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!”
Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
The apostles are imprisoned so that they will not continue to speak, to act, to proclaim the Resurrection of Christ, to proclaim a truth that frees. Yet theirs is a truth that cannot be silenced, and doors will be opened in unpredictable ways in order to make this possible.
St. Ignatius invites us to be particularly aware of the “holy effects of the Resurrection” in the Spiritual Exercises, and today’s reading witnesses to these effects: persistent hope; the refusal to let the truth of God be silenced, the determination to find a way to “teach the people” in such a way that, without force, intimidates those who are persecuting the bearers of truth. We must be careful while praying over this Scripture lest we become aware of the “holy effects of the Resurrection” in us!
In his Palm Sunday homily this year, Pope Francis said: “There are many ways to silence young people and make them invisible….There are many ways to sedate them, to keep them from getting involved, to make their dreams flat and dreary, petty and plaintive….if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?”
How do I recognize the “effects of the Resurrection” in my life? Am I aware of the ways in which these effects are silenced in me?
—Sr. Jessica Kerber, aci is a Handmaid of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a women’s congregation of Ignatian Spirituality that is a member of the Charis Ministries Partner Program.
Risen Lord Jesus, I believe.
I believe in the Resurrection;
I believe you Live;
I believe you are moving;
Risen Lord Jesus, I believe.
May I place all my trust in you.
—Sr. Jessica Kerber, aci
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