The Community of Taizé sing “the Kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Come, Lord, and open in us the gates of your kingdom.”
It is clear that Luke sees the Holy Spirit as the “life-principle” of the Church, and the narrative of the Acts of the Apostles shows the Holy Spirit as the creating force, shaping “a people for Jesus’ name.” Luke focuses on the social structures of the early Christian community – practicing baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit, listening to the teaching of the apostles, being of one mind and heart, sharing all possessions, breaking bread and joining in prayer. As you listen to the account of life in the early Church, try and place yourself among that group of early Christians. What feelings does this reading bring to the surface?
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.
‘The apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.’ How ready are you to give your testimony to the resurrection of Jesus? How does that testimony affect how you think of the church, your Christian community?
How well do you, and the Christians you know reflect that unity at the heart of this reading?
The kind of community described here closely resembles many modern Christian communities as well as more traditional religious communities of monks and nuns.
We can’t all live in these kinds of communities, but what parts of this way of life you could put into practice?