A Socialist Church?

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I'll start today's reflection with a warning. Some folks may find this reflection "political." I'm going to reflect on socialism, because some use today's first reading to imply that the early Church was socialist. So if you think that may upset you, perhaps you should move on now. You've been warned.

Today's first reading from Acts 4 says this: "The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common." On the surface this sounds like a "socialist" or even "communist" idea. But let's look at the reality of the situation.

Everyone in that first Christian community was there of their own volition. They willingly gave up or sold everything they had to support the community. The problem with the argument that this was socialism or even communism is that they all gave of their free will. In socialist and communist systems, property is absconded from the people - it is not given willingly. So the early Church was not socialist in the way we think about that today. To say otherwise is deceptive at best.

Father, we thank you for your many blessings. May we be generous in our support of our Church and our communities according to your will. Amen.

Today's Readings

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  • Carl: April 19, 2021

    Amen Gus! Well said. There is a big difference between bringing needed items to my parish Food Pantry and Outreach Center and being mandated to do so!

    We have long admired our Amish sisters and brothers for doing the right thing because God tells us to love our neighbor – and no other reason.

  • Tony: April 19, 2021

    Unfortunately, my priest said that this was Communism. I almost spoke up to correct him. This is sadly common thought with this part time SJ priest.

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