There are a lot of miracles going on in today’s first reading. First, there’s the earthquake that brings down the prison walls, although Paul and Silas did not take advantage of the situation. Then there’s the conversion of the jailer, who was an employee of the Romans, and would have probably been expected to worship their pagan gods. You might also note the rather miraculous faith of Paul and Silas, who despite being very badly mistreated on account of Jesus, did not abandon their faith but actually grew stronger in it. And you might also consider it a miracle that, when they are jailed and singing hymns at midnight, the other prisoners didn’t gang up and beat them into silence!
When you look at it as a vignette, it’s all so amazing, although Paul and Silas probably just viewed it as part and parcel of the life they had been called to live. They had faith in Jesus and they probably didn’t expect anything less than the miracles they were seeing!
People of great faith experience such great miracles. This is not to say that all their troubles go away; Paul and Silas were still imprisoned, and continued to be hounded by the people and the government because of their faith. But the miracles come through the abiding presence of Christ, giving us strength when we need it most, a kind word from a stranger that comes at the right moment, a phone call from a friend that makes our day, an answer to prayer that is not what we expected but exactly what we needed. The Psalmist today has that same great faith: “Your right hand saves me, O Lord,” he sings. Let us pray that our hearts and eyes and minds would be open to see the miracles happening around us, that we might sing that same great song!