The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Father Callan’s Commentary on Acts 4:32-35 for Divine Mercy Sunday (Second Sunday of Easter)

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 9, 2012

Father Callan’s treatment of the passages is summary in form, and includes verses 36-37. I’ll attempt to post other commentaries on the reading to help fill in some detailsActs of the Apostles, 1 John and the Gospel of John, are used extensively in the Liturgy of the Easter Season. Here you can find a list of resources (books, podcasts, etc) to help you become better acquainted with these writings.

Act 4:32  And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul. Neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed was his own: but all things were common unto them. |
Act 4:33  And with great power did the Apostles give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord: and great grace was in them all.

Act 4:34  For neither was there any one needy among them. For as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the price of the things they sold,
Act 4:35  And laid it down before the feet of the apostles. And distribution was made to every one, according as he had need.
36. And Joseph, who, by the apostles, was surnamed Barnabas (which is, by interpretation, The son of consolation,) a Levite, a Cyprian born,
37. Having land, sold it, and brought the price, and laid it at the feet of the apostles.

These verses show the great unity of thought, affection, and purpose which reigned among the disciples. Christ had prayed (John 17:11) for this beautiful unity among His faithful followers. All things were possessed in common, as now in religious communities, so that those who had been poor now shared the possessions of the rich. It is not likely, however, that each of the faithful gave up all that he possessed, but only in so far as was necessary to assist his needy brethren. We know, for example, that St. John (John 19:27) had retained some property, and that the mother of St. Mark, although Christian, possessed a house (Acts 12:12). Neither was this practice of common poverty either general or permanent in the early Church; the Apostles did not continue it with their Gentile converts.

Barnabas (verse 36) in Aramaic Bar-nebbuah, signifies “son of prophecy,” or “preaching”; and the Greek, υιος παρακλησεως, means “son of exhortation,” which gives us to understand that Barnabas possessed a special gift of eloquence in preaching and exhortation. We know, in fact, from Acts 11:23-24, that Barnabas was a very powerful preacher, and from St. Paul (1 Cor 14:3).

4 Responses to “Father Callan’s Commentary on Acts 4:32-35 for Divine Mercy Sunday (Second Sunday of Easter)”

  1. […] Father Callan’s Commentary on the First Reading (Acts 4:32-35). […]

  2. […] of the RitePope St Gregory the Great's Homily on John 20:19-31 (for Divine Mercy and Low SundayFather Callan's Commentary on Acts 4:32-35 for Divine Mercy Sunday (Second Sunday of Easter)Bishop MacEvily's Commentary on Acts 4:32-35 for the Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy […]

  3. […] Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 4:32-37). Very brief. […]

  4. […] Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 4:32-37). Very brief. […]

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