Was the Early Church Communist?

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Today's Gospel reading is a continuation of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus from John 3. Our first reading is from Acts 4.

"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." Note two words in this first passage: community and common. Same root as the word communism. There are those who say that this early Church was communist. Thus, we should be Communists as Christians. Baloney!

There are plenty of problems with this notion. First, our understanding of Communism (capital C) is way different than the notion of living in community. Communism as we know it (which the Church has decried over and over again) is not voluntary, but forced. Everything belongs to the "community" (read: government), but not by choice. Second, Communism is godless. The state replaces God in everyone's life. It, not God, is the highest power. This is a far cry from the early Church, and must remain a far cry from us.

Father, help us to always be concerned about the needs of the community, in its proper context. And bless those struggling under the burden of Communism. Amen.

Today's Readings

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