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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 4,32-37

The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, as everything they owned was held in common. The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power, and they were all accorded great respect. None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or houses would sell them, and bring the money from the sale of them, to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any who might be in need. There was a Levite of Cypriot origin called Joseph whom the apostles surnamed Barnabas (which means 'son of encouragement'). He owned a piece of land and he sold it and brought the money and presented it to the apostles.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The effects of the Holy Spirit on the disciples’ lives can be seen immediately. Once again, the author of Acts gives a clear and concise account of the community’s life: all those who had accepted the Gospel were of one heart and soul. The Gospel creates this new atmosphere of communion between those who welcome it. And it is a deep communion that even reveals itself in external actions, so much so that "no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common." The spirit of communion is not restricted to some particular environment, but is even expressed in holding goods in common. This image of the community, which might seem utopian, shows the disciples of every age the way to follow: communion and sharing. This transformation of the relationships between believers is not the fruit of a merely human choice; that is, it is not born of merely human qualities. It is the fruit of the action of the Spirit that pushes the disciples not just to love themselves, but to love others, especially the poorest. The Spirit is the true protagonist who kneads solidarity into the community of believers. And the emphasis on the sharing of goods, which avoided any inequality or abandonment, represents the strength of communion that flows from evangelic love. By underlining the fact that "there was not a needy person among them," because they had been allowed to share in the goods of those who more wealthy, the author of Acts reveals a pastoral path: the evangelical quality of a Christian community can be recognized in its ability to support its weakest, most needy, and poorest members. The example of Barnabas becomes exemplary: evangelical love unites the fraternity of disciples and makes it firm.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord