"Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with double chains, while guards kept watch at the door. Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood nearby and light shone in the cell." —Acts 12:6-7
St. Peter was in jail on several occasions, and St. Paul was jailed even more frequently. However, both were repeatedly and miraculously freed from jail and for proclaiming God's Word. Because "there is no chaining the word of God" (2 Tm 2:9), there is no chaining those committed to proclaiming God's Word.
Paul connected his rescue from dangers with his preaching of God's Word. He said: "The Lord stood by my side and gave me strength, so that through me the preaching task might be completed and all the nations might hear the gospel. That is how I was saved from the lion's jaws" (2 Tm 4:17).
When we proclaim God's Word, we need not be chained by compulsive behavior, imprisoned by sin, or paralyzed by the fear of death (see Rv 11:11-12). The truth of God's Word sets us free (Jn 8:32). God's Word is the key to freedom. On this glorious feast, turn the key to unlock your chains, spring yourself from prison, and give yourself real freedom.
Prayer: Jesus, Word of God, set me free and I will really be free (Jn 8:36).
Promise: "I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven." —Mt 16:19
Praise: Sts. Peter and Paul were each freed from their own weakness and sin. They led others to the freedom only found in God. Both men then preached freedom to both Jews and Gentiles.
Reference: (To grow in freedom through God's Word, read the Bible daily. Order our tape series An Introduction to each Book of the Bible. It is 32 audio tapes starting with AV 21-1 or 17 video tapes starting with V-21.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 18, 2013
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