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 Jerusalem Christian community has no resemblance to Marxist socialism. It is more like the ideal of Catholic religious congregations. Religious are supposed to submit all their possessions to the community. The superior then sees that the goods are redistributed so that everyone’s needs are met.
These rules, however, are often breached. Many religious today have difficulty turning in everything they receive. They are also reluctant to trust their fate completely to the discretion of a superior. 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, they evidently save some “just in case.”
Like the members of the early Church, we too have been called to a radical change of life. We see our future secure not by our efforts but by the grace of Christ’s resurrection. Once we make this realization, we become free women and men. We can share our resources with others knowing that our generosity gives glory to God who loves us.