Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said, “Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life.” When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching. When the high priest and those with him arrived, they called together the council and the whole body of the elders of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.
But when the temple police went there, they did not find them in the prison; so they returned and reported, “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering what might be going on. Then someone arrived and announced, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today we hear how God sent his angel to open the doors of the prison to release the apostles. This is not just a story from our history. God still does this for us – today – wherever we are. He can set us free.
Our prisons may not be made of iron bars but they may still hold us just as securely. There are prisons of addiction, depression, guilt, anger, shame, and fear – just to name a few. However, God sent his Son not to condemn the world but to save it. He rescued his apostles then and he still does so today. We need only to ask for his help and to be open to accepting it in whatever form it may take.
Ask and you shall receive; knock and the door shall be opened!
—Elizabeth A. Colborn is an English teacher at Saint Ignatius High School, Cleveland, OH, and is the moderator for the Young Authors Club. She belongs to St. Brendan parish in North Olmsted, Ohio, where she is a member of the Pastoral Parish Council, a lector and Eucharistic minister.
Turning molehills into mountains
Making big deals out of small ones
Bearing gifts as if they’re burdens
This is how it’s been.
Fear of coming out of my shell
Too many things I can’t do too well
Afraid I’ll try real hard and I’ll fail
This I show it’s been.
Till the day you pounded on my heart’s door
And you shouted joyfully,
You’re not a slave anymore
You’re free to dance
Forget about your two left feet,
And you’re free to sing
Even joyful noise is music to me
And free to love
Because I’ve given you my love
And it’s made you free –
—Lyrics from “Free,” written and performed by Ginny Owens