"During the night, however, an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the jail." —Acts 5:19
What did the apostles do when they were miraculously set free from prison by the angel of the Lord? When set free, they did the work of the Lord, obeying Him by going out and taking their place to teach in the Temple, as God's angel had commanded them (Acts 5:20-21).
Many of you who read this are in prison. You may be physically behind bars or imprisoned by debt, fear, compulsive behaviors, addiction, sexual sins, unforgiveness, bitterness, ill health, and other types of imprisonment. You have prayed and prayed to be released from these prisons. Jesus is ready to open the gates of your jail (Acts 5:19). When the Lord sets you free from your prison, what then will you do? Will you return to your prison? "God forbid!" (1 Cor 6:15)
On Good Friday, Jesus was imprisoned in the tomb. Now He is risen! Once freed and risen, Jesus didn't return to His prison but rather took His place and spread God's word. In Baptism, Jesus sets you free from the imprisoning, enslaving power of sin and death (Rm 6:3-11). God sets you free from prison for evangelization, worship, and service. "It was for liberty that Christ freed us. So stand firm, and do not take on yourselves the yoke of slavery" and sin "a second time!" (Gal 5:1)
In Jesus, you are now free. Will you seek the Lord as diligently in your freedom as you sought Him in captivity? What will you do with your freedom?
Prayer: Jesus, in You, I am free indeed! (Jn 8:36) Rooted in You, may I become who I already am: a free, redeemed child of God.
Promise: "God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." —Jn 3:17
Praise: Jesus set Sam free from an addiction to pornography. Now Sam is active in the fight to defend life.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 2, 2012
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