Armed guards; hero chained in a dungeon; daring rescue by a mysterious being with superpowers: that sounds like the plot of a summer blockbuster film. But what strikes me as I read the account of Peter’s escape is actually quite ordinary, and that is: Peter didn’t realize what God was doing for him as it was taking place. It was only in retrospect—after the angel had led him to freedom—that “Peter recovered his senses and said, ‘Now I know for certain that the Lord … rescued me’.”

How often do I fail to recognize God at work in my life? Don’t ask! And yet that’s why I love Peter in the Scriptures. I can always count on him to stumble right where I am most likely to stumble, and also to “recover his senses,” in time to point the way for this wayward soul.

—Tom McGrath is a spiritual director, as well as Director of Trade Books at Loyola Press, Chicago IL.