Today’s First Reading: Acts 4:32-37 – SECOND WEEK OF EASTER: Tuesday, 10 April 2018
Today’s first reading presents an ideal picture of the community life of the early Christians and the position of the Apostles. They shared things in common. Barnabas sold his farm and gave the proceeds to the Apostles. Ananias skipped from today’s reading, held back and was struck dead.
This period of communal living did not last very long, Jerusalem was hit by a terrible famine and the community was in dire need. This was one reason for Paul’s urgency in taking up the collection for the Jerusalem Church. Still, this picture remains an ideal for Christians in any area. It is not just a wistful ideal. Christians have tried and succeeded in living a community life in all kinds of ways, formal and informal.
Further, this picture stems from the axial insight that to live out the Christian life requires not only community support but that this community embodies the presence of Christ among us. But we learn as well that experience of community is very much a gift and does not appear by magic with the simple assemblage of a group of individuals.
Jakarta, 10 April 2018
A Christian Pilgrim