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April 30, 2019

Acts 4: 32-37

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.

They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Living in a post-Resurrection world

This time of Mystagogy (the period of reflection following the reception of the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil) is one where we try and find our way through the mysteries that we have just witnessed during the Easter Triduum. Jesus was crucified and has risen from the dead… now what? The disciples in our first reading today offer a very concrete example of how to live in a post-Resurrection world. “There was not a needy person among them”. Christ’s sacrifice fills our every need, and we can now offer everything we have, even our possessions, to God.

There is a trap we must be careful to avoid. These readings can make it seem like we should promote one political structure over another. Our responsorial psalm for today can offer an alternative: “The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty.” The only reason for this radical way of living the Christian life is because the Lord is king. St Ignatius, in the Spiritual Exercises, speaks of our one true desire, that is, to praise, love, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save our souls.

May our Easter prayer help us to focus on our true desire and the Heavenly Kingdom rather than the Earthly one.

Jonathan Harmon, SJ, is a transitional deacon of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province. He is currently in theology studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
Amen

—Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola


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April 30, 2019

Acts 4: 32-37

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.

They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Living in a post-Resurrection world

This time of Mystagogy (the period of reflection following the reception of the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil) is one where we try and find our way through the mysteries that we have just witnessed during the Easter Triduum. Jesus was crucified and has risen from the dead… now what? The disciples in our first reading today offer a very concrete example of how to live in a post-Resurrection world. “There was not a needy person among them”. Christ’s sacrifice fills our every need, and we can now offer everything we have, even our possessions, to God.

There is a trap we must be careful to avoid. These readings can make it seem like we should promote one political structure over another. Our responsorial psalm for today can offer an alternative: “The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty.” The only reason for this radical way of living the Christian life is because the Lord is king. St Ignatius, in the Spiritual Exercises, speaks of our one true desire, that is, to praise, love, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save our souls.

May our Easter prayer help us to focus on our true desire and the Heavenly Kingdom rather than the Earthly one.

Jonathan Harmon, SJ, is a transitional deacon of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province. He is currently in theology studies at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
Amen

—Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola

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Please share the Good Word with your friends!