Go and take your place in the temple area.

When the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail to let the apostles out, he told them, “Go and take your place in the temple area and tell the people everything about this life” (Acts 5:20). Their miraculous release enabled them to continue their preaching, with all the signs and wonders that were bringing people to faith in Jesus.

Go and take your place. This command wasn’t just for the apostles; it’s for each one of us too. The risen Christ has asked us, his beloved brothers and sisters, to leave our “prisons” behind and go. Maybe the place he is sending you is in your home or in your workplace or parish. No matter where, he wants you to live out your life in Christ by fulfilling the unique mission he has given to you.

What are these prisons? They’re not literal prisons like the one the apostles were in, because even there we can answer God’s call. No, these are prisons of fear or discouragement or unworthiness or lack of confidence or complacency. Maybe we’re locked up but don’t realize it. Or maybe we don’t recognize what is holding us back. Yet God doesn’t want us in chains; he wants to set us free to go wherever he is sending us.

So how does God free us? The good news is that through Jesus’ death and resurrection, he already has! That’s the reality, even when we have trouble believing it. As St. Paul wrote, “For freedom Christ set us free” (Galatians 5:1). That means the prison door is unlocked; we can truly cross the threshold and walk out.

Today, ask God if there is any prison door you need to walk through. Believe that the Holy Spirit wants you to experience the freedom that Christ has already won for you, and then take some action, however small, to begin to break out of that prison. Jesus has set you free so that you can accomplish his work in the world. One step at a time, you can, like the apostles, Go and take your place.

“Lord, open my eyes to the ‘prisons’ that keep me from doing your will.”

Psalm 34:2-9
John 3:16-21
Acts 5:17-26


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