“Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own” (Acts 4:32).
One of the lessons this current pandemic has taught us is that even though we tend to think of ourselves as individuals, there is more that unites us than what separates us. Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa OFMCap in his homily for Good Friday noted: “In an instant, it (the virus) has broken down all the barriers and distinctions of race, nation, religion, wealth, and power.”The earliest Christian community remains a model not just for us Christians but for humanity as a whole. “They were of one heart and soul.” This is love fully alive. Everyone cared about the other. There was no form of selfishness. In fact, they were living in a mini-heaven.
In his conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus said: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:15). This shows us the extent of Jesus’ generosity. He did not die for Himself but for the whole world. The key to breaking off from the chain of selfishness is reminding ourselves that nothing in this world belongs to us. We are simply caretakers; stewards put in charge of certain precious items of which we shall account for and hand over. And we shall be judged based on how we used what was under our care to better the lives of others.
You may be feeling overwhelmed by your own challenges. You may be saying: “My problems are too much, how do I start worrying myself over those of others?” The truth is that the more we help others, the more our problems disappear. This is the secret of life. The same quantity of food that would not ordinarily fill your stomach suddenly becomes so satisfying when you share with someone. Repent from selfishness. Snap out of the trap of individualism. This pandemic has already shown us how the suffering of some persons in one part of the world can affect others millions of miles away. If someone around you is suffering, do not assume you are protected; reach out to help. A stitch in time saves nine.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, make me realize that my true security is in kindness to others. Amen. Bible Study: Acts 4:32-37, Psalm 93 and John 3:14-15).