Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Christian Community


ACTS 4:32-35

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.
This reading is the ideal Christian community.  God's presence is felt within the community and the citizens therefore feel compelled to love and share their possessions.  At this time in history, the ideal was Hellenic friendship, which would be to love your friend and give to him what was yours.
    The reading also shows that without leaders, like Paul, the community grew because they were of one heart and mind.  Paul and the other leaders were warned not to preach of the Resurrected Christ.  Even so, the communal life and the teachings of the Apostles spread.
This depiction of a community has proven to be unrealistic.  It didn't even last in Luke and Paul's time.  Communism and socialism have tried communal living.  Jewish kibbutz and hippie communes never lasted.  Human beings are too sinful.  Only in religious orders have community persevered.  That is because God's presence is at the forefront of the religious' life.  You can't do anything well without God.
Lord, please give me the grace to always put You, first.  I want to revolve around You.  I want You to be my center.  
You and only You, Lord.

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