"The community of believers were of one heart and one mind. None of them ever claimed anything as his own; rather, everything was held in common." —Acts 4:32
Go back and re-read the above verse. Then close your eyes for a moment and picture the lifestyle of the early Christians. Our ancestors in faith "were of one heart and one mind. None of them ever claimed anything as his own; rather, everything was held in common" (Acts 4:32). "Nor was there anyone needy among them, for all who owned property or houses sold them and donated the proceeds. They used to lay them at the feet of the apostles to be distributed to everyone according to his need" (Acts 4:34-35). This is the lifestyle in faith we inherited from the early Christians.
You might say it's impossible to live a lifestyle like that in today's world. You would be correct. To live like the early Christians, you'd need to "be begotten from above" (Jn 3:7). You'd have to daily live the "radical newness of the Christian life that comes from Baptism" (Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People, 10). You would need to have a moment by moment, unfailing trust in the constant providence of your heavenly Father to provide everything you need (Mt 6:8, 11). Does this lifestyle of faith resemble yours?
If we listed each of our possessions, we could probably manage to justify to ourselves a reason for owning each item. However, could we justify it to the poor, who need our help now? Could we justify ourselves to the early Christians? Can we justify our lifestyle to Jesus?
Prayer: Lord, do I really trust You? Do I truly believe Your promises to provide for me? May I live my Baptism in radical newness.
Promise: "Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that all who believe may have eternal life in Him." —Jn 3:14-15
Praise: Imitating the simple lifestyle of Jesus, Joseph sold his car and now rides to work and church on a bicycle.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007
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