Today we conclude what once was a week long celebration of Easter. Today’s first reading recounts, perhaps idealistically, the characteristics of the first generation of believers: “They devoted themselves to the teaching of the Apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.”
Two thousand years later we can still relate to three of those four hallmarks. But in our recent eras of ingrained excessive individualism, it would appear that communal life is quite a reach for us. Yes, we continue to regularly hear that we should be alert to the needs of the poor and vulnerable. But, do we recognize that sharing our material goods is not enough. Is it enough to merely share what is external to ourselves without sharing what is interior (i.e. our faith) as well!
Many of us seem to smugly rely on the saying of St. Francis of Assisi who said: “Preach the Gospel; if necessary use words.” While at the same time forgetting that in St. Francis’ world everyone was already a Catholic. Saints Peter and Paul certainly did not traverse the Roman Empire with their lips zippered closed!
Perhaps it is time to examine our consciences as to what sharing in common requires of us in the Twenty-first Century?