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(Sunday Homily) Christianity Is Communism! Jesus Was a Communist!

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Readings for 2 nd Sunday of Easter: Acts 2:42-47; PS 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24; IPT 1:3-9; JN 20: 19-31.

My wife, Peggy, and I are going to Cuba again. A week from tomorrow, we'll be leading a group of Berea College students on a three-week study tour of the island. We'll be especially interested in having students come to grips with its history, political economy, sustainable agricultural practices, and its form of democracy, its education and health care systems.

Both of us have traveled to Cuba many times before. But today's liturgy of the word fittingly puts this particulars trip into theological perspective.

It reminds us that even despite the contrary claims of its leaders, the socio-economic project that Cuba represents is essentially Christian. That's because, as Mexico's Jose Miranda reminds us, communism originated in Christianity. It doesn't come from Marx and Engels.

 In fact, Christianity is communism. And Christian communism is what we find described in today's lead-off reading.

Think about what we read there -- a description of life among Jesus' first followers after the experience they called his "resurrection:"

"All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need."

Luke the evangelist repeats that refrain later in his "Acts of the Apostles" when he writes:

" Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common . . . There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to any as had need."   (Acts 4:32-36).

There you have it. The early Christians:

  • Lived communally

  • Rejected private property

  • Including land and houses

  • Instead held everything in common

  • Pooling all their resources

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Mike Rivage-Seul is a liberation theologian and former Roman Catholic priest. Recently retired, he taught at Berea College in Kentucky for 36 years where he directed Berea's Peace and Social Justice Studies Program.Mike blogs (more...)
 

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Over and over again, the Judeo-Christian tradition... by Mike Rivage-Seul on Saturday, Apr 26, 2014 at 11:00:04 PM
Not too sure about the "Judeo".Much of what Jesus ... by George W.Reichel on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 10:27:51 AM
George, I'm convinced that ALL of what Jesus taugh... by Mike Rivage-Seul on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 11:08:30 AM
Jesus was largely rejected by the Jews who had bee... by George W.Reichel on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 2:38:43 PM
George,That's the Pauline version of Christianity-... by Mike Rivage-Seul on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 4:24:24 PM
Yes, the Pauline version of Christianity was in op... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 5:55:46 PM
Money changing activity is the opposite of communa... by Brian Lynch on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 12:23:00 PM
Ananias & Saphira died because they had lied, ... by David McElroy on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 9:16:46 AM
Dear David,Governments are governments. The crimes... by Mike Rivage-Seul on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 11:14:16 AM
We know from human behavior it is not likely that ... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 5:40:32 AM
I think you're right, Pal. The early Christian com... by Mike Rivage-Seul on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 11:30:57 AM
Exactly right   Their ideas (Christians ... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 10:12:16 PM
By the way  I am particularly happy about the... by Pal Palsimon on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 5:11:37 AM
   Jesus' teachings transcend any of the... by Bob Gormley on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 11:43:23 AM
There is a lot of truth here. ... by George W.Reichel on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 10:20:22 AM
The quotes are accurate, but the title's use of th... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 4:34:49 PM
You may be correct, E.J.N.  I, however, think... by Mike Rivage-Seul on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 5:03:35 PM
2. What I think is wrong, Mr. Mike, is creat... by Guglielmo Tell on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 6:03:45 PM
Many argue the brutality of Fidel and Che is execu... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 5:33:59 AM
I see your point and I am somewhat in agreement. W... by E. J. N. on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 6:23:42 PM
1. Well, some of you, folks, already know tha... by Guglielmo Tell on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 5:58:58 PM
Guglielmo,No I did not know you live in  Cuba... by Mike Rivage-Seul on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 7:38:19 PM
the idea of following Jesus in his life  exam... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Apr 27, 2014 at 8:16:49 PM
Thanks Mark.  I must look up who the first wa... by Michael Dewey on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 12:54:08 AM
That's interesting.  The Church has a lot of ... by Pal Palsimon on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 6:34:58 AM
Thank you Mike for this article.  It was just... by Michael Dewey on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 1:28:50 AM
Did you catch the operative words: they divided th... by Michael Dewey on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 1:29:55 AM
"from each according to his ability to each accord... by Guglielmo Tell on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 5:58:21 PM
I would bet that Marx and Engels were not aware of... by Michael Dewey on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 5:39:07 AM
This is partly what I talk about when I suggest th... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 4:40:21 AM
"And again I say unto you, It is easier for a came... by Samson on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 6:48:27 AM
I think the rich can't get into the kingdom becaus... by Mike Rivage-Seul on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 11:37:34 AM
  The rich can't get into heaven because the ... by Bob Gormley on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 11:47:23 AM
"money the root of all evil."    We... by Pal Palsimon on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 10:16:59 PM
No Bob is right.   Money is not the root... by Shirley Braverman on Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 11:46:26 PM
You are a rising star, Shirley! ... by Pal Palsimon on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 3:33:35 AM
Perhaps Pope Francis was not only the change neede... by Pal Palsimon on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 3:42:51 AM
Why does the title insult communism? ... by kanawah on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 8:12:42 AM
It doesn't. Quiet the opposite, it tries to get Je... by Guglielmo Tell on Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 11:44:55 AM