Throughout the Easter season the first reading at Mass is always taken from the Acts of the Apostles. This book, composed by Saint Luke, tells the story of the Church following Our Lord’s Resurrection. The Church was born from the side of Christ dying upon the Cross. When the human Christ died, the mystical Christ was born. Our Lord sacrificed his life so that we might be given a new life in the Spirit.
What happened for the Church on Good Friday happened for us on the day of our baptism. We were reborn of water and the Holy Spirit and we were given a share in Christ’s life; and not only that, we were adopted as God’s children. We became brothers and sisters of one another, joined together in the family of God: the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. What we read in the Acts of the Apostles forms a plan for our own lives. For example, in today’s reading we see that the early Christians were a community of believers who were eager to share their faith, even in the face of persecution. We also see that they were a prayerful people. Both in their prayers and in their lives they were led and guided by the Holy Spirit because they were open to him.
The life of the Church is summed up, in just a few words, in Acts chapter 2: “They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ instruction and the communal life, to the breaking of bread and the prayers”. The Apostles’ instruction is preserved in the writings of the New Testament and in the Tradition of the Church. We hear this instruction every day at Mass. The communal life refers to our caring for each other in love. In other words, the life of the Early Church as described in the Acts of the Apostles should be the blueprint for our lives today.