I was asked to do the first reading today at Mass. It is one of my favorite readings. I’m often impressed with the timeliness of all of the daily readings. “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.” Christian conservatives and politicians today would say this sounds like another entitlement program. It is just that. Everyone is entitled to the love and mercy of God. However, this is more than an entitlement program there is presence here that some government programs lack. This reading is a call to presence with and for our less fortunate brothers and sisters. It is a call to be mother, father, sister and brother to everyone.
More and more I see wounded people who are crying out to be loved and cared for at every level of need that people can have. It may be money for some. It may be food for others. It may be presence for others. Imagine if we really lived this way so that there was no needy person among us. Imagine living as mother, father, sister and brother to all creation. Pope Paul VI said, “If you want peace, work for justice.” Seeing all creation as brother and sister is seeing us all interdependent and connected. All the weapons systems in the world cannot bring peace. Living justly thus insuring there are no needy among us will bring peace. Peace.