Commentary on the Gospel of
When Peter was imprisoned in Jerusalem, the doors of prison opened and he was led by an angel into freedom (Acts 12:3-19). Paul and Barnabas had a similar experience in Philippi (Acts 16:23-26). This time, however, the doors of Paul's prison would remain closed for a long time. Instead, there is a vision of the Lord and an encouraging word: "Take courage!" (Acts 23:11).
In 2014, after 30 years of living and working in China, Christian aid workers from Canada were detained and accused of spying. Julia was released within six months but Kevin, her husband spent two years in prison. They were really frightened and their imagination pictured in their minds different scenarios one worst than the other. But the voice of the Lord constantly brought peace in the midst of their scary situation.
There is a growing anti-Christian sentiment in the world. We are being laughed at for our beliefs, criticised for our moral standards, and persecuted for remaining faithful to the Gospel. The recent bombings of Catholic churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday are just but a tip of an iceberg of enmity against Christians. In such moments we can be overwhelmed by the sense of fear and hopelessness. But then, we cry out to God, "Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope" (Ps 16:1). And He answers: "Take courage!" It is our suffering that often advance the Gospel better than our successes.