Christoph Weigel, The Apostles Freed from Prison, Biblia ectypa: Bildnussen auss Heiliger Schrifft Alt und Neuen Testaments,1695
Readings for Mass
First Reading: Acts 5:17-26
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Gospel: John 3:16-21
But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought the apostles out, and said, “Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life (NRSV, Acts 5: 19-20).”
Let us pray.
Father, as you call us forth in every moment to accept and to grow in your life, what it is that we long for is freedom. However, that freedom, Father, is often misunderstood as merely freedom from the present condition in which we find ourselves. When freedom is understood in the limited manner of freedom “from,” the best that can happen for us is that we exchange one form of slavery for another. The Israelites longed for freedom from slavery in Egypt but no sooner across the sea in the desert they lamented that situation as well.
True freedom, we learn from your Word speaking with us and made manifest in our Lord Jesus, Father, is always freedom for someone. The apostles were freed from prison, not merely to be delivered from confinement, but to preach the good news to their sisters and brothers.
At every moment, Father, you call us forth from the situation in which we find ourselves, not merely to overcome its limitations, but that we might grow in your divine life and share it with our sisters and brothers through serving one another.
May the freedom that we long for, Father, always be freedom for you and for one another.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.