Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Roland Chidiebere, CMF

Take it to the Lord in Prayer

-          Undeterred by the prison walls: external forces

-          Let all that’s within me cry holy unto the Lord

-          Praise the Lord and let His will be done

St. John of the Cross, after nine months in a ‘dark prison’, came out with one of his greatest, spiritual cum mystic writings, namely, “The Dark Night”. Till today the work keeps leading people out of darkness into God’s own light. More recently, Nelson Mandela, after almost 27 years in prison, came out with the book “The Long Walk to Freedom.” This book continues to impact positively on millions of people all over the world! These great men, were physically thrown into the prison, but they refused to be held hostage by the prison walls. Each displayed a very high level of mental freedom. They refused to bow to despair, frustration, hatred, revenge and above all, they refused to bow to self-pity.

The case on focus today, Paul and Silas, is even more fascinating: at midnight their prayers amid praise-worship was high unto the Lord! ‘All that is within them cried holy!’ Now, tell me why our compassionate Lord would not appreciate such faith-expression. Certainly, God responded to their praise-worship in his own way, and the jailer became the jailed! The jailer, suddenly, realized that he was the one in bondage and in need of salvation. And he turned to them asking, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” God moves in a mysterious way! The Lord’s surprises flow once one opens up to Him. The entire drama ends with post-baptismal meal with the jailer and his whole family. Praise the Lord with all that you are and He surprises you!

We behold what obtains when one allows God to penetrate one’s painful moments: one’s sorrows are turned into joy! And so, why do you bear your burden alone? Think about this: are there sources of frustration that tend to limit your thinking to negative and pessimistic conclusions? Are there sources that force you to block any possible window of moving forward in life? Good to itemize such sources and caringly confront each of them; explore each of them. Then, bring the Lord into each of those encounters with the sources. What St. Paul says and does remains very effective: in every situation, give praise to God; take it to the Lord in prayer and patiently wait on Him.


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