In the first reading we heard some echoes of the Easter story. Peter and John were locked up in a prison cell, with guards on watch outside. And yet an angel mysteriously opens the gates for them. The guards are shocked to find their prisoners missing the next morning.
Like the guards posted outside the tomb of the Risen Christ, these men are confused and perplexed. They weren’t looking for anything unusual to happen and, not surprisingly, they missed it completely when it did happen. For Peter and John, the appearance of the angel may not have been much of a surprise. After all, Jesus had begun his public ministry with the prophecy of Isaiah: I have been sent to bring liberty to captives. During his earthly ministry Our Lord set free all those held bound by disease, poverty, oppression and many other afflictions. He himself, being set free from the bonds of death, shares this new life with his followers.
Resurrection isn’t a one-time event. For Christians resurrection is something that happens over and over again, in more, or less, spectacular ways. When we are set free from something that is holding our energy and life captive, how do we respond? We can react like the guards: confused, perplexed, disturbed by something beyond our control; or we can react like the Apostles: by going about our business of proclaiming our experience of new life. And because the choice for new life is ours, we need to listen carefully for the echoes of the resurrection each day of our lives.