Mass Reading & Meditation for April 9, 2013
Meditation: Acts 4:32-37
2nd Week of Easter
They had everything in common. (Acts 4:32)
When we read this passage, we may be amazed, and a bit put off. “I don’t think I could ever share my possessions as freely as these first Christians did!” We find it miraculous that the believers could be so generous with each other. But actually, the real miracle happened in the first sentence. Luke tells us that the whole community of believers was one in heart and mind. Can you even imagine what that would be like? Think of your whole family, or your whole parish for that matter, loving each other so much that they care more about one another than themselves. What a glorious thing that would be!
If such a scenario were to take place, you can be sure that it happened because of the Holy Spirit. He is the One who makes unity possible. By helping us experience reconciliation and unity with our heavenly Father, he softens our hearts so that we are more eager to act selflessly toward those around us. So this is the basis of our unity: a desire to love just as we have been loved by God.
But be careful. Unity doesn’t happen automatically, as if the Holy Spirit were to wave a magic wand over us. We need to cooperate with the Spirit. We need to work with him and listen as he teaches us how to get along. This entails fighting off our tendencies toward selfishness and argumentation, and taking steps to build up the spiritual gifts of love, peace, and patience in our hearts.
During Lent, the Church called us to deny ourselves and give to the poor on a regular basis. Now that we are in the Easter season, let’s try to extend this this generosity. Be generous with your money, but try to be generous with your heart as well. Try to be more forgiving toward those who have hurt you. Try to be more accommodating toward those who are different from you. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt. And above all, try to be generous in your prayers for the people around you. The Holy Spirit can take simple acts of kindness and gentleness, and turn them into mighty instruments of his unity and peace!
“Holy Spirit, help me to be united with my family, my neighbors, and my fellow parishioners. Teach me how to be a generous giver to those in need.”
Psalm 93:1-2, 5; John 3:7-15