“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, but they had everything in common.” (Acts 4:32)
Whenever a new group, society, or organization emerges, there are certain unique traits used in identifying them. Long before believers were called Christians, one of their most distinguishing features was oneness. No one said any of the things he possessed was his own. Unlike many Christian communities today, the first group of believers were not self-centered, they looked out for each other, they were generous, there weren’t competitions or rivalries over material riches among them.
In his conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus made a statement that describes the extent of his generosity: “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). Jesus did not die only for the Jews, neither did he die only for the twelve, not even for his country only, Jesus died for the whole of humanity.
If we lack this spirit of oneness amongst us, can we really say we are Christ-like? If there are divisions and rivalries in our midst, can we say we are followers of Christ who sacrificed everything to ensure our salvation? If our churches today are stack opposites of the first community of believers, it is because we have made money into a god. In many ways, worship of God has been reduced to a quest for material riches and as a result of this, human sympathy, love for neighbour, and concern for the less privileged have disappeared from our hearts.
Recently, I saw a quote that made me reflect seriously on life. It states: “We come into this world with nothing. We then fight to get everything only to leave everything again behind and return with nothing.” Instead of complaining about not having this or that, instead of saying you don’t have as much as you desire, why not open your eyes to the even worse conditions of many around you? Why not remind yourself that soon enough, you would have to relinquish everything you are working and praying hard now to get.
Our greatest instinct is self-preservation; we would rather kill others to survive than offer ourselves to be sacrificed for the good of others. No wonder, Jesus Christ is inviting us to a second birth; to a new life; a life that looks out for the good of others; a life free from selfishness.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, make me realize that my true security lies in being kind to others. Amen.
Bible Study: Acts 4:32-37, Ps. 93:1-2,5, John 3:7-15
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu