Mass Reading & Meditation for April 10, 2013
Meditation: Acts 5:17-26
2nd Week of Easter
The men whom you put in prison are … teaching the people. (Acts 5:25)
Imagine standing in the courtroom while the judge considers your fate. You know you are innocent, but you also know that the judge hates you. The only thing that will rescue you now is a miracle. That must be how the apostles felt when the Sanhedrin gathered to render judgment on them for preaching in the name of Jesus. Their only hope was a miracle—and that’s exactly what God gave to them. He sent an angel to open the prison doors and lead them to freedom.
But despite their wondrous deliverance, the apostles took no time to relax and unwind. Instead, they threw themselves right back into the thick of things, preaching to the people and confounding their enemies. They sensed that God hadn’t freed them so that they could return to safe, mundane lives. He had freed them so that they could go on proclaiming the Lord Jesus. Even when the Sanhedrin again sent officers to arrest them again, the apostles would not be deterred!
Who could blame them? They had seen the risen Lord. They even witnessed his ascension into heaven. And then they saw an even greater miracle: the Holy Spirit fell on Pentecost. In a burst of grace, thousands of people were transformed into vibrant believers ready to band together and proclaim the gospel. How could the apostles possibly stay quiet?
You too have been set free in Christ. You are no longer chained to the power of sin. You too have seen God work powerfully, whether in your life or in the life of a loved one. But just as it was with the apostles, so it is for you: God has set you free so that you can share the good news of this freedom with the people around you. How can you stay quiet?
Do you feel a little intimidated by this? Don’t let that happen! Instead, take a look in the mirror today, and tell yourself, “I am a new creation. I am beloved and cherished of the Father. I have been set free. Christ is in me. I can go out and preach the gospel!”
“Lord Jesus, give me the courage of your apostles to proclaim the joy and freedom you have won by your resurrection.”
Psalm 34:2-9; John 3:16-21