In our first reading today from Acts, the apostles who were released from prison by an angel were left with a decision. Should they go into hiding to avoid further arrest? Should they leave the city? Or should they heed the command of the angel to return to the same activity that got the arrested and put into jail in the first place?
The high priest rose up and all his companions,
that is, the party of the Sadducees,
and, filled with jealousy,
laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison,
led them out, and said,
“Go and take your place in the temple area,
and tell the people everything about this life.”
When they heard this,
they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.
The reading tells us that the apostles returned to the temple and resumed preaching the gospel. Why wouldn’t they, since they had been commanded by the angel? The answer is the weakness of the flesh. Yes, they were told to resume their preaching, but they were not promised that they would not be arrested, tortured or imprisoned again. Despite that, they had the courage and faith to do what God wanted them to do.
This is a great lesson for all of us. God reveals to us his desire that we boldly proclaim the gospel regardless of what people will think of us. Do we do it? Do we accept that scorn and ridicule that will come to us when we share the hard truth of the primacy of Jesus?
Do we have the courage and faith?