THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2014
EMPOWERED TO WITNESS - 5
Today’s reading: Acts 4:32-37
The first Christian community, established on the day of Pentecost
and led by the apostles, was empowered to witness. “With
great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection
of the Lord Jesus” (v.33a). Communities today, and the
whole Church, need to take on certain characteristics in order
to truly become powerful witnesses to Jesus.
they must be united in vision and mission. “The community
of believers was of one heart and mind” (v.32a). They
know why God brought them together. They have a clear vision
for their mission. Then they commit themselves to the vision
and mission, work at these, and defend these. Brethren do
not insist on their own vision of things. When there are issues,
the vision and mission are the fundamental reference points.
they must be stewards. Thus “no one claimed that any
of his possessions was his own” (v.32b). They are not
in community for themselves. They do not refer to their own
agenda, priorities, preferences, etc. They submit themselves
to the direction of the community. They know they belong to
Jesus, with all that they are and have. They use their resources
for the greater good of the community life and mission.
they must share a common life. Thus “they had everything
in common.” (v.32c). They are one body. They are brethren,
co-workers and comrades-in-arms. They share a common life
and mission. They rejoice with those who rejoice and weep
with those who weep. They watch out for each other. They are
their brothers’ keepers.
they must be mindful of those in need. “There was no
needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses
would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them
at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to
each according to need.” (v.34-35). Jesus came to bring
good news to the poor. Judgment at the end of time will depend
on what they did for the least of their brethren. They live
simple lifestyles. They work at social justice. They help
build the Church of the Poor.
the above, the whole community, and its work, and the lives
whom they touch, are blessed. Thus “great favor was
accorded them all.” (v.33b). Not the least of which
is that they are empowered to witness.