Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
(Acts 4:32-37; John 3:7b-15)
When the archbishop of Buenos Aires went to Rome for the recent papal election, his friends persuaded him to accept a new pair of shoes. Archbishop Bergoglio was not given to buying new clothes but did go out of his way to bless the needy. He would have found himself at home in the first Christian community as reported in today’s passage from the Acts of the Apostles.
It is often said that the Acts of the Apostles paints an idealized picture of the early Christians. Although the reading today sounds almost too good to be true, the author reports that not everyone is quite so magnanimous as St. Barnabas who gives the sum of the proceeds from the sale of his house to the apostles. He also tells of a couple who retained for themselves some of the money from the sale of their property. To whatever extent communal sharing is actually lived in Acts, the author sees it as an outpouring of the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Communitarian life, as most religious know, can be daunting. Especially when we are hurting, it is hard to see others’ needs as greater than our own. Yet as much as we can practice it now, we will be prepared to enter the Reign of God.