Our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles gives us a wonderful snapshot of the early Christian community.
We are told of four pillars that supported their community: the teaching of the apostles, community life, the breaking of bread, and prayer. We are not “Christian” by ourselves. We are baptized into a community. That is why it is so critical that we gather each week to hear the Word, to break bread, and to pray together. In short, that is when we ARE community.
What was the result of being this kind of community? We are told they would sell their possessions, put the money in a common pot, and share as it was needed. They were able to trust each other, to share with each other, and reach out to others. How are we doing, as individuals and as a community, in terms of sharing with others, especially those who don’t have what we have? Our Living Waters campaign continues to Pentecost, our chance to reach out and provide others with an essential of life.
We know that these early communities had struggles and problems, because Paul addresses some of them in his letters. But because they came together as a community to listen to the Word, receive the Body of Christ, and pray, they were able to overcome their divisions, “praising God” with “sincerity of heart.” As a result, we are told, “every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” They were happy and they were evangelizing: bringing others to the community that supported them in life.
How are we doing as a community? Are we bringing Christ to others by our joyfulness and how we share the gifts God has given us? It’s a challenge, but we have the help of the Holy Spirit, as did the early Church.
As we celebrate Easter time and move toward Pentecost, let us resolve to be faithful in joining the community to hear the Word, share the Body and Blood of Christ, pray together, and support each other as we struggle to bring Christ to others. God bless.
Church sign of the week: Come to worship, leave to serve.