Sunday Vigil

Share On


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

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

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

For the second time, Luke proposes a synthesis of the life of the Christian community, as if wanting to underline the fact that these features are essential for the Christian communities of every age. It is not possible for a community to be Christian if it does not live in communion. The author of acts opens this passage by speaking of the multitude of people who have welcomed the Gospel. This multitude is not an anonymous masse of people who find themselves together by chance or because of shared interested or to achieve a goal. That multitude has been so profoundly transformed by the Holy Spirit that it was now “of one heart and soul.” We could say that it has changed from being an anonymous crowd to a people gathered by the Spirit of God. In fact, the Gospel creates an atmosphere of communion among those who welcome it. Everyone is freed from that individualistic spirit that deeply characterizes us. When the author of Acts speaks of Baptism, he is referring to immersion in the communion with the Lord. A profound transformation occurs that brings together each one and makes them into one body, one soul, and one person. The bond that ties them together is not psychological, nor is it due to their personality, origin, or language. They are bound by the same Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus. It is such a deep bond that it changes how they live, to the point that “no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common,” writes Luke. The spirit of communion fills the entire life of the community to the point that they held their possessions in common: “no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common” (v. 32). This image of the community, which might seem utopian, tells the disciples of all times, the path to follow: communion and sharing. It is a transformation in the relationships between believers, a fruit of the power of the Gospel welcomed into each person’s heart. The example of Barnabas reported in Acts underlines that the path of communion and sharing is not an impossible or distant dream. If the Gospel is welcomed with faith, it changes the hearts and the lives of the disciples of the Lord. And the witness of the community becomes attractive. Luke’s comment that “great grace was upon them all,” indicates the power of the testimony of the Christian community to men and women. Christian communities are called to inspire in the hearts of our cities, which are often deserts and lacking love, that same “great grace” enjoyed by the first community of Jerusalem.