Read Acts 5:17-26, Ps. 34:2-9, John 3:16-21
“But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said: 'Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.’” (Acts 5:19-20)
Our first reading today continues the story of the earliest Christian community. As more persons were added to their number, the high priest and his companions were so filled with jealousy that they laid hands on the apostles and put them in the public jail. When we let our light shine, we are bound to face persecution, and sometimes, this persecution comes from the house of God.
Jesus tells Nicodemus in today’s Gospel passage that our world is filled with people who prefer darkness to light. “And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light.” (John 3:19-20). We live in a world that celebrates evil, immorality, and corruption; a world where you would have enemies even for attempting to live a righteous life.
Are we then to stop letting our light shine because of the powerful forces of darkness who try to stop us? Not at all. The battle belongs to the Lord. God surely knows how to fight for his children. That night, God sent an angel to rescue the apostles. The angel opened the prison doors and led them out saying: “Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.” The apostles went to the temple area proclaiming this great miracle that had just happened.
Our responsorial psalm today says: “The Angel of the Lord is encamped around those who fear Him, to rescue them. Taste and see that the Lord is Good. Blessed is the man who seeks refuge in him.” (Psalm 93). If we are faithful to God, He will never abandon or forsake us. Since no one can fight God and succeed, know that if God is on your side, no one can fight you and succeed.
God did not prevent the apostles from being arrested but He rescued them from prison. Sometimes, it may look as though our enemies are succeeding but God always has a plan. Be patient. By freeing the apostles from prison, God made it clear to the high priest and his companions that nothing, not even the prison chains can stop the message of salvation from reaching the ends of the earth.
The entire Sanhedrin gathered the next day to try the matter. They sent for the apostles “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.’… 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.’” (Acts 5:22-23)
Regardless of what you are going through right now, surrender yourself to God in prayer. Do not compromise to evil for fear of what people can do to you. You are like a sheep in the midst of wolves but never forget that God is a shepherd who knows how best to take care of His children. Call on God and He will not abandon or forsake you.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, deepen my trust in your protection that I may fearlessly walk in your light. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. (Wednesday of the 2nd week of Eastertide. Bible Study: Acts 5:17-26, Ps. 34:2-9, John 3:16-21)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu