Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
(Acts 4:32-37; John 3:7a-15)
Testy preachers sometimes refer to the first reading today as Communism in the early Church. Of course, the practice of the first Jerusalem Christians has no resemblance to Marxist socialism. It is more like the ideal of Catholic religious congregations where members are supposed to submit all their possessions to the superior who sees that are redistributed equitably. The rule, however, is often breached. Many religious today have difficulty turning in everything they receive and are also reluctant to trust their fate completely to the discretion of another. Interestingly, aberrations also creep into the Jerusalem community. The very next passage in Acts tells of a couple who keep some of the receipts from the sale of its property rather than giving all to the apostles as is the custom.
Like the early Church, Christ’s resurrection from the dead calls us to a radical change in our lives. We not only help others but try to dedicate ourselves to the Lord in every way. The experience of others not being as needy as they appear and the attraction of goods other than living for Christ may disillusion many. We should count on Easter grace to enable us to both understand the human condition and become tolerant of some human failings. Nevertheless, we do not want the tempering of our idealism to erode the desire to unite ourselves wholly with the risen Lord.