Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just who do they think they are, anyway?

I guess there's a lot of jabbering on the airwaves and over the internet tubes about "socialists" and "socialism" these days. One can't seem to get away from it. One can't seem to get away from *them*.

There are socialists everywhere. (In one U.S. political party, evidently.)

Be afraid.

Be very afraid!

(There's been a LOT of that message -- for a long time now -- hasn't there?)

Just when I think I can't take it anymore, I go to Mass last Sunday (Divine Mercy Sunday), and here's the *first* reading (Acts 4:32-35):
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.
With great power the apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
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.
I mean, I *ask* you! Who do they think they *are*, those first believers?

"No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own"? "The had everything in common"? "There was no needy person among them"? "The proceeds of the sale... were distributed to each according to need"?


Not according to MERIT???

What *is* this nonsense???? Sure, the people being described were the first believers that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, the Creator and Savior of the whole world.

Sure, their worldview and behavior changed so dramatically after an encounter with the Risen Christ that they no longer lived in fear. They no longer hoarded their possessions.

(People who are unafraid find it easy to share freely and happily.)

Sure, the Romans took note of this strange behavior to the point of saying, "See those Christians? See how they love one another! They have no poor among them!!"


It sure sounds like socialism to me!

(Could it be that this passage is only found in my Catholic bible?)

Those darn early Christians! I mean, "socialists."

(Or were there Democrats back then, too?) [And though I'm a registered voter, I'm not registered in that party....]

Heaven forfend that we should have anyone acting in this manner today!!! We certainly wouldn't want any *Christians* acting as if they loved one another, and especially not as if they supported people who didn't merit their assistance.


Easter blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ
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1 comment:

SEG said...

This is very timely because we are discussing this very topic with our parish priest. What is interesting in this passage is "they sold their property and brought the money and laid it at the feet of the apostles." The people voluntarily sold their belongings, received good money for them, and voluntarily gave the money to the early church. Therefore the people had property rights (now being removed) a free choice to act in an economic system (capitalism) and gave the money to the church who distributed it to the poor (not to 100% health care for the priests and 50% adminsitration costs for the diocese). Also these were "rich" people who I doubt were taxed 40% of their pay for the government and also were not saddled with over 4 trillion in debt for the government. It is also true ther apostles brought Stephen (what a great name!!) on board to in effect be the first usher and distribute what the apostles had because they had so many. So, rather than take that passage and twist it to Karl Marx (from each according to his ability to each according to his need) try to see the value of capitalism and the God given freedom we Americans have and are losing by government mandated taxes and "Service Act"s. Where is the Fair Tax when you need it? Where are the Capitalists standing up for the best economic system on earth? Love you Uncle Tim, keep your head down.

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