Acts 16:22-34 Reflection:
In today’s first reading we read where Paul and Silas receive a flogging at the hands of the authorities because they are causing turmoil among the people. This is the thing about the word of God: it always causes disturbance, first in the individual and then in the community. The nature of the Word is to challenge the world and the world and its servants don’t like this.
Paul and Silas are thrown in prison. They are, so to speak, put out of circulation where they can do no harm. This is exactly the way the secularists want to treat the Church and anyone who believes in God today: put God in the prison of a person’s home but don’t dare bring him out into the community, God is a private God that you can talk to at home but don’t bring him into the public square.
The earth shook, the prison doors opened and the chains fell off the prisoners. What did they do? Instead of running for freedom as you would expect, they sat in their cells and waited for the prison warden.
What the writer is saying is that Paul and Silas are free, even in the prison cell. This is a big lesson for the poor old warden who is about to kill himself from fear: the prisoner is a freer man than him!!