In the Acts of the Apostles the church of Jerusalem is "the paradigm of every Christian community, as the icon of a fraternity that fascinates and that should neither be mythologized nor minimized". Our communities are "places to welcome and practice new life, works of solidarity and communion, places where liturgies are an encounter with God, which becomes communion with brothers and sisters".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Church is the community capable of sharing with others not only the Word of God, but also the bread and therefore "egoism is not Christian". "The way of life of a Christian community: harmony, witness, poverty and care for the poor" was at the heart of Pope Francis' catechesis for today's general audience.
15 thousand people were present in St. Peter's Square for the continuation of the cycle of catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles. The Pope speaking of the primitive Christian community said that Luke shows "the church of Jerusalem as the paradigm of every Christian community, like the icon of a fraternity that fascinates and that should neither be mythologized nor minimized. The account of the Acts allows us to look within the walls of the domus where the first Christians gather as a family of God, a space of koinonia, that is, of the communion of love between brothers and sisters in Christ "
Francis said there were four elements that characterize the life of believers of that primitive community: perseverance in listening to the teachings of the apostles, the practice of "a high quality of interpersonal relationships also through the communion of spiritual and material goods" , dialogue with God through prayer and the "breaking of bread", that is the Eucharist. These are the "traces of a good Christian". "Unlike human society, where there is a tendency to pursue one's own interests regardless or even at the expense of others, the community of believers banishes individualism to foster sharing and solidarity. There is no place for selfishness in the soul of a Christian: if your heart is selfish you are not a Christian: you are a worldly person who only seeks your favor, your profit. And Luke tells us that believers are together, that is, proximity and unity are the style of the redeemed: neighbors, worried for one another, do not to talk about others. No: they help, they draw closer ”.
“Baptismal grace therefore reveals the intimate bond between the brothers and sisters in Christ who are called to share, to identify themselves with others and to give "according to the needs of each one "(Acts 2:45). This is a way of listening to the cry of the poor, something that is pleasing to God (see Psalm 9:13), and of giving him back "what corresponds to him" (Evangelii gaudium, 189). The Church therefore is the community capable of sharing with others not only the Word of God, but also bread. For this reason it becomes the matrix of a new humanity capable of transfiguring the world, of introducing into society the ferment of justice, solidarity and compassion. Precisely because it chooses the path of communion and attention to the needy, this fraternity which is the Church can live an authentic liturgical life: " Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people."(Acts 2,46-47). The liturgy is not one of the many aspects of the Church, but what expresses its essence, its breath, it is the open door to the Kingdom, the place where we meet the Risen One and where we experience his love. Luke does not explain the liturgy of the Christian community but shows it to us in practice: it is a lived liturgy, where the believer learns to know himself in truth, in a paschal way, as a child of God who brings life to the world. In light of this, we can ask ourselves how we live our liturgies. Are they rituals, ceremonies for us or a mystery where we draw on God's love to pour it into the world? "
"Finally, the account of the Acts reminds us that the Lord guarantees the growth of the community (see 2:47): persevering believers in the genuine covenant with God and brothers becomes an attractive force that fascinates and conquers many (see Evangelii gaudium , 14), the principle through which the believing community of all times lives. We pray to the Holy Spirit to make our communities places where we can welcome and practice new life, works of solidarity and communion, places where the liturgies are an encounter with God, which becomes communion with our brothers and sisters, places that are open doors on the heavenly Jerusalem”.