Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In the Gospel today Jesus chides Nicodemus: “If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things” (Jn 3:12)? Well, what St. Luke describes in our first reading certainly sounds more heavenly than earthly! We’re told that all “those who believed were of one heart and soul…[and] everything they owned was held in common” (Acts 4:32). Is this even possible? It seems like a longshot on Earth, but really it’s a snapshot of heaven. St. Anselm – whom we celebrate today – wrote a famous treatise entitled Why God Became Human in which he attempts to justify the Incarnation. Perhaps in today’s reading St. Luke has given his own justification: so that by the Word’s coming to Earth, the Church on Earth might learn how to become “as it is in heaven.”
Practice: This week, take time to think of some way of sharing God’s gifts to you with your Church, work, or broader community and commit to acting on your conclusions before the Easter season is over.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in your life and that of the first disciples you have given us an image of what the Kingdom could look like. Grant us the grace this year to help you bring that Kingdom one step closer to Earth.
—Erin Kast, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!