In the Acts of the Apostles we read about the way the first Christians in Jerusalem lived out the Gospel:
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. (Acts 4:32-35)
This ideal was not always lived out in the earliest days of the Church, but it is still a good ideal. Though it might appear to be socialistic to our modern eyes, it really transcends economic systems. Anyone in any system can give to the support of those less fortunate.
It is not required that everything be given away, but it is required that material goods are prioritized properly. We should have enough to cover the basic necessities, with enough left over for some fun. We should donate what we can afford to the poor and other worthy causes. That is not a just a nice thing to do; it is our responsibility as Christians.
—Father Mike Van Cleve
Father Mike is a priest for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.