let’s invite the angels of God to free us from our prison doors so that we can be courageous in proclaiming Jesus as Savior of the world!

Questions: In what ways do I feel imprisoned? Do I trust that God can break open my prison doors so that I can proclaim him to the world?  Can I ask God to give me renewed strength and faith so that I can witness to his love and mercy boldly and with conviction?

Pray: Loving God, may what we celebrate and meditate upon during this Easter season give us strength and perseverance to trust in your love and mercy, and, so inspired, live as your fearless disciples in the world.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

I have chosen you from the world, says the Lord, and have appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. Alleluia!

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