Every Easter season, we read from the Acts of the Apostles during our Masses, and in doing so, learn much about the early Christian community.
Today’s Mass reading from Acts tells us that
All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need.
Imagine that! Making sure each person had what they needed. Sharing everything, viewing all as for the benefit of all.
It is a vision we should take to heart. It is a vision we have always needed, but one that is particularly important now as we live through this pandemic.
Are we making sure our health care professionals have what they need?
Are we making sure school children, who would have been receiving meals in school, are being fed?
Are we checking up on our elderly who live alone?
The early Christian community presents a powerful vision….particularly looked at from a world in which nearly 16 million children die every year from preventable and treatable causes and where millions live in hunger or without shelter.
Today’s reading does invite us to reflect on our attitudes about what we have and toward those who lack. Do we view our property as our own, to do with as we will, or do we appreciate that our possessions are a gift from God that we hold (in Aquinas’ words) for the purpose of “perfecting [our] own nature and [using] them for the benefit of others”? Do we view it as a fundamental part of who we are as Christians to care for those with less?
And as we reflect on such questions, let us pray this day in a special way for the hungry, the homeless, and those who lack access to basic health care. As well, we pray for those on the front line of this pandemic. May they be held in God’s loving embrace.